Kindling Your Inner Fire


Kindling Your Inner Fire

Trust yourself. Create the kind of life you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into the flames of achievement.

- Foster C. McClellan

'The day that Yogi Raman shared his mystical little fable with me, high atop the Himalayas, was actually quite similar to this day in many respects,' said Julian.


   'Our meeting began in the evening and carried on well into the night. There was such a chemistry between the two of us that the air seemed to crackle with electricity. As I mentioned to you earlier, from the first moment I met Raman, I felt as if he was the brother I never had. Tonight, sitting here with you and enjoying the look of intrigue on your face, I feel the same energy and bond. I will also tell you that I have always thought of you as my little brother since we became friends, I'll tell you the truth, I saw a lot of myself in you.'

   'You were an amazing litigator, Julian. I will never forget your effectiveness.'

    It was obvious that he had no interest in exploring the museum of his past.

   'John, I'd like to continue to share the elements of Yogi Raman's fable with you, but before I do this, I must confirm something. Already you have learned a number of highly effective strategies for personal change which will do wonders for you if you apply them consistently. I will open my heart to you tonight and reveal everything I know, as it is my duty to do. I just want to make sure that you fully understand how important it is that you, in turn, pass this wisdom on to all those who are searching for such guidance. We are living in a very troubled world. Negativity pervades it and many in our society are floating like ships without rudders, weary souls searching for a lighthouse that will keep them from crashing against the rocky shores. You must serve as a captain of sorts. I'm placing my trust in you to take the message of the Sages of Sivana to all those who need it.'

   After consideration, I promised Julian with conviction that I would accept this assignment. He then continued passionately. 'The beauty of the whole exercise is that as you strive to improve the lives of others, your own life will be elevated into its highest dimensions. This truth is based on an ancient paradigm for extraordinary living.'

   'I'm all ears.'

   'Basically, the sages of the Himalayas guided their lives by a simple rule: he who serves the most, reaps the most, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. This is the way to inner peace and outer fulfillment.'

   I once read that people who study others are wise but those who study themselves are enlightened. Here, perhaps for the first time, I saw a man who truly knew himself, perhaps his highest self. In his austere clothing, with the half-smile of a youthful Buddha gracing his supple face, Julian Mantle appeared to have it all: ideal health, happiness and an overriding sense of his role in the kaleidoscope of the universe. Yet, he owned nothing.

   'This brings me to the lighthouse,' said Julian, remaining focused on the task at hand.

   'I was wondering how that fit into Yogi Raman's fable.'

   'I'll try to explain,' he responded, sounding more like a well-schooled professor than a lawyer turned monk who had renounced the sensual world. 'You have now learned that the mind is like a fertile garden and for it to flourish, you must nurture it daily. Never let the weeds of impure thought and action take the garden of your mind. Stand guard at the gateway of your mind. Keep it healthy and strong — it will work miracles in your life if you will only let it.'

   'You will recall that in the middle of the garden stood a magnificent lighthouse. This symbol will remind you of yet another ancient principle for enlightened living: the purpose of life is a life of purpose. Those who are truly enlightened know what they want out of life, emotionally, materially, physically and spiritually. Clearly defined priorities and goals for every aspect of your life will serve a role similar to that played by a lighthouse, offering you guidance and refuge when the seas become rough. You see, John, anyone can revolutionize their lives once they revolutionize the direction in which they are moving. But if you don't even know where you are going, how will you ever know when you get there?'

   Julian transported me back to the time when Yogi Raman examined this principle with him. He recalled the sage's exact words. 'Life is funny,' observed Yogi Raman. 'One would think that the less one worked the more one would have the chance to experience happiness. However, the real source of happiness can be stated in a word: achievement. Lasting happiness comes from steadily working to accomplish your goals and advancing confidently in the direction of your life's purpose. This is the secret to kindling the inner fire that lurks within you. I do understand that it might seem more than a little ironic that you have travelled thousands of miles from your achievement-oriented society to speak to a cluster of mystical sages living high in the Himalayas only to learn that another eternal secret of happiness can be found in achievement, but it is true.'

