How To Live A Purpose Driven Life
Written by: James R. Weiss
To everything there is a season and a time and a purpose under heaven
When I was a young boy growing up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn I had several close friends. The most memorable was a skinny kid with dark hair named Pat. One evening as we were watching “Sea Hunt” my companion abruptly changed the topic by telling me that he had decided to become a priest.
“Jim, I really enjoy helping people and I love working in the church. I’ve decided to become a priest. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner.” I was quick to remind my dear friend that he was only fifteen years old and had a great deal to learn about himself and the world before making such an important decision. “Jim, I know I’ve been called to serve. I can’t see doing any thing else with my life.”
During our last year of high school while our friends were working part-time jobs and chasing girls Pat was busy helping the old people in our neighborhood and tutoring children at the local church. His mother never tired of telling everyone that her son had was “being called to the cloth”.
Since Pat was one of my best friends it was natural for me to tag along and help him as he worked to make our community a better place. Just before he left for seminary school, he said something to me that I’ll never forget, “You too are being called to help people. You may not become a clergyman, but I know you’ll spend your life helping others just like me.”
This happened over forty-five years ago. Pat is still running a church in the old neighborhood and I am working to help my clients and students discover their “true purpose in life.” I mention this important chapter in my life for several reasons. First and foremost, every one of us is called to do something special with our life. The trouble is that most people are too busy to hear the “call”, and if they do hear it they are not disciplined enough to act. Secondly, experience has taught me that even bright people like you can be lacking the self-knowledge needed to begin leading a purposeful life.
This publication will help you to identify your true purpose in life; whether it be caring for your family or finding a meaningful career for yourself. Once this all-important discovery is made, we will begin working on moving your life in a direction that can make your dreams become a reality. This is what is meant by “living a purposeful life.”
To reinvent your world, shift your expectations
Being called once referred to becoming a clergyman. “A call to the cloth” as Pat’s mother proudly referred to her son’s vocation. Today the modern use of the word “calling” refers to the special gift we are given to share with the world. In all likelihood you must be wondering why you are being called and who is doing the calling? Is this the same mystical quest for the Holy Grail or the Golden Fleece? No, of course not your calling or true purpose in life is your inner-most need to express who you are as a person.
Before reading any further let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of your calling:
1. Your calling or true purpose is a call to an engaging life.
2. Your calling may come as a “gentle nudge” or a loud scream
3. Your calling is a call to honesty rather than to success
4. Your calling can find you at any age.
5. Your personal calling will give you the will to live
6. Your calling is the purposeful life you were meant to live
7. Your calling may be postponed, or avoided but it will eventually make its claim
8. Your calling may totally consume you
9. The Romans referred to your calling as “genius”
10. Out of no where a child can find his/her calling
11. The Greeks referred to your calling as “daimon”
12. The Christians believed that your calling is your “personal guardian angel”
13. A calling is what you must do with your life
14. A calling is about the power of character
15. Your calling will help you live a life you can trust
16. Your calling will help you to live a life that stands for something
17. Your calling will keep you from bobbing around like a cork
18. Your calling will help you to raise your self-esteem
19. Living your calling will help you to feel alive
20. Finding your calling will help make you a beacon for others looking for their calling
It is a serious mistake to be someone other than yourself
Follow the yellow brick road
You begin your journey of self-discovery as you are, and you stay exactly as you are. The only difference is that you become more of who you really are. Your core personality doesn’t change. You still function as “you” in your world and in your relationships with others, but now you will be functioning on a higher level…one that is now purpose driven rather than fear and anxiety driven.
To know that you too have a higher purpose or calling in this world is exciting news. You’d be surprised to learn how many people have little or no idea of this concept. When I begin working with my clients in small groups or in private sessions the in-take information usually begins something like this: “Jim, I’m lucky to have a job, especially in this market. I don’t want to rock the boat by changing too much. When we speak about their “purpose in life they usually respond with: “My only purpose is to support my family and pay my bills” “Why have you come to seek my help at this point in your career?” The response to this question is nearly the same. “I’m not happy with my career or personal life for that matter. What should I do?” Talk about circular reasoning.
