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Chapter 25

Purpose Gives Your Life Meaning

Today's Empowering Quote

"Purpose is what gives life a meaning."
-Charles Henry Parkhurst, D.D.

Today's Empowering Question

"What do I want the meaning and purpose of my life to be?"

Today's Fast Session

Look at any person, past or present, who achieved truly great things.  People you know.  Behind their accomplishments you will undoubtedly find a passion and
love for what they do.

That deep emotion can only be aroused by a compelling purpose... idea about what their life is to stand for.

So few people ever take even a few minutes and think about  their purpose. Hardly anyone ever asks himself or herself, "What am I here for?"  I never asked myself that question until October 1996.

In building the largest business of its type in the world, I became a slave to it. Building that business was not my purpose.  So I asked myself, "What would I really love to do if I didn't have to work to make a living?"  The answer allowed me to be able to talk to tens of thousands of people every day.

And I love doing it...

Here's a great story about being led by a great purpose:

Back in the late 70's three white Canadians, two men and a woman, met and got to know a black teenage boy at a series of conferences held in New York City.  They saw that he was very smart and enthusiastic, but were amazed that he couldn't even read.   The school systems passed him through without regard to his future.  His parents were both alcoholics.  They couldn't run their own lives, let alone raise a family.

These three warm and loving people were skilled at buying and selling real estate, so they earned a very good living.   They also had a lot of free time.

Something in their hearts made them want to help this boy succeed in life.

He had the mind and the desire, but no guidance.  They were heartbroken with the thought that he could wind up in prison, like his brother.  With the blessing of the boy's parents, they brought him to live with them, where they home-schooled him so that he might be able to go to college...

Soon after his arrival, at a used book sale, he bought his first book, "The Sixteenth Round," about a boxer named Rubin Carter, a former number one boxing contender, who had been unjustly accused and convicted of murder in 1966.

Being exposed to this story, the Canadians and the boy let a great mission guide them.  They moved from Toronto to New Jersey to help Rubin win another trial, and went about trying to uncover new evidence that would prove his innocence.  They had tremendous opposition to the gathering of their facts, but their determination and belief in Rubin's innocence kept them on course.

In 1988, through their persistence, and with the facts finally on the table, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter became a free man for the first time in twenty-two years.

Many had come before them in the fight to free Rubin.  But only they had stuck it out to the end.

These three wonderful examples of love, passion and purpose helped Lesra Martin, the Brooklyn teenager, to ultimately gain a Masters Degree in Law.  And together,
those four people helped give Rubin Carter his life back.

Now I have some questions for you...

What could you achieve if you put in one tenth of the effort and energy they exercised to achieve your own outcomes?  What does your life mean now?  What will it have meant years from now?

You don't have to free the world.

You don't have to stop world hunger.  But unless you have a larger purpose in life and a larger purpose for today, you're open to all kinds of fears, worries...about small stuff.  It's too easy to get depressed about stuff that doesn't mean anything in the big picture.

As Richard Carlson says, "It's all small stuff."

So start out small.

Make it your purpose to stay away from the refrigerator for the last 3 of your waking hours; to eat one raw vegetable today; to smoke one less cigarette today than
yesterday; to send those e-mails; to make the call; to set a goal that will stretch you just a little bit.

And celebrate when you achieve it.  Feel good about it.

Then tomorrow do it again... Make your days blocks of time where you're achieving 5-10 mini goals.  And make sure you give yourself the credit you deserve.  This will create tremendous momentum.  Soon, you'll look forward to each day with an enthusiasm you thought couldn't possibly exist in you.

Lesra Martin couldn't read before he went to Canada...

Little by little he learned and built upon his knowledge.  He was encouraged to keep learning.  The little he learned each day built up and allowed him to read a single book.  He then changed the course of many people's lives.

You CAN do the same.

What's today going to mean for you?

Today's Winning Beliefs

-- I'm uncovering my larger purpose now
-- My purpose is bigger than myself
-- I'm giving incredible meaning to my life
-- Purpose and I are one
-- My purpose puts all things in perspective

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