   'Workaholic monks?' I suggested playfully.

  'Quite the opposite. While the sages were tremendously productive people, their productivity was not of the frenetic type. Instead, it was of the peaceful, focused, zen-like kind.'

   'How so?'

   'Everything they did had a purpose. Though they were removed from the modern world and lived a highly spiritual existence, they were also highly effective. Some spent their days polishing off philosophical treatises, others created fabulous, richly textured poems which challenged their intellect and renewed their creativity. Still others passed their time in the silence of total contemplation, looking like illuminated statues seated in the ancient lotus pose. The Sages of Sivana did not waste time. Their collective conscience told them that their lives had a purpose and they had a duty to fulfill.

   'This is what Yogi Raman said to me: 'Here in Sivana where time appears to stand still, you might wonder what a group of simple, possessionless sages would ever need or hope to achieve. But achievement need not be of the material sort. Personally, my objectives are to attain peace of mind, self-mastery and enlightenment. If I fail to accomplish these goals by the end of my life, I am certain that I will die feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied.''

   Julian told me that that was the first time he had heard any of his teachers in Sivana speak of their own mortality. 'And Yogi Raman sensed this in my expression. 'You need not worry, my friend. I have already lived past the age of one hundred and have no plans for a quick exit. My point is simply that when you clearly know what aims you wish to achieve over the course of your life, be they material, emotional, physical or spiritual, and you spend your days accomplishing them, you will ultimately find eternal joy. Your life will be as delightful as mine — and you will come to know a splendid reality. But you must know your life's aim and then manifest this vision into reality by consistent action. We sages call this Dharma, which is the Sanskrit word for life's purpose.'

   'Lifelong contentment will come from the fulfillment of my Dharma?' I asked.

   'Most certainly. From Dharma springs inner harmony and lasting satisfaction. Dharma is based upon the ancient principle that says every one of us has a heroic mission whilst we walk this Earth. We have all been granted a unique set of gifts and talents that will readily allow us to realize this lifework. The key is to discover them, and in doing so, discover the main objective of your life.'

   I interrupted Julian, 'It's sort of what you were saying earlier about risk taking.'

   'Maybe yes, maybe no.'

   'I don't follow.'

   'Yes, it may seem as though you are forced to take a few risks to discover what you are best at and the essence of your life's purpose. Many people quit jobs that have stifled their progress the moment they discover the true purpose of their existence. There is always the apparent risk that comes with self-examination and soul searching. But no, because there is never a risk in discovering yourself and the mission of your life. Self-knowledge is the DNA of self-enlightenment. It is a very good, indeed essential thing.'

   'What is your Dharma, Julian?' I asked casually, attempting to mask my burning curiosity.

   'Mine is simple: to selflessly serve others. Remember, you will not find true joy in sleeping, in relaxing or in spending your time like an idler. As Benjamin Disraeli said: 'The secret of success is constancy of purpose.' The happiness you are searching for comes through reflecting on the worthy aims you are dedicated to achieving and then taking action daily to advance them. This is a direct application of the timeless philosophy which prescribes that those things which are most important should never be sacrificed to those things which are the least important. The lighthouse in Yogi Raman's fable will always remind you of the power of setting clearly defined, purposeful goals and, most importantly, of having the character power to act on them.'

   Over the course of the next few hours, I learned from Julian that all highly developed, fully actualized people understand the importance of exploring their talents, uncovering their personal purpose and then applying their human gifts in the direction of this calling. Some people selflessly serve humanity as physicians, others as artists. Some people discover that they are powerful communicators and become wonderful teachers, whilst others come to realize that their legacy will be in the form of innovations in the field of business or science. The key is to have the discipline and vision to see your heroic mission and to ensure that it serves other people while you realize it.

   'Is this a form of goal-setting?'