This is not difficult to understand. When you are living without a purpose other than maintaining the status quo you are literally walking through a long lonely alley where the only sounds are the echoes made by your old shoes scuffing against the pavement. Sounds dramatic and trite, but so does living without a purpose in life.
This is not your typical “how to” publication. My purpose in writing this article is to have you begin thinking about yourself, and provide you with a road map that that will lead to your very own purpose driven life. It will not show you how to find God, meet that “special someone”, or make new exciting friends. This is for you to accomplish, not me. To find your real place in this world you will have to take chances and work hard. This article respects your creativity and most of all your integrity, and it expects you to do the same. How To Lead A Purposeful Life is also being presented an all day workshop. Both are based on my personal journey and the thirty years experience I have gained helping others to find the happiness and sense of security they rightly deserve.
I’ve written this article as if you, my reading audience, were sitting in my study with me or in one of my small intimate coaching sessions. No one awakens looks in the mirror and says “I’m going to stop living someone else’s dream” Researchers now believe that our need to find our true purpose in life is tied into our DNA. At birth we are totally dependent on our family for our very existence. Our emotions, thoughts and to a large extent the career goals we set for ourselves are determined by those who nurture and care for us during the first eight to ten years of our existence.
Some of us receive years of formal education which requires large out-lays of money and time-others learn a trade then go directly to work. Most of us marry, produce children, and lots of bills. Somewhere between your early thirties and forties “pow” it happens. You begin reevaluating your life. “What am I doing here? How did I fall into this career that I’m beginning to hate so much? Is there anything else for me to do in this word? Am I as really trapped as I think I am?” This sudden need for self-evaluation may begin as a small voice in the back of your head…or it may be a large ear shattering scream calling for change.
You begin to rationalize the negative thoughts and feelings that are flooding your mind. “Ok, I’ll tough it out. Next year will be better. As soon as get the big promotion or meet my soul mate who will change everything for me then my life will finally be happy. Great, you’ve made it. You are at the top of your game. As my clients are fond of saying, “I have a great life. I should be happy with what I have, but something is missing. I can’t put my finger on it, but all I have been thinking about lately is escaping from my life. What’s wrong with me?” Usually within the first two or three sessions it becomes obvious to my client that most likely a teacher or a well-meaning parent has created a life-style, including a career for him when he was still a child. It is at this point that our search for his true purpose in life begins in earnest.
The difficulties you have faced, the times you have been stuck and the poor decisions you’ve previously made do not mean that there is anything wrong with you or is it a reflection on how you have been conducting your professional and personal lives. If you are really interested in doing something that you feel that has more meaning for your life all you need do is start right now. No matter what your present situation is you can change for the better if you work whole heartedly and continue until you are living a purposeful life; one that has been created by you and you alone.
Before proceeding any further please buy a notebook to record your feeling, insights and impressions as you work your way through the information and exercises, I have prepared for you in this article. Please do not skip from page to page, and by all means please take your time with each of the exercises that I have included for you.
The goal of life is not happiness, but meaning
One of my clients, a young attorney in his early forties, was referred to me by his closest friend. He had just “made partner” and his wife was expecting their third child. “I worked hard to make partner. There were times when I clocked seventy hours a week. I hardly saw my wife and kids, but I was making good money, and I finally made it to the inner circle.”
During several of our following sessions Richard informed me that as a child he enjoyed helping his father do repair work around the house. “There is a certain satisfaction I get when I work with my hands, but my career is taking up most of my time. I’m beginning to believe that I’m living someone else’s life. It’s not mine.”
By our fifth session my client was telling me how his family were “lower-income working people who made great sacrifices so their children could get a first-rate education. “They put me through Fordham Law School and my brother is a chiropractor with a lucrative practice in New Jersey. Jim, these people gave all they had for me, but I’m living their dream, not mine, what am I supposed to do?”
A moment of truth comes when you recognize that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is usually something difficult to internalize. It is “shock to your system”, especially when it means change. As Richard aptly put it; “I’m living someone else’s life. It doesn’t feel like me anymore.” How many times have you uttered this remark or one like it?
Why are so many otherwise bright, articulate, well educated
people like Richard or you for that matter, unhappy with most aspects of their life? What’s going on here? Why are the majority of my clients and students looking for a new life? The answer has to do with finding your true purpose in life.
