Years ago we created a participation scale for some workshop or another...after forty years we have a lot of great ideas just laying around waiting to be picked back up. The participation scale (diagrammed below) is even more relevant today.
Consider a plate of eggs and bacon, when you are evaluating your level of participation - the chicken is involved and the pig is committed.
In each and every one of our endeavors, we land someplace on this participation scale. If you take a minute to put you and your endeavors on the scale, you will start to notice some things.
The things that you are most passionate about, the ones that are close to your heart, are high-up on the scale. What we want you to consider is the connection between your passions and your participation. And which comes first...
Did your full participation create your passion or did your passion create your full participation?
It’s a good question to consider, isn’t it? Conventionally, we think that it’s our passion and interest that dictates our participation. But what if it was in fact, the opposite? That our level of participation dictates our level of passion and interest. That would be a big shift in how we conventionally think.
It would give us a lot more power and autonomy over how we experience life. If the key to being passionate, filled with life, and interested is to be fully participatory, then that is completely in our court. We would then hold the key.
Think back to your younger years or reflect on kids you’ve seen playing. Which kids are having the best time? The ones that are FULLY participating. Think of kids getting dressed up in costumes. They aren’t just involved with their costume. They are committed to the character! They are exuberant and filled with life.
That’s what fully participating really means. It means you are bringing your whole heart, mind, and body to everything. Just like you did when you were a kid. As adults, we’ve become metered. We put in the time, the day-to-day effort, but we hold back our full participation. We forget what we knew so simply and effortlessly as children. Being fully in is what MAKES the task, the endeavor, and life satisfying and enlivening, not the other way around.
To full participation!