   'Goal-setting is the starting point. Mapping out your objectives and your goals releases the creative juices which get you on to the path of your purpose. Believe it or not, Yogi Raman and the other sages were very hot on goals.'

   'You're kidding. Highly effective monks living deep in the Himalayan mountains who meditate all night and set goals all day. I love it!'

   'John, always judge by results. Look at me. Sometimes I don't even recognize myself when I look in the mirror. My once-unfulfilling existence has been replaced by one rich with adventure, mystery and excitement. I am young again and enjoy vibrant health. I am truly happy. The wisdom I am sharing with you is so potent and so important and so life-giving that you simply must stay open to it.'

   'I am Julian, I really am. Everything you have said makes perfect sense, although some of the techniques do sound a little odd. But I have promised to try them and I will. I agree that this information is powerful.'

   'If I have seen farther than others, it is simply because I have stood on the shoulders of great teachers,' replied Julian with humility. 'Here's another example. Yogi Raman was an expert archer, a true master. To illustrate his philosophy on the importance of setting clearly defined objectives in every aspect of one's life and fulfilling one's mission, he offered a demonstration I will never forget.

   'Near where we were sitting there was a magnificent oak tree. The sage pulled one of the roses from the garland he habitually wore and placed it on the center of the trunk. He then pulled three objects from the large knapsack that was his constant companion whenever he ventured to distant mountain climes such as the one we were visiting. The first object was his favorite bow, made of a wonderfully fragrant yet sturdy sandalwood. The second item was an arrow. The third object was a lily-white handkerchief — the kind I used to wear in the pocket of my expensive suits to impress judges and juries,' Julian added apologetically.

   Yogi Raman then asked Julian to put the handkerchief over his eyes as a blindfold.

   'How far away from the rose am I?' Yogi Raman asked his pupil.

   'One hundred feet,' Julian guessed.

   'Have you ever observed me in my daily practice of this ancient sport of archery?' the sage queried, in full knowledge of the response that would come.

   'I have seen you strike the bull's-eye from a mark almost three hundred feet away and I cannot recall a time that you have ever missed at your current distance,' Julian noted dutifully.

   Then, with his eyes covered by the cloth and his feet placed securely in the earth, the teacher drew the bow with all his energy and released the arrow — aiming directly at the rose hanging from the tree. The arrow struck the large oak with a thud, missing its mark by an embarrassingly large distance.

   'I thought you were going to display more of your magical abilities, Yogi Raman. What happened?'

   'We have travelled to this isolated place for one reason only I have agreed to reveal all my worldly wisdom to you. Today's demonstration is meant to reinforce my advice on the importance of setting clearly defined objectives in your life and knowing precisely where you are going. What you just saw confirms the most important principle for anyone seeking to attain their goals and to fulfill their life's purpose: you will never be able to hit a target that you cannot see. People spend their whole lives dreaming of becoming happier, living with more vitality and having an abundance of passion. Yet they do not see the importance of taking even ten minutes a month to write out their goals and to think deeply about the meaning of their lives, their Dharma. Goal-setting will make your life magnificent. Your world will become richer, more delightful and more magical.'

   'You see, Julian, our ancestors have taught us that setting clearly defined objectives for what we desire in our mental, physical and spiritual world is critical to their realization. In the world you came from, people set financial and material goals. There is nothing wrong with this, if this is what you value. However, to attain self-mastery and inner enlightenment, you must set concrete objectives in other areas as well. Would it surprise you to know that I have clearly defined objectives with respect to the peace of mind I desire, the energy I bring to each day and the love that I offer to all those around me? Goal-setting is not just for distinguished lawyers such as yourself who reside in a world full of material attractions. Anyone who wishes to improve the quality of their inner as well as their outer worlds would do well to take out a piece of paper and start writing out their life aims. At the very moment that this is done, natural forces will come into play which start to transform these dreams into reality.'

