The Power of Purpose
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Posted by: Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Dr. Zimmerman's TUESDAY TIP:
"Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your
Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Personal Commentary:
Is it possible for a man without a purpose or a woman without a
passion to live a happy life? Yes. But more often than not, when
your purpose is cloudy and your passion is weak, you will fall into a life of
unhappiness, drifting from one thing to another, pulled and prodded by
conflicting advice, role models, demands, wants, and needs.
Your parents think you should DO such and such; your partner wants
you to BE more like blank and blank, and your manager HAS a whole different
plan for your career path. With so many pressures, how do you possibly
decide what YOU want? Or more importantly, how do you figure out YOUR own
unique and deeply fulfilling purpose in life? I'll answer that question
in great detail this Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 2:00 EDT, at my webinar on
"How To Define Your Purpose And Live Your Dreams." It may be one of
the most important 60-minute programs you will ever attend.
Click here to register...
Without a clearly defined purpose, you will be dragged into all
kinds of false beliefs and ineffective approaches to living your life and doing
your work. And, unfortunately, many of those false beliefs and
ineffective approaches will be given to you by people who have not found their
1. Three Types Of People Without Purpose
In the "Happier" book by Tal Ben-Shahar, the author
notes three types of people who try to live their lives and do their work
without purpose. It was interesting to read through his descriptions; I
saw periods of my life where I conformed strongly to each one of them and I
suspect you will too.
First, there is "The Rat Racer." He's the perfect
model of delayed gratification. He works and works and works ... hoping
that somehow, someday he will be able to enjoy life. He's always looking
forward to something in the future to make him happy. So he grits his teeth, puts
up with unhappiness, thinking, "Once I have this, I will be content. Once
I have done that, I will be satisfied. Once this person has done this, I will
be happy. You just wait and see."
"The Rat Racer" reminds me of a bar owner who came up
with a brilliant marketing trick. He put up a poster on his wall that
read, "Free beer tomorrow!" But no one can ever collect on that
offer, because tomorrow never comes. If you are waiting for something in the
future to make you happy, then that is all you will get -- a life of waiting
... from the first grade, to high school, to college, to the job, to the
promotion, and on to everything else.
Of course there are times you have to delay gratification.
Sometimes you have to sit down and do your taxes instead of spending time
with your loved ones. But taken to an extreme, it's a dangerous way to
live. But tomorrow never comes, for when it does, it will be now.
Second, there is "The Hedonist." She's always
seeking pleasure now, at the expense of everything else. She would prefer to
spend her last dollars on a good night out, leaving the overdue electricity
bill unpaid. Let the dishes pile up; leave the house dirty. She would
rather watch television, smoke now, and worry about the cancer when it comes.
Of course it's okay to put fun and pleasure first in your life
once in a while. In fact, it can be refreshing and revitalizing.
But again, taken to the extreme, the problems are obvious.
Third, there is "The Nihilist." Having thought
about, or tried, the previous two ways of life and finding they don't hold up
for long, a Nihilist is one who has given up. He thinks there's no way to find
purpose, happiness, and success, so he falls into helplessness and despair.
It's not a pretty picture.
Basically, if you haven't figured out your purpose and if you
aren't living your life and working your job on purpose, those are the three
unhappy, nonproductive lifestyles you'll tend to have.
There is good news, however. You can have a purpose-filled
life and a purpose-driven career. You can be ...
2. The Happy Warrior
In healthy contrast to the first three types of people without a
clearly defined purpose, The Happy Warrior focuses on finding something he can
do that is both meaningful and enjoyable. It sounds so simple, so basic, that
some of my readers may scoff and say, "Who doesn't know this?"
Originally I felt the same way. I had to learn about purpose
the hard way ... trying to do what everybody else told me would work. I would
try, fail, start over, listen to somebody else, try, fail, and repeat this
time-wasting and unfulfilling approach to my life and work.