Yes, you can achieve a high level of success as Richard did, but just for a moment imagine what you could accomplish if you were living the life you were meant to live? In other words, how much better would your life be if you were truly living on purpose?
Allow your true purpose to rise and surface like some hidden treasure
What does living a purposeful life mean?
• Living the life you were destined to live
• Taking the time to know what you really need and want for yourself
• Realigning and reevaluating your priorities
• Unlocking the strongest desires in your soul
• Having a strong sense of direction that leads you to your goals
• That certain something that speaks to your heart and soul
• A philosophy of life that is based on new purpose-driven values
Where am I and where am I going?
To help you understand more about yourself and your world I have prepared a short questionnaire for to complete. Please take your time and carefully answer each of the following questions “yes” or “no”. The very process of answering these questions is enough to start you on a voyage of self-discovery.
1. I often feel rootless or unsure of my direction_____________
2. I need a new philosophy of life to that will help me uncover my true purpose in life_________
3. What must I change about myself to find my “true purpose” in life _____________
4. I am often afraid to ask for what I want and need___________________
5. I spend a great deal of time daydreaming what my life could have been like________
6. I envy those who have found their true purpose in life_________
7. I become depressed when I think about my present career and personal life______
8. I am still thinking about a special past relationship even though it ended years ago_______
9. I am still searching for my emotional and spiritual center_________
10. I am not afraid to ask the special people in my life help me find my true purpose_______
11. I am easily depressed or upset_____________
12. I am feeling very anxious about my future_____________
13. I am tired of complaining about my life_____________
14. I am afraid of failing if I try something new_____________
15. I don’t believe that I’ll ever find my true purpose in this life______________
Your life is a direction rather than a journey
It’s time to believe in you
You must begin your journey to towards a new purposeful life by making a conscious decision to commit yourself to a life of self-discovery, and self- transformation. Without this firm belief in yourself and a strong desire for positive on-going personal growth you might as well check into one of those very comfortable assisted living places and lay in a large supply of herbal tea. If you’re lucky the good people at you little sanctuary can help keep you alive for the next thirty or forty years.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against old people; as a matter of fact I’m quickly headed in that direction myself. Please allow me to spell this out to you in no uncertain terms: You have a choice. You can and resign yourself to a back seat or you can decide on what you really want then begin working hard to get it. It’s really that simple.
Your daily confrontation with your fear of change and the inability to change your life may well be one of causes of your anxiety and depression. Both of these “demons” are results of the many of choices you are forced to make daily. Anxiety will haunt you if you attempt to change and grow. Depression will haunt you if you do not change. Either way you are faced with negative emotions. Yogi Berra once said: “when you come to a fork in the road take it.”
Thus, your anxiety becomes a roadblock that holds you in check, preventing you from failing or growing up as the case may be. On the other hand, depression becomes your constant “dead of night companion” It’s like the stillness that comes when you are in a death like sleep. Rather than accepting responsibility for what went wrong many people claim to have bad luck, bad karma, or they blame someone else…they continue wallowing in self-pity which in turn keeps them from finding their true purpose in life.
To combat the fear that accompanies all this useless baggage many project authority onto other people, or institutions; thus giving up the responsibility for deciding what is really right for them. Stop reading for a moment and think how you would feel if on your death bed you looked back and realized that you never found your true purpose because you were afraid of failing or there would be nobody there to catch you if you fell on your face.
Lethargy is a part of our nature. It is the direct result of the many distractions we can now afford to indulge in. We as a nation are wired into a new passive culture. Our children can hardly read because they are growing up in a visual culture where someone else does the work for them. They have lost the power of critical thinking, imagination and improvisation. Their iphone does it all for them now
It is easy to be intimidated by the largeness of life. We have been diverted by the “pop culture” and burying ourselves in the fantasies that have little to do with our true purpose. There are dozens of ways we have learned how to “chill out”. We flee into our work, families, friends, the New York Yankees, and the next new exciting fad that lies just around the corner waiting to carry us a little further from our “real self”. It’s about all the mindless TV shows that undermine family values by creating a false sense of reality.