   What I was hearing fascinated me. When I was a football player in high school, my coach had constantly spoken of the importance of knowing what we wanted from every game. 'Know your outcome,' was his personal creed, and our team wouldn't dream of stepping onto the playing field without a clear game plan that would lead us to victory. I wondered why, as I had grown older, I had never taken the time to develop a game plan for my own life. Maybe Julian and Yogi Raman had something here.

   'What is so special about taking out a sheet of paper and writing out your goals? How could such a simple act make such a difference?' I asked.

   Julian was delighted. 'Your obvious interest inspires me, John. Enthusiasm is one of the key ingredients for a lifetime of successful living and I am glad to see that you still have every ounce of yours. Earlier I taught you that we each think about 60,000 thoughts on an average day. By writing out your desires and goals on a piece of paper, you send a red flag to your subconscious mind that these thoughts are far more important than the remaining 59,999 other ones. Your mind will then start to seek out all opportunities to realize your destiny like a guided missile. It is really a very scientific process. Most of us are simply not aware of it.'

   'A few of my partners are big on goal-setting. Come to think of it, they are the most financially successful people I know. But I don't think they are the most balanced,' I observed.

   'Perhaps they are not setting the right goals. You see, John, life pretty much gives you what you ask from it. Most people want to feel better, have more energy or live with greater satisfaction. Yet, when you ask them to tell you precisely what it is they want, they have no answer. You change your life the moment you set your goals and start to seek out your Dharma,' Julian said, his eyes sparkling with the truth of his words.

   'Have you ever met someone with a strange name and then started to notice that name appearing everywhere: in newspapers, on the television or at the office? Or have you ever become interested in a new subject, let's say fly fishing, and then noticed that you couldn't go anywhere without hearing about the wonders of fly fishing? This is but one illustration of the ageless principle Yogi Raman called joriki, which I have since learned means 'concentrated mind.' Concentrate every ounce of your mental energy on self-discovery. Learn what you excel at and what makes you happy. Maybe you are practicing law but are really meant to be a school teacher, given your patience and love of teaching. Perhaps you are a frustrated painter or sculptor. Whatever it is, find your passion and then follow it.'

   'Now that I really think about it, it would be sad to reach the end of my life without realizing that I had some special genius that would have unlocked my potential and helped others — even in a small way.'

   'That's right. So from this moment onwards, be acutely aware of your aim in life. Awaken your mind to the abundance of possibility around you. Start to live with more zest. The human mind is the world's largest filtering device. When used properly it filters out what you perceive as unimportant and gives you only the information you are looking for at that time. At this very moment, as we sit here in your living room, there are hundreds if not thousands of things going on that we are not paying any attention to. There is the sound of the lovers giggling as they stroll along the boardwalk, the goldfish in the tank behind you, the cool air being blown from the air conditioner and even the beat of my own heart. The moment I decide to concentrate on my heartbeat, I start to notice its rhythm and its qualities. Similarly, when you decide to start concentrating your mind on your life's main aims, your mind starts to filter out the unimportant and focus only on the important.'

   'To tell you the truth, I think it's about time I discovered my purpose,' I said. 'Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great things in my life. But it isn't as rewarding as I think it could be. If I left this world today, I really can't say for sure that I've made that big a difference.'

   'How does that make you feel?'

   'Depressed,' I offered with total honesty. 'I know I have talent. Actually, I was one heck of a good artist when I was younger. That was until the legal profession beckoned with the promise of a more stable life.'

   'Do you ever wish you had made painting your profession?'

   'I really haven't given it much thought. But I will say one thing. When I painted I was in Heaven.'

   'It really fired you up, didn't it?'

   'Absolutely. I lost track of time when I was in the studio painting. I would get lost in the canvas. It was a real release for me. It was almost as if I transcended time and moved into another dimension.'

   'John, this is the power of concentrating your mind on a pursuit that you love. Goethe said that 'we are shaped and fashioned by what we love.' Maybe your Dharma is to brighten the world with lovely scenes. At least start spending a little time painting every day.'