Until I ... that's me, me, me ... took the time to do the thinking
and do the work to figure out my purpose, I was nothing but a big wheel.
I looked good on the outside but kept going around in circles.
You don't have to do that. At my webinar this Thursday,
September 26th, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, I'll help you figure out your purpose
once and for all. I'll give you a process you can follow so you know the
purpose that is uniquely suited to you.
You can click here to register.
To give you a head start on the process, however ...
3. The Purpose Process
A master martial artist asked Bruce Lee to teach him everything he
knew about martial arts. Bruce held up two cups, both filled with
liquid. "The first cup, said Bruce, "represents all of your knowledge
about martial arts. The second cup represents all of my knowledge about martial
arts. If you want to fill your cup with my knowledge, you must first empty your
cup of your knowledge."
In a similar sense, if you want to learn about purpose, clarify
your purpose, and live on purpose, you've got to empty your cup filled with all
of your old misconceptions, past failures, and false starts when it comes to
purpose. Be open to a process that is tried and true.
I like the way Steve Pavlina approaches the subject. Step 1: Start
by taking out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can
type. Step 2: Write at the top, "What is my true purpose in
life?" Step 3: Write an answer ... and every answer ... that
pops into your head. You don't have to write complete sentences. Short phrases
are fine. Step 4: Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you
cry. This is your purpose.
That’s it. It doesn't matter if you’re a counselor or an engineer
or a bodybuilder. To some people this exercise will make perfect sense. To
others it will seem utterly stupid. Usually it takes 15 to 20 minutes to clear
your head of all the clutter and the social conditioning about what you think
your purpose in life is.
Pavlina says: "For those of you who don't spend much time on
introspection, it will take a lot longer to get all the false answers out,
possibly more than an hour. But if you persist, after 100 or 200 or maybe even
500 answers, you'll be struck by the answer that causes you to surge with
emotion ... the answer that breaks you."
If you've never done this, it may very well sound silly to you. So
let it seem silly, and do it anyway. You may also discover a few answers
that seem to give you a mini-surge of emotion, but they don't quite make you
cry -- they ’re just a bit off. Highlight those answers as you go along, so you
can come back to them. Each one reflects a piece of your purpose, but
individually they aren't complete. When you start getting these kinds of
answers, it just means you ’re getting warm. Keep going.
In terms of Pavlina's experience, he notes, "When I did this
exercise, it took me about 25 minutes and I reached my final answer at answer
106. Partial pieces of the answer (mini-surges of emotion) appeared at answers
17, 39, and 53, and then the bulk of it fell into place and was refined through
answers 100-106. I felt the feeling of resistance (wanting to get up and do something
else, expecting the process to fail, feeling very impatient and even irritated)
around answers 55-60. At answer 80 I took a 2-minute break to close my eyes,
relax, clear my mind, and I began to have greater clarity. I finally
settled on my answer: to live consciously and courageously, to resonate
with love and compassion, to awaken the great spirits within others, and to
leave this world in peace."
When you find your own unique answer to the question of why you
’re here, you will feel it resonate with you deeply. The words will seem to
have a special energy to you, and you will feel that energy whenever you read
The noted success scholar Napoleon Hill makes a brutal assessment
in his research. He gives 31 reasons for failure, and the second biggest
reason for failure is "the lack of a well-defined purpose in life."
Unfortunately, he found that 98% of the people fell into that category
You don't have to. At my September 26th, 2013 webinar on
"How to Define Your Purpose And Live Your Dreams," you will learn how
to discover your purpose. And you'll pick up seven strategies to make
sure you're living and working your purpose on a daily basis.
What will you do this week to live on purpose?
Read and Respond Online
About the author:
As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional
speaker, Dr. Alan Zimmerman is focused on "transforming the people side of
business.” His keynotes and seminars are noted for high content, high energy,
and high involvement that transform people's lives and the companies where they
To learn more about his programs and products, or to
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Copyright© 2013 Zimmerman Communi-Care Network, Inc.
Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman's
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