The flight from fear will send you into someone’s arms…any ones
The magical other will rescue you…maybe
Ah yes, the “magical other”, our soul mate and savior. That person who is right for us, no let me correct that, perfect for us. The long sought after love that has the power to make everything right for you. When you meet this significant other, he/she will totally understand us, take care of you, meet all of your needs, repair your wounded soul and of course, spare you the need to take charge of our own life.
This fantasy is in all of us, and is the most potent fantasy of the modern world. It is even more powerful than its chief rival; the fantasy that wealth will bring us happiness. Every day of my professional life someone has asked me about their soul mate. “Jim, when will I find true lasting love?” “When is that certain person going to enter my life and make it better for me?” ‘Last year I met this great guy, but he turned out to be just like the others. What should I do? I’m tired of being alone.”
What’s going on here? Why this obsessive fantasy about finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with. The answer lies within our own feelings of anxiety and fear. Frankly speaking it is easier to be disappointed in the other than it is to take charge of our own lives. Married or not there are two major reasons why relationships fail. One is the inordinate expectations placed on the other and the second is bringing old baggage to the new relationship.
Our so-called “psychic radar” is constantly scanning our environment to identify those people who can become, for a while at least, the one to help us carry our burden. This quest, or fantasy is the chief occupation of our culture. The hope that there is another person who can take charge and make our life much better for us. The honest belief that this “special someone” can heal us, protect us and spare us from the complexities of the world. No wonder that our relationships get complicated and easily sabotaged.
The more we wish another person to repair our wounds, meet our needs, and protect us from having to grow up the more dissatisfying the relationship becomes over the long haul. Thus, a relationship that has become our “secular religion” does not last long. In truth how can we have a good relationship with another if we do not have a good relationship with ourselves? Running from another person means that we do not have a good relationship with ourselves.
What we fear in others we fear in ourselves
What is being a purpose driven adult all about?
• It means taking psychological responsibility for yourself
• It m means taking total responsibility for your actions
• It means not making excuses for your mistakes.
• Most of all it means living your true purpose in life
What meaning are you giving to your life?
The search for meaning is the main motivational force of our lives. This” meaning” can only be fulfilled by you. As you have already seen there is no escape from the urge to become unique. When we try to avoid or abandon our quest we run the risk of losing sight of who we really …in other words we forsake our “true identity” for one that the world has given us. This is not very pretty, is it?
During the darkest days of World War II a young psychiatrist named Victor Frankl was held captive at Auschwitz. It didn’t take him long to realize that in spite of the horrors many people managed to retain their dignity and ultimately survive this horrible ordeal. Upon closer examination Dr. Frankl discovered that those who lived long enough to be freed by the allies at the end of the war shared one common personality trait. Each had a purpose to see them through their crisis. For some their sole purpose was to care for a sick relative or friend. Others found their purpose in caring for complete strangers who needed their help. By the late forties and early Dr. Frankl was employing the knowledge he gained in Auschwitz to a new form of psychotherapy called logotherapy.
During my career as a counselor, coach, and college professor many of my clients have expressed how they have found it difficult to take charge of their lives. “I’ve tried, but I just can’t seem to be able to take charge of my life. I’m tired of my present career, but I don’t know where to go. Jim please help me, I’m trapped in a horrible relationship and I’m not sure how to get out of it.” Does this sound familiar?
How many times have you uttered similar words to yourself or to a friend? Of course you have. We all have at one point or another for that matte. Like many you are letting the major portion of your life be shaped by “economic necessity” I work, and right now I’m lucky to have a job. I am constantly hearing people telling me how they have always wanted to study art or music, but they choose other disciplines for financial reasons. “If I change major what will my parent say? They’re paying so much for me to attend this college. I can’t hurt them”…again we hear this same excuse.
We are not here to just get by. We are here to be successful
Some very wise individual once said that “every thing has a price tag.” Who ever this genius was they were one sharp cookie. Think back to your youth for a moment. Like most of us you were probably forced with a career choice while you were s till in high school. The college or trade school you selected when you were seventeen or eighteen was your introduction into a career-which at that time seemed right for you.
