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A technique or program to discover our life purpose January 22, 2007

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Purpose.
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Discovering our true life purpose can be a major advance in putting our personal development efforts on a higher level beyond just our everyday personal responsibilities.

Many of us go through a large part of our lives with that vague feeling, that although we are achieving various life and career goals, we may not be doing “what we were really meant to do.” That’s one of the reasons we are interested in personal development.

Although I have had what I would call a successful life in terms of providing for my family and having an interesting line of work, I always kept searching for that elusive commitment to a larger purpose. I was meeting my responsibilities but I felt I might not have been living “my real purpose” in life.

Hence, my reading of many books in an effort to perhaps discover what I was on this earth for. Books on various topics such as just do what you love and the money will follow. The problem, for many of us, in fact, is in discovering what we really love to do – making that determination is harder than it sounds.  Another book, whose title grabbed me and which I have dipped into is: “I Could Do Anything If Only I knew What it Was.”

My favorite, when I was longing to get out of corporate life and into what I considered the freedom of self-employment, or working for myself was: “Breaking Out of A Job You Don’t Like and the Regimented Life.” Many such books line my bookshelves.

At one point in my life, I was looking for a new career direction and a counselor gave me a book by Arnold M. Patent, titled: “You Can Have It All.” At the time, despite reading the book several times, and underlining it copiously, I really didn’t understand it. What it was basically, seeing it in hindsight, was a book about the Law of Attraction, but it didn’t come right out and say that, perhaps because at that time, the term may not have been in vogue. Patent’s book focuses on the abundance available in the universe and how through various techniques we can appreciate that abundance and bring it into our lives. I picked up the book again a few days ago, and I finally started “to get it.”

Right now, I want to talk about an interesting small section of the book in which the author  advises us on how to discover our life purpose. I have read a number of authors’ techniques on this topic, but right now I’d like to concentrate on Arnold Patent’s approach.

Essentially, here’s what he suggests, and I am paraphrasing:

(1) List two of what you consider to be your unique or special qualities. In my case the two were (1) knowledge-seeking and (2) creatively communicative.

(2) Then you write down two ways you enjoy expressing these qualities when interacting with other people. So I wrote down (1) help inform people of what I have learned and (2) encourage people in their efforts.

(3) Then you are supposed to describe your ideal universe as follows:
What does it look like?
How is everyone interacting?
What does it feel like?
Remember that the ideal universe is a fun place to be.

(3) Here are my answers about my ideal universe
It is peaceful, grateful and motivated
Interactions are based on wisdom and win/win in developing solutions to common problems
There is an overriding appreciation of the concept of abundance

Then you combine the three subsets above into a single statement, and that is your life purpose.

Here’s what I have come up with, and remember, this is my first attempt, so I’m going to have to refine it – right now I think it sounds a little presumptuous:

“My purpose is to utilize my knowledge, skills and communicative abilities to inform and encourage people and thereby help them in a meaningful way to be happy, confident and secure within a universe that they regard as having abundance for all.”

It may sound somewhat grandiose, but I consider it an “ideal” life purpose. It’s something to work toward. Moreover, my personal view is that one’s ideal life purpose is not necessarily something they can do to earn their living. It can be for a fortunate few. But it having a stated ideal life purpose is a way that we can live our life through principles.

We all have a main area of responsibility in our lives. For me it is to ensure the well being of my family. But I can bring my life purpose into that responsibility. Also, because my self-employed business involves a lot of writing, I think I can work part of my purpose into that as well.

If you are interested in reading Arnold M. Patent’s book, You Can Have It All, the copy I have is the seventh edition 1988, in a large paperback format, from Celebration Publishing, New York.

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