Personal Legend Project: Kirby Melick

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Kirby Melick, Kirby Furniture

Kirby makes furniture and cabinetry on his 13-acre property in Bloomington, Indiana.  He begins his workday at 4 a.m.  I sauntered in at the leisurely time of 6:30 to start shooting before sunrise. As someone who occasionally buys pine and plywood to construct half-conceived, utilitarian pieces; I found it inspiring to watch a master craftsman work with large slabs of high-grade hardwoods.

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The following set of six questions will be answered by each of the subjects.

1)  Some people call it a “true calling” or their “life’s work.”  In the book The Alchemist, author Paulo Coelho calls it your Personal Legend. What do you consider to be your true calling, or Personal Legend?

I believe my true calling is to use the Lord’s gift of life to create objects from the forest woods in order enhance daily living and contribute to the success and quality-of-life of others.
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2)  When did you first realize that this was your calling?

Not until I was willing and able to accept that what I originally imagined my true calling to be, was in fact not.  I took many wrong turns before I realized I was heading in the wrong direction.  The hardest part in life can be accepting who you are.
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3)  People often become completely engrossed, losing track of time or outside concerns while performing tasks related to their calling.  This might be referred to as being “in the zone” or “flow.”  When do you experience this most often?

 I LOVE early mornings/predawn!  It is inspiring to hear the world around me come alive.  It’s amazing how quickly 4 am turns into 10 am!
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4)  What is the greatest challenge or obstacle you’ve faced in pursuit of your life’s work?

I have often found that I am my own worst enemy.  Living up to one’s expectations of themselves is challenging.  Confidence and courage to overcome is the focus of daily meditation.
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5)  What has pursuing your Personal Legend taught you?

Life is beautiful, if you allow it to be.  My path was ahead of me all along, but only clear in hind-sight.  Faith is the key.
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6)  What piece of advice can you offer to others seeking their true calling?

Listen to the world around you, the strengths and values you have that ‘lift up’ those that surround you, and find a compromise between your ‘dreams’ and your calling.  Often times our ‘dreams’ vary greatly from our strengths. True happiness, for me, is not in fulfilling a dream, but in helping others to accomplish their greatest purpose, or their true calling.
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Are you following your Personal Legend?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

Subscribe to the blog, or add us to your RSS feed to follow along as we post a new set of images each day for the next 30 days.   For background on this project, check out our first post in the series.