You worked and studied and pretty much, kept your nose to the grind stone. Then if by magic you made it or did you? In all likelihood you too have been unconsciously complying with your parent’s unfilled dreams and fantasies. True, I’ve already mentioned this, but I believe it needs to be repeated one more time…or twenty times for that matter. Don’t get me wrong there are people like my friend Pat, and myself for that matter who successfully choose the right career early in life.
The night of the living dead
About ten years ago I had the occasion to ride the subway during the morning rush hour. My first impression was that many of my morning companions were carrying enormous invisible weights. Their expressionless faces were a sure sign that they were not looking forward to spending eight hours in a cubicle or office. I took the same train back to the ferry at the end of the day and guess what? The same unhappy people who traveled with me during the morning rush now surrounded me as I traveled back to the Island. These same men and women now looked fatigued and resigned to their fate. For a moment I thought I was leaving the coal mines of Kentucky or Wilks Barr
What caused these otherwise normal looking people to appear as if they were characters straight from “The Night of The Living Dead?” Why this short-circuit? Where did articulate intelligent men and women go wrong? I’m sure you already know the answer to this question.
Well if life is so bad why don’t the just pick themselves up and leave for greener pastures? This is of course easier said then done, especially when you have little or no clue as to what you really want to do with the rest of your life.
Would’a…could’a and should’a: the three horsemen of the apocalypse
I remember my father constantly referring to the demons they would constantly evoke to justify the opportunities we let slip through our hands. I could’a would’a and I should’a (we’re from Brooklyn and this is how these words were pronounced by my family). “I could’a got the job, but I over slept and missed the interview.” I should’a stayed with my girlfriend, but her mot her didn’t like me or my friends.” “I would’a finished college, but my grandmother died.” “I should’a paid more attention in school, but it was boring, and the teachers didn’t like me”
Yes my friends you have a suitcase of valid excuses for not getting what you want. It’s time to stop feeling sorry for you and begin focusing on what’s really important. Sure, hindsight is great, but we can’t go back and do it over. If this was possible I would’a studied science so I could have gotten into medical school and become a psychiatrist. What matters is that you have learned the lessons life has presented and now you are ready to expand your world. If you were to ask me to sum up the reasons my clients come to me guidance and advice I’d have to say “it’s their desire to become more fully who they are…and to learn how to begin leading a purpose driven life”
We are all here to enjoy life
Do I really want to “run with the herd?
We have grown susceptible to ideologies and “gimmicks” that claim to have simple black and white answers to all our problems. What is more frightening is that we as a nation and as individuals need an enemy “out there” to hate. That’s right, we love to hate others. This allows us to avoid self-reflection and the change that it fosters. Instead of fighting Marxism or some terrorist organization we have developed other ideologies such as hedonism and materialism. To prove my point just pick up any newspaper or spend a few hours watching television. Today the “social media” is trying to take responsibility for making life-changing choices for you.
How can a new fantastic career, or a face-lift by one of the greatest plastic surgeons in the country provide you wit h a meaningful life? How can the new designer drugs or clothes restore the depth of meaning to your life? Stop and look at the new world that has been built for us. We now have literally thousands of products to help us find true love. Our time is spent watching reality shows, talent shows that feature no talent people who become instantly famous. Apparently when one has no true purpose in life they must adopt an artificial one based on someone else’s values.
Truthfully speaking, a life based on sensations will continually escalate the sensation because we can not get what we want as is. This sounds like an addiction rather than a purposeful life…doesn’t it? We have sacrificed hope for an artificial reality
We can spend decades climbing the ladder, only to realize too late that we have placed it against the wrong wall
There are only three types of people in this world
One of my college professors once told us that there were only three types of people in this world. Those who make things happen-those who watch-and those who wondered what happened. Which one do you want to be? Since you have invested time and money on this publication I believe you to be one of those rare individuals who refuse to have someone else write their life’s script. Congratulations you are truly unique. The rest of this article is dedicated to showing you how you can start living a purpose-driven life. Please complete all of the exercises and feel free to contact me if you need help with any of the material in this article. Let’s move on to Section II.
