There is a new series streaming called The Big Door Prize. In the series, the people of a smallish town called Deerfield (where everyone seems to know everyone and the mayor has a boutique) are provided a mysterious machine. The Morpho machine, without explanation, appears in the town’s small grocery. Morpho means “to change” or “to modify” and is the name of a large tropical blue butterfly aptly used as the machine’s logo.
When a person enters the Morpho Machine, they are prompted to enter their social security number, their hand, and fingerprints. In return, the machine produces a small blue envelope. Inside the envelope, printed on a deep blue card, is that individual’s “potential.”
In one instance, the character Dusty uses the machine. The Morpho machine provides him with his exact station in life. A teacher/whistler (you’ll have to watch for an explanation of the latter). Dusty battles with the fact that he may have reached his potential. He is disappointed this may be all there is for him. On the other hand, Dusty’s wife, Cass, receives the vague potential of “Royalty.” In this case, Cass struggles with whether she has sold herself short on her potential.
Another character, Jacob, whose twin brother has recently died, receives the word “hero” on his potential card. Shortly thereafter, he calls 911 after finding the school principal in the woods after a motorcycle accident. Jacob is hailed as the hero, although he struggles with the title. He feels he is an imposter and did little to save the principal and even less to save his brother.
The whole town becomes entranced by the Morpho machine. Marriages end, roles are questioned, and otherwise, wonderful lives are rethought.
It is an interesting thought experiment to consider how, if you had certainty about your life’s purpose, life would change?
It is a human desire to reach a certain level of certainty. It’s plain to see how this has pros and cons.
For many, jobs would be quit, marriages and friendships would end, and relocation would be imminent.
This idea exists in our zeitgeist. The proof is in the existence of the show. At some level, we’re considering what our potential would, could, or should be.
There is another relevant question to explore. Why is everyone so willing to accept this “potential” from a mere machine?
It could be argued that this “purpose giving” has been done throughout history through astrology, fortune-telling, and others. We want to be certain about where to invest our energy. This predilection to certainty reveals a vulnerability. Anyone who may provide a potential, we may be willing to follow. Our drive for social acceptance requires our deeds to be validated. When we are given our “purpose,” this validation is built in, and we are free to pursue it without fear of social rejection. If it matches at some level with what we desire, then it’s a winning equation.
So the real question is, What does it take to have your self-created potential validated and therefore be received as a gift from yourself?
Many don’t have the opportunity in life to explore this question. However, you’re reading this right now. That is evidence that you do have the opportunity. The answer to the above question is self-development.
Developing self-awareness puts you in contact with what you truly value and allows you to identify your needs. Self-knowledge, arising from exploring the self, leads to self-confidence, which can overcome our instinctual social drives that require our potential to be validated.
In sum, the show explores how we can and are led astray without self-development. And perhaps that this is the harshest form of self-development.
Oh, and check out the show; it’s fun so far…
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