Finding your life’s blueprint and a template for reflection based on MLK’s 1967 speech

Lucas La Tour
4 min readJan 21, 2019
Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

Here’s a quick experiment for you to try. First, off the top of your head, how many Instagram or Twitter handles can you think of? Count them out and write down the number. Do not read any further until you have done that. Second, off the top of your head, how many of your life’s guiding principles can you think of? Once you count them out, write down the number. Which number is greater? Which task was more challenging?

See, in this day and age, we are constantly consuming and absorbing information, much of which is useless and even distracting. Without reflection, we are at risk of losing sight of the important things in life. I believe we should know our values. Moreover, I believe we should be able to clearly say those values to ourselves and remember them.

The speech

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior made a speech to Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia. The theme of his speech revolved around answering one question: What is in your life’s blueprint?

Today, to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, I would like to revisit some of the powerful ideas from his speech, which are just as relevant today as they were in 1967. Secondly, I would like to offer a template that I have used to help clarify my vision and blueprint for my own life.

Having a blueprint

In his speech, Dr. King explains what a blueprint is. It’s a document which serves as a guide for erecting a building, and a building is not well built without having a strong blueprint. Analogous to erecting a building, Dr. King thinks our lives need a sound, proper blueprint to guide our actions, otherwise our lives are not apt to be well constructed. He also suggests some things which we ought to include in our blueprints:

1. Belief in your dignity as a person

Number one in your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity…

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Lucas La Tour

Writing on personal growth in business, culture, and relationships. BA in Philosophy