How To Find Your True Purpose In Life
The single most pervasive feeling is the unfilled promise
It’s time to buy a notebook
Before beginning any of the exercises please buy a notebook if you haven’t already done so. Use this “diary to record you feelings, thoughts throughout the day. Much of the material in this section has been designed to put you in touch with your deepest thoughts and feelings. For many of you this might well be the first time you actually took the time to make contact with your own private inner world.
Be sure to record your response to the exercises on t he following pages. The very act of taking the time from your busy schedule to record information in your dairy will act as a catalyst that can trigger important information about your true self; information that has probably been locked away in the deepest recess of your brain for many years.
Many of my clients who have been using their diary on a regular basis report a variety of benefit s including:
• Getting more in touch with their emotions and feelings
• Gaining new insights into their relationships with family, friends and colleagues
• Building self-esteem
• Healing old emotional wounds by letting go of the anger and anxiety from t heir past
• Finding their true purpose in life
What’s keeping me from finding my true purpose in life?
Before we begin any of the exercises let’s take a moment to examine some of the conscious and unconsciously excuses some of my clients and students have been using to keep them from finding their true purpose in life. Please feel free to check any that you believe apply to you.
Over exaggeration I have no luck, no one loves me. There is nobody out there to help me…poor little me. I can’t find anyone to trust in this world.
Labeling I’m a failure. I’ve never done anything right. What’s the use?
Fear of failing What if I attempt to change and fail? What will I do then?
Fear of change Why should I change? For all I know I could be making things worse for myself. What would I do if those close to me ridiculed me for wanting to improve myself?
Fear of success Yes it’s true, bright articulate people just like you are afraid to become successful. This too means change and that can be very scary. Change means taking responsibility for your own life.
A history of failure You come from a family with a history of failure. They didn’t start businesses nor did they take any unnecessary risks. Many of these same families may not have provided the best care for their children. I’ll never be able to find my true purpose in life. Who could I turn to for help (a very common response).
Please rescue me You’re waiting to be rescued. Some new book, philosophy or one of those kind-know it-all people who frequently appear on Oprah’s show have the answers to help you in life. Please…don’t hold your breath waiting, Dr. Phil.
Envious or jealous people Years ago one of my colleagues told me how lucky I was to have a business. “You’re lucky Jim” Those were his exact words. My response was, “you could be lucky too if you want to work sixty hours a week. Be careful or envious people will make you feel guilty for wanting to improve yourself.
Good old fashioned guilt You have rejected your family’s values now you feel guilty or unworthy of finding your true purpose.
The Peter Pan Syndrome These educated young men and women usually between the ages of 21-40 still live with mom and dad or auntie…or any relative who will care for them. Some of the characteristics this group has in common include: fear of commitment to a relationship, a job that is not in keeping with the high level of their education, an over dependence on mom and dad, and of course a genuine lack of purpose and direction.
Your past does not have to control your future
Who’s calling the shots?
The following exercise will help you to understand whose voice is calling the shots in your life. It’s the voice of a grown-up from your past who has trained you to be afraid to take risks or to try new a challenging life style. Is it a parent, grand parent, or the voice of an older sibling? Maybe it’s a teacher or clergyman…or perhaps the voice of the local bully is still in your head?
Stop reading for a moment ands ask, “Whose voice is in my head?” Be patient and continue doing this exercise until you have a clear picture of who is still running your life. Yes, there may be more than one person who has been trying to control you. This too will be revealed as you practice this exercise. Remember to record all important information and insights in your diary. Experience has taught me that people who do this progress quicker than those who do not use their diaries.
Once you have established a connection with the “voice” you are in a position to replace it with our own adult voice. If necessary talk to this voice in your head and remind it that you are an adult who is going to make their own decisions from now on. Again, let me remind you to be patient with yourself. It takes time to break bad habits, so please be easy on yourself. There is no great mystery here; you are shifting your perspective from a childhood version of yourself to a more adult one.
Take a moment to look back on your life and you’ll see a history of missed opportunities that stretch back to your childhood. That’s the bad news. Of course you can’t go back and do it over, but you have the opportunity as well as the ability to make your dreams become a reality. True, you’ll never get taller, but you can have what you want. You tend to lose sight if who we are and what are dreams are. Unfortunately many may have become numb and began working on auto pilot.
