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“Identifying roles gives a sense of the wholeness of quality life – that life is more than just a job, or a family, or a particular relationship. It’s all of these together.” Stephen R Covey

Application of the Three Resolutions is not and cannot be done in a vacuum. You have to have something about which you can be disciplined, in respect of which you can be competent, and through which you can provide noble service. Roles are the means by which or through which we can do this. For working roles competencies are not only usually quite clear in general terms, but these days you will probably have a ‘job description’ and ‘personal characteristics’ document which management can bash you over the head with if you fail to demonstrate any one of the bullet points. In some professions there are also ‘National Occupational Standards’, reams of lists of competencies that someone with a particular job title will be expected to comply.

But just because work has them doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also have them in our unofficial roles, like father, mother, husband, wife, friend or volunteer. They may not be written down and sub-sub-sub-categorised so that a third party can assess your compliance, but you can at least decide, in your own mind, what your expectations are of yourself in those capacities.

You are the one who can define your roles in life. You can define your role in a general sense or you can redefine it to your own, motivating title. You can be a mechanic, or a ‘client transport facilitation engineer’. One fixes cars while the other makes sure that their customer can get to work and live. You can be a ‘blogger’ or a ‘philosophy communications executive’.

It’s up to you – are you ‘just’ your professional/personal role title, or are you/could you be something ‘special’?

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