   'How about applying this philosophy to things less esoteric than changing my life?' I asked with a grin.

   'This should be good.' Julian replied. 'Like what?'

   'Let's say one of my aims, although a minor one, was to drop the spare tire I am carrying around my waist. Where would I start?'

   'Don't be embarrassed. You master the art of goal-setting — and goal getting — by starting off small.'

   'The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?' I asked intuitively.

   'Precisely. And getting good at accomplishing little feats prepares you for realizing the big ones. So, to answer your question squarely, there is nothing wrong with mapping out a full range of smaller goals in the process of planning your bigger ones.'

   Julian told me that the Sages of Sivana had created a five-step method to reach their objectives and fulfill the purposes of their lives. It was simple, practical and it worked. The first step was to form a clear mental image of the outcome. If this was to lose weight, Julian told me that every morning just after I woke up, I was to envision myself as a lean, fit person, full of vitality and boundless energy. The clearer this mental picture, the more effective the process would be. He said that the mind was the ultimate treasure house of power and this simple act of 'picturing' my goal would open the gateway to the actualization of this desire. Step two was to get some positive pressure on myself

   'The main reason people do not follow through on any resolutions they make is that it is too easy to slip back into their old ways. Pressure is not always a bad thing. Pressure can inspire you to achieve great ends. People generally achieve magnificent things when their backs are up against the wall and they are forced to tap into the wellspring of human potential that lies within them.'

   'How can I create this 'positive pressure' on myself?' I asked, now thinking about the possibilities of applying this method to everything from getting up earlier to being a more patient and loving father.

   'There are a whole host of ways to do this. One of the best is the public pledge. Tell everyone you know that you will lose the excess weight or write that novel or whatever your goal might be. Once you make your goal known to the world, there will instantly be pressure on you to work towards its fulfillment since no one likes to look like a failure. In Sivana, my teachers used more dramatic means to create this positive pressure I speak of. They would declare to one another that if they did not follow through on their commitments, such as fasting for a week or getting up daily at 4:00 a.m. to meditate, they would go down to the icy waterfall and stand under it until their arms and legs went numb. This is an extreme illustration of the power that pressure can exert on the building of good habits and the attainment of goals.'

   ''Extreme' might be an understatement, Julian. What a bizarre ritual!'

   'Extremely effective though. The point is simply that when you train your mind to associate pleasure with good habits and punishment with bad ones, your weaknesses will quickly fall by the wayside.'

   'You said there were five steps to follow to make my desires come true.' I said impatiently. 'What are the remaining three?'

   'Yes, John. Step one is to have a clear vision of your outcome. Step two is to create positive pressure to keep you inspired. The third step is a simple one: never set a goal without attaching a timeline to it. To breathe life into a goal you must attach a precise deadline to it. It's just like when you are preparing cases for court; you always focus your attention on the ones the judge has scheduled to be heard tomorrow rather than on the ones without any court date.

   'Oh, and by the way,' explained Julian, 'remember that a goal that is not committed to paper is no goal at all. Go out and buy a journal — a cheap coil notepad will do. Call this your Dream Book and fill it with all your desires, objectives and dreams. Get to know yourself and what you are all about.'

   'Don't I already know myself?'

   'Most people don't. They have never taken the time to know their strengths, their weaknesses, their hopes, their dreams. The Chinese define image in these terms: there are three mirrors that form a person's reflection; the first is how you see yourself, the second is how others see you and the third mirror reflects the truth. Know yourself, John. Know the truth.

   'Divide your Dream Book into separate sections for goals relating to the different areas of your life. For example you might have sections for your physical fitness goals, your financial goals, your personal empowerment goals, your relationship and social goals and, perhaps most importantly, your spiritual goals.'

   'Hey, that sounds like fun! I've never thought about doing something as creative as that for myself I really should start challenging myself more,' I said.

