I had a bit of a revelation last week, and I thought it worthwhile to share it with you today. The revelation was triggered by a question raised by a reader in the comments on a recent post. That comment, and my thoughts about it, are the topics of today’s post.Have You Ever Been Asked, What's Your Magnum Opus? Click To Tweet
If not, no worries. Neither had I.
Until last week.
What Is Your Magnum Opus?
Until last week, I’d never really thought about that question. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may recall the post about my Nerdy Friends. As a “back story” to that post, there was some fun chatter amongst my Twitter friends about whether the post was of “Epic”, or “Magnum Opus” status. I love this community, and we had fun with the banter.
Knowing the background, you’ll appreciate this comment/question from Mrs. BITA on the post, which triggered today’s writing:
I have a problem. I think too much. It’s an odd habit, but I rather enjoy it. I think about everything. As a result, I’ve thought (a lot) about Mrs. BITA’s question, and it led to the writing of this post. What Is Your Magnum Opus? I’m thinking about that question even as I type these words. As I said, I think too much.
Magnum Opus – Defined
I knew “Magnum Opus Was Big”, but I didn’t really totally understand exactly how Big until I did some homework. Mrs. BITA’s comment stirred my curiosity, and I’d no choice but to look it up. I learned something, and I thank Mrs. BITA for that. Here’s the first bit I found – the definition, compliments of Google Search:
As I thought about that definition, I realized something. More important than the definition is the implication of that definition. What is really “Magnum Opus Big” in your life? The more you think about it, the more the reality of how big of a question that really is begins to become apparent.
“Your Most Important Work”
“…Especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer”.
Kinda makes you think, right?What Is Your Most Important Work? Click To Tweet
The question goes deep in a hurry. Being someone with a bad habit of thinking too much, I’ve been thinking about it all week. “What IS my most important work?” It’s a really hard question to answer. Have you ever asked yourself that question?
Warning: It’s A Doozie.
Think long and hard before you decide how you want to answer.
It’s a big question, and it merits some thought.
My Thoughts On Magnum Opus
One of the things I love about writing is that it forces me to think. To develop an opinion on different topics. To make decisions. I’ve never really put this into words, but I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of writing. Today, I came across a post from Steve @ ThinkSaveRetire, which led me to an interesting article written by Alex Mathers containing the following quote. It captures perfectly the essence of my thoughts as I write about Magnum Opus:
So, as I write about Magnum Opus “for the purpose of discovery“, I’m finding the process most fascinating. As part of that process, I’ve decided that my post about my Nerdy Friends, with all due respect to Mrs. BITA, is NOT my Magnus Opus.
Magnum Opus Is Bigger Than That
I don’t know what my Magnum Opus is yet, but Mrs. BITA’s question got me thinking about it. It’s a worthwhile Think, and I encourage you to give it a go. I don’t know where it will lead, but it’s a worthwhile mental endeavor.
“What’s Your Most Important Work?”
I really like the challenge that question presents. It leads me to think of what my options are for my “Magnum Opus”. The world is our oyster, and we can decide how to impact it in any way we chose. To me, a “Magnum Opus” is deciding on your impact on the world.Mangum Opus: How Will You Impact This World? Click To Tweet
As I think about what my Magnum Opus may be, I think about big things. I think about actions I can take in my life which will impact things beyond my immediate realm. Things with a lasting impact. It’s a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” to think about impacting the world, but Magnum Opus deserves that.
Your Most Important Work.
I hate to break it to you, but I suspect the work you do (or, if now retired, did) for a paycheck is not your Magnum Opus. Most folks don’t have The Passion, The Purpose within their normal “9-to-5” job to meet the criteria for a Magnum Opus. Some may, but I suspect most will find it elsewhere.
What Is Your Magnum Opus
What is your Purpose? What drives you to invest energy into an area which is what you think about when you’re thinking about everything and nothing at all? What passion fills the recesses of your mind when you’re alone with your thoughts? What ideas motivate you with a Purpose beyond financial gain? Think about those things, and dedicate some energy to discovering your real priorities.
To Your Magnum Opus.
Dedicate your energies to your Magnum Opus. What does that mean to you? As I think about it, my thoughts meander between priorities. Between my wife, my daughter, and my circle of friends. Work that will outlive me. Work that will influence, perhaps, generations. The reason I’m here.
This blog, perhaps? Maybe, but I don’t think even the 200+ posts I’ve done here merit Magnus Opus status.
A book, perhaps, where I capture the thoughts I’ve developed on Achieving A Great Retirement and share them openly with all who care to learn from my experience? Perhaps it’s my daughter and the impact I can have on her as a Father for generations, a Patriarch for her children and grandchildren, God willing. My wife, and my dedication to a relationship that was ordained by God? My Faith, and the belief that there are things we do here on earth which have eternal consequence?
It’s a big question, and one I haven’t answered yet.
Challenge yourself to answer the question, “What Is Your Magnum Opus?” What is your “Most Important Work”? Think about our priorities, your purpose, your reason for being. Be intentional, and pursue your purpose by investing energy into those areas which you believe can make an impact on the world.
What’s Your Magum Opus?
It’s a big question.
Have you answered it?