It’s time to commit to success
If you are really serious about finding your true purpose in life then you must commit yourself to your program of self-discovery. Anything less and you will not reach your goals. To emphasize this point I hand each of my workshop students a “commitment document” to sign at the beginning of our first class. Basically this form states t hat they will not give up until they are living a purposeful life. This “document is to kept out in plain sight to be a constant reminder of their journey; if you feel t hat you would benefit for such a document please let me know and I will email you one.
Here are a few suggestions that you will find useful as you venture out beyond your own self-imposed limitations. At first glance they may appear to be a bit obvious, or even a bit trite, but nonetheless employ these easy to follow suggestions. Other people just like you have found these to be very helpful.
• Be patient with yourself don’t expect overnight changes. This is just not going to happen. If you hit a road block or feel stuck work it through. Please don’t go around the obstacle or throw your hands up in despair.
• Work with a friend when you complete these exercises with a friend you have someone to share your experiences with. Working with a friend will also help you to gain valuable insights into your own life. The buddy system is a technique I often use with my clients during the second half of the workshop.
• Be flexible and don’t be afraid to change direction the only rule you must follow is the one that states that you will not quit until you have found your true purpose in life. Don’t be afraid to reject new ideas or reevaluate new ideas. Trial and error will work well during our journey to self-discovery.
• Be honest with yourself this is almost too obvious to mention. Remember you can’t hide from yourself. Most of all, why would you want to waste your time and effort on a project that is built on lies and half-truths?
• Sacrifice the small rewards for the big ones please don’t abandon your program just because you discovered some new useful information about yourself. Continue working until you have all the answers you need to start living your self-directed purpose driven life.
Finding your true calling…your profile
To find your “calling” you must know more about yourself. The brief inventory I’ve crafted for you and my workshop students will help you to define some of your skills, strengths. It will also help you to identify some of the obstacles that are keeping you from having what you want. Write about each of the fifteen statements and question s until you feel that you have covered the topic thoroughly.
Lisa, a very articulate fifth grade teacher told me that she spend four hours completing her profile. What emerged was her strong desire to help young people deal with the emotional suffering that was caused by parents and family. As she continued to explore her core feelings about herself and her career she realized that she “wanted more”. “I know that I can better serve these kids by counseling them on a one to one basis rather than in the classroom.” To make a long story short Lisa has recently completed her training as a child psychologist and works with troubled children in her former school district in Brooklyn.
There is nothing difficult about this process. I have carefully crafted “My Profiles” to get you to think about abilities and needs that have long been buried in the deepest recesses of your mind. Many of my clients are surprised to learn that old childhood dreams are waiting to be resurrected and acted on. Bill has always like flying. “Jim. I almost forgot about that. I remember how my parents would take me to Newark Airport to watch the planes. I always wanted to be a pilot. That’s what’s missing form my life.” Needless to say that Bill is now a licensed pilot who spends his weekends flying and studying for his next license.
Please take your time with each of the questions and answer each of the following questions in as much detail as possible.
1. What are my greatest talents and strengths?
2. What do I really want to do with the rest of my life?
3. Things I really like about myself
4. What three things about myself I’d like to change
5. Name several people you admire and explain why
6. What do my unique experiences prepare me for?
7. What is my great passion in life…the one thing I would do for free?
8. What do I really want to do with the rest of my life?
9. What goals do I want to set then reach in the next two years
10. How will finding my true purpose in life help me to fulfill my dreams?
11. Obstacles that are keeping me from doing what I really want
12. How can I remove these obstacles?
13. If I could pick any career I want what would I do (explain why)
14. Who can I count on to help me reach my goals?
15. What are the three greatest assets I can use to reach my goals?
Where are you escaping to?
Every one of us escapes into our own private world. Daydreaming is common to all of us. Why do we spend our valuable time “spacing out”? One obvious reason is to remove ourselves from the sights and sounds that are constantly bombarding us form every direction. We also day dream because it allows us to escape to a more fulfilling life. We tend to day dream about the things we can-not accomplish our current life style.