   'I agree. Another particularly effective technique I learned is to fill your Dream Book with pictures of the things you desire and images of people who have cultivated the abilities, talents and qualities that you hope to emulate. Getting back to you and your 'spare tire,' if you want to lose weight and be in outstanding physical shape, paste a picture of a marathon runner or an elite athlete in your Dream Book. If you want to be the world's finest husband, why not clip out a picture of someone who represents this — perhaps your father — and put it into your journal in the relationship section. If you are dreaming of a mansion by the sea or a sports car, find an inspiring picture of these objects and use them for your book of dreams. Then review this book daily, even for a few minutes. Make it your friend. The results will startle you.'

   'This is pretty revolutionary stuff, Julian. I mean, though these ideas have been around for centuries, everybody I know today could improve the quality of their daily lives by applying even a few of them. My wife would love to have a Dream Book. She'd probably fill it with pictures of me without my notorious belly.'

   'It's really not that big,' Julian suggested in a consoling tone.

   'Then why does Jenny call me Mr. Donut?' I said, breaking into a broad smile.

   Julian started to laugh. I had to follow. Soon the two of us were howling on the floor.

   'I guess if you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at?' I said, still giggling.

   'Very true, my friend. When I was chained to my former lifestyle, one of my main problems was that I took life too seriously. Now I am much more playful and childlike. I enjoy all of life's gifts, no matter how small they are.'

   'But I have digressed. I have so much to tell you and it is all flowing out of me at once.'

   'Back to the five-step method to attain your aims and realize your goals. Once you have formed a clear mental picture of your outcome, created a little pressure behind it, set a deadline and committed it to paper, the next step is to apply what Yogi Raman called The Magic Rule of 21. The learned men and women of his world believed that, for new behavior to crystallize into a habit, one had to perform the new activity for twenty-one days in a row.'

   'What's so special about twenty-one days?'

   'The sages were absolute masters of creating new, more rewarding habits which governed the conduct of their lives. Yogi Raman once told me that a bad habit once acquired could never be erased.'

   'But all evening you have been inspiring me to change the way I live my life. How can I possibly do this if I can never erase any of my bad habits?'

   'I said that bad habits can never be erased. I did not say that negative habits could not be replaced,' Julian noted with precision.

   'Oh Julian, you always were the King of Semantics. But I think I see your point.'

   'The only way to permanently install a new habit is to direct so much energy toward it that the old one slips away like an unwelcome house guest. The installation is generally complete in about twenty-one days, the time it takes to create a new neural pathway.'

   'Say I wanted to start practicing the Heart of the Rose technique to erase the worry habit and live at a more peaceful pace. Do I have to do it at the same time every day?'

   'Good question. The first thing I will tell you is that you never have to do anything. Everything I am sharing with you tonight I am offering as a friend who is genuinely interested in your growth and development. Every strategy, tool and technique has been tested over time for effectiveness and measurable results. This I assure you. And though my heart tells me that I should implore you to try all of the methods of the sages, my conscience tells me to simply follow my duty and share the wisdom with you, leaving its implementation up to you. My point is this: never do anything because you have to. The only reason to do something is because you want to and because you know it is the right thing for you to do.'

   'Sounds reasonable, Julian. Don't worry, I haven't felt for even a moment that you were forcing any of this information down my throat. Anyway, the only thing that could ever be forced down my throat these days would be a box of donuts — and that wouldn't take much,' I quipped.

   Julian smiled gingerly. 'Thanks pal. Now to answer your question, my suggestion is that you try the Heart of the Rose method at the same time every day and in the same place, every day. There is tremendous power in a ritual. Sports stars who eat the same meal or tie their shoes the same way before the big game are tapping into the power of ritual. Members of a church who perform the same rites, wear the same robes, are using the power of ritual. Even business people who walk the same route or talk the same talk before a big presentation are applying the power of ritual. You see, when you insert any activity into your routine by doing it the same way at the same time every day, it quickly grows into a habit.'

