Friday, June 28, 2013

Find Your Life Purpose in 20 Minutes

I think I will go out on a limb. This is not the usual fare you can expect to see in this blog. This blog deals with the money equation.

Money In = Money Stored + Money Spent

Most of the time I discuss money stored or money spent. I spend less time writing about career paths, education, and job search strategy. Today I want to look at “money in” from a different angle, life purpose.

Life purpose can require compromise. Family commitment, practical necessities, morality, can all conflict with your ideas of an ideal life, if in fact such a thing even exists. Steve Pavlina contends that you can discover your life purpose in twenty minutes. I haven’t read enough entries to endorse his personal development blog. So far I seen some stuff I like and some stuff that seems questionable.

Here are the instructions.

1)Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type (I prefer the latter because it’s faster).

2)Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”

3)Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.

4)Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

I recently went through a similar process in informal counseling. For the first time in my life, I don’t have to work. I still need to manage money wisely but I don’t have to work. After a lifetime this is something of a shock. I have the luxury of asking (God, the universe, or my inner self, your pick), “What do I do now that earning a living is not a primary driver?” In exploring options I found one that caused me to cry. Really this skeptical old realist who has been known to watch episodes of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit cried.

Pavlina suggests that for most people it should take about 20 minutes for your answers to converge. It took him about 25 minutes and 106 answers to find his life’s purpose. He felt that he came close on answers 17, 39, and 53. He believes these near misses are important insights that can lead to your final answer. If you are carrying around a bunch of psychological baggage, pain, cultural preprogramming, or the expectations of others the author suggests this process may take as long as an hour.

I hope this works for you. I hope you find your purpose and a way to work that out in this material world. I hope you find the strength and self discipline to make it happen.

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