As you focus your attention on your day dreams you will begin to see a pattern that reoccurs in many of these episodes. Keep your diary handy to record your time away from t he real world. Is there a common thread that runs through these day dreams? What unfulfilled desires and needs are showing up on a regular basis? And most of all, what are your day dreams telling you about our current life. This useful information has lead many of my clients straight to their true purpose; quite possibly it can do the same for you. Again, let me remind you to record all information in your diary.
For many years my own day dreams centered on my own counseling and coaching center. A place where people just like you could learn to solve problems and receive the tender loving care they need-an oasis that provides comfort and direction for those who are still searching for their true purpose in life. My day dream has become a reality, and with hard work and the help of my family, friends and clients I have been able to establish my own intuitive career and personal development center. If I can do it…so can you.
Your limits have no limits
It’s time to go to the mattress
As previously mentioned in another one of my articles: “How To Live An Intuitive Life” you can access information about yourself directly through your dreams. Pardon me for repeating myself, but this information is very important. A sixty year old man or woman would have spent six years of their life sleeping. Four of these years would have been spent dreaming. Think of all the valuable information you could be learning about yourself and your abilities if you knew how to access this information on a regular basis?
Begin this all important exercise by keeping your diary near your bed to record your dreams, even if this means sitting up in the middle of the night to record one. Never under any circumstances should you trust your memory. The greatest dream will only be a very vague memory by morning if you do not take the time to record it.
Here’s how this exercise works…if you let it. What you are going t o be doing is program your super conscious/subconscious mind to provide you with the information you need about yourself. Remember, everything you need to lead a purposeful life is there waiting to be accessed and developed to move your life forward. It’s like using the right key to open the door to your house.
As you fall off to sleep simply continue repeating “What is my true purpose in life…what is my true purpose in life.” Continue repeating this phrase until you drift off to sleep. Although your conscious mind relaxes your other “minds” do not. Once they have picked up the program they will respond with the correct information. You may find your answer in one of your dreams or your may come as a flash of insight or in a variety of other daily experiences. The important think to remember is that when you program yourself for something you want you’ll get it…be careful what you ask for.
Look for signs along the way
Mary Ann, one of my former workshop students, used the dream exercise to help her find her true purpose in life. “I’m not sure this is going to work, but I don’t like working in Manhattan any more. There must be something more rewarding out there for me. I need more direct contact with people, but I’m not exactly sure what to do or where to go.”
After using the dream exercise for ten days Mary Ann called to tell me about two very interesting experiences, both of which helped her to find her true purpose, which in turn led her to a new rewarding position. “I had the strangest dream. My friend Dawn and I were on a cruise to Mexico. Shortly after the ship left port the captain asked me if I would be interested in running the ship’s nursery school. I remember enjoying playing with the kids. When I woke the next morning I felt as if something significant had happened to me; about a week later my room mate asked me to help her organize a play she was preparing for her third grade class. Some thing about those two experiences got to me. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I should be working with young children.”
Those who believe they can and those who believe they can’t are both right
The growth process continues well after you have found your true purpose in life. I like to use the analogy of the archaeological dig. Each layer of earth that is removed reveals more information about the location and the people that lived there. So it is with us. The further you dig into your own life-the more you learn about yourself and your true purpose.
What if I get stuck?
So you think you’re s tuck. Nothing seems to be happening; you’re getting frustrated with the exercises and your patience is wearing thin. “What am I doing? I could be hanging out with my friends, shopping or developing a great sun tan. This is not being stuck…no, not at all. Stuck is sitting in heavy traffic with a full bladder or a screaming kid who wants to get out of the car. You’re also stuck when you Crazy Glue yourself to momma’s antique coffee table.
When my clients meet with me to discuss their progress there is usually one man or woman who tells me how they are “stuck” and can’t go any further with one or more aspects of their program. What matters, my dear client, is what you are really saying is:”I’m powerless to go on” which is not usually the case. Working on your own self-discovery program is not easy. Let’s face it, wallowing in self-pity is easier than take charge of your life. It’s less time consuming and above all working to find your true purpose means admitting to yourself that your life is not working the way you would want it to. Change, as you know, takes courage and conviction.
Please feel free to contact me to share your experiences as well as your fears, and doubts. I’ll be here to help you. I promise.