   'For example, most people will do the same thing upon waking up, without giving any thought to what they are doing. They open their eyes, get out of bed, walk to the bathroom and start brushing their teeth. So, staying with your goal for a period of twenty-one days, and performing the new activity at the same time for each of these days, will insert it into your routine. Soon you will be performing the new habit, whether it is meditation, getting up earlier or reading for an hour every day, with the same ease that you feel while brushing your teeth.'

   'The final step for attaining goals and advancing along the path of purpose?'

   'The final step in the sages' method is one that is equally applicable as you advance along the path of your life.'

   'My cup is still empty,' I said respectfully.

   'Enjoy the process. The Sages of Sivana often spoke of this philosophy. They truly believed that a day without laughter or a day without love was a day without life.'

   'I'm not sure I follow you.'

   'All I'm saying is make sure that you have fun while you are advancing along the path of your goals and purpose. Never forget the importance of living with unbridled exhilaration. Never neglect to see the exquisite beauty in all living things. Today and this very moment that you and I are sharing is a gift. Remain spirited, joyful and curious. Stay focused on your lifework and on giving selfless service to others. The Universe will take care of everything else. This is one of nature's truest laws.'

   'And never regret what has happened in the past?'

   'Exactly. There is no chaos in this Universe. There is a purpose for everything that has ever happened to you, and everything that will happen to you. Remember what I told you, John. Every experience offers lessons. So stop majoring in minor things. Enjoy your life.'

   'Is that it?'

   'I still have much wisdom to share with you. Are you tired?'

   'Not in the least. Actually I feel pretty pumped up. You are quite the motivator, Julian. Have you ever thought about an infomercial?' I asked mischievously.

   'I don't understand,' he replied gently.

   'Never mind. Just one of my feeble attempts at humor.'

   'Okay. Before we move along with Yogi Raman's fable, there is one last point about reaching your goals and your dreams that I would like to impress on you.'

   'Go for it.'

   'There is one word which the sages spoke of in almost reverential terms.'

   'Do tell.'

   'This simple word seemed to carry a depth of meaning for them and it peppered their daily talk. The word I am speaking of is passion, and it is a word you must constantly keep at the forefront of your mind as you follow your mission and attain your goals. A burning sense of passion is the most potent fuel for your dreams. Here, in our society we have lost our passion. We do not do things because we love to do them. We do things because we feel we have to do them. This is a formula for misery. And I am not speaking of romantic passion, although this is another ingredient for a successful, inspired existence. What I am talking about is a passion for life. Reclaim the joy of waking up every morning, full of energy and exhilaration. Breathe the fire of passion into all that you do. You will quickly reap great material, as well as spiritual, rewards.'

   'You make it sound so easy.'

   'It is. From tonight onwards, take complete control of your life. Decide, once and for all, to be the master of your fate. Run your own race. Discover your calling and you will start to experience the ecstacy of an inspired life. Finally, always remember that what lies behind you and what lies in front of you is nothing when compared to what lies within you.'

   'Thanks Julian. I really needed to hear this. I never realized all that was lacking in my life until tonight. I have been wandering aimlessly through it, lacking a real purpose. Things are going to change. I promise you. I am grateful for this.'

   'You're welcome, my friend. I'm simply fulfilling my purpose.'

Chapter 8 Action Summary • Julian's Wisdom in a Nutshell 

The Virtue       Follow Your Purpose

The Wisdom      • The purpose of life is a life of purpose

                           • Discovering and then realizing your lifework brings lasting fulfillment

                           • Set clearly defined personal, professional and spiritual goals, and                                      then  have the courage to act on them

The Techniques     • The Power of Self-Examination

                                • The 5 Step Method for Attaining Goals

Quotable Quote         Never forget the importance of living with unbridled exhilaration.                                      Never neglect to see the exquisite beauty in all living things.                                              Today, and this very moment, is a gift. Stay focused on your                                                purpose.  The Universe will take care of everything else.




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