Although each Expat Happy Hour episode is special, this week’s will Knock.Your.Socks.Off.
I’m honored to have esteemed author, Dan Millman, join me today to share his highly-acclaimed purpose perspective.
Dan’s a former world champion athlete, gymnastics coach, martial arts instructor, college professor, and TEDx speaker. He’s also authored 17 books which are published in 29 languages. You might know Dan from his book, “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.” It was adapted to film in 2006 (starring Nick Nolte) and sparked a thought movement that’s still going strong today.
Regardless of who you are or where you are in this magnificent world, one goal is constant for all of us. We seek to live with a peaceful heart amidst the chaos of everyday life.
In this podcast, Dan and I focus on his book, “The Four Purposes of Life: Finding Meaning and Direction in a Changing World.” It’s a must-read for anyone who hasn’t read it yet and reinforces what I’ve shouted for years while pumping my clenched fists… Purpose = Quality of Life.
What You’ll Discover in this Episode:
- Humanity’s curriculum & developing a talent for living
- Releasing the trap of memory & imagination we call past & future
- Remembering who you are & what you’ve got deep down
- When & why it’s “okay” to not “love” your career
- Transition fatigue & stumbling towards the light
You can’t build muscles unless you lift weights; this is strength-training for your insides.
Speaking of strength-training for your insides, I’ve been doing my own lately. I have a HUGE announcement on its way, so keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks for more.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- The last spots of Year of Transformation are being filled NOW! Get in touch right here, to secure your spot or get on the waiting list. You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. PLUS, this year comes with the brand new FREE mastermind as a bonus.
- Contact Dan on www.peacefulwarrior.com
- Dan Millman’s Books:
- Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
We’re delighted by our recent nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, it is 8am in New York, 2pm in Johannesburg and 7pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I’m a solution oriented coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations and I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
Today’s episode is about finding purpose and direction amidst the chaos and for those of you who are feeling like you are in chaos, you are just happy to find your car keys. I get it finding purpose and direction might be what you’re craving, but it might be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re feeling like everything around you is chaotic.
Enter our guest for today Dan Millman, he’s got a perspective based on one of his many books that might help you get more purpose and direction. It is my great pleasure to have Dan Millman with me today. He’s a former world champion athlete, gymnastics coach, martial arts instructor college professor. And on top of that, he’s authored 17 books published in 29 languages. You might know him from “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” which was adapted into a film in 2006.
Dan has books that are published to millions around the world and he speaks worldwide. You can find out more about Dan on peacefulwarrior.com. But he has joined us today on Expat Happy Hour, what we’re going to look at today before he joins us is what is called the four purposes of life. Dan’s book is about finding meaning and direction in a changing world and it’s based on the four purposes you’re going to hear us talk about it in our interview.
The first purpose he calls learning life’s lessons where we got to smarten up, grow up and wake up.
Second purpose is called, finding your calling and career, here’s where we’re looking at how to choose satisfying work earn a good living and provide useful services.
In the third purpose he moves on to discovering your life path, something he says he calls a hidden calling and how you can follow your higher potential. The third is the harder one to understand but probably has the most interesting potential for you to see things in a new way.
The fourth purpose is called, attending to this arising moment where we work to pay close attention in each moment to make it count.
It is my pleasure to welcome Dan Millman.
Sundae: So Dan they’ve just heard your really impressive bio about how prolific your writing is, how many people you’ve reached and how most of this is centered on your ideas of Peaceful Warrior. But for those of who are listening who are unfamiliar with Peaceful Warrior, can you tell them a little bit about you and how you came to be writing in that direction?
Dan: I’d be happy to Sundae, I was a young athlete and a coach and at that time I focused on “Can we develop talent for sports?” That was my field, “Is talent innate or is it developed?” And it seemed to me it was about 20% in terms of body types and so on, but about 80% of talent could be developed. And I said, “Well if it can be developed, if talent is the ability to learn faster and easier and rise to higher levels in any field, how does it work in sport?”
And it seemed to me that when someone has more strength, suppleness, stamina, coordination, rhythm, timing, balance and so on those qualities constitute what we called talent. And so the first year I coached any athlete who came in at Stanford University. We would focus not on the moves or elements of gymnastics, we would focus on building that foundation of talent.
And my theories worked pretty well in practice, the team went from the bottom of the conference to one of the top three teams in the United States in about three and a half years and I might still be coaching today, but I I realized I was going through some personal issues and I realized that being able to do these gymnastics elements didn’t really help me when I went out on a date or when I got married or when I had children or when I dealt with financial issues or questions of where to live for example, those big decisions, those skills didn’t help.
So that’s when I started asking bigger questions, which is not “How can we develop talent for sport?” But, “How can we develop talent for living?” The challenges we meet in everyday life, and that that question really led me around the world, it led me to study with various mentors over a more than a decade some intensive material I’m going to write about in a future book, a memoir. But it led to an approach to living that came up out of nowhere and I didn’t deliberately, strategically think of of a brand or anything like that, I didn’t know what that was at the time. But I had taught a course at Oberlin College when I was a professor there on internal martial arts, internal development through Aikido and Tai Chi. I was going to call it the Way of the Warrior but then I said “That doesn’t quite fit, because these are not aggressive arts necessarily.” and I said, “Why don’t I call it the Way of the Peaceful Warrior?” And that eventually became the title of my first book.
And what I mean by Peaceful Warrior, it’s really about all of us, it’s not about me, it’s not some special club one joins. Because all of us, wherever we are in the world, we’re seeking to live with a peaceful heart amidst the chaos of everyday life. And there are also times we need a warrior spirit, and it’s not necessarily about fighting, though the old man in the movie version of “Way of the Peaceful Warrior,” Nick Nolte plays the old gas station mechanic, I called Socrates. And he says, “I call myself a warrior, a Peaceful Warrior, because the important battles we fight are on the inside.” You know with with self-doubt, insecurity, and fear and that sort of thing.
So there is that kind of battle and if we win those inner battles the outer challenges of everyday life become manageable.
Sundae: I want to just pull in here, that what I love about what you’re saying is, I think that really resonates with my audience, is this balance between “How do I find peace amidst the chaos? When do I focus on creating calm with myself? And when am I ready to like bring out this Warrior?” So I think when we’re living globally mobile lives and having to uproot ourselves and re-establish ourselves, in a new environment, is something I think really people can identify with.
Dan: Well, you know as the cliche goes, “Wherever we go there we are.” It’s really about our own transformation, growth evolution, however, one wants to put it, but that is what I mean by Peaceful Warrior, it’s about all of us.
Sundae: It spread like wildfire, right? There are a lot of people that resonate with this idea. What do you think people connected with most? What were you saying that wasn’t out there already, that people were eating up?
Dan: Well, if I knew how to write a book that’s been that popular, I would do it every time. There’s no secret sauce, I wrote from my heart. I thought a few college students might like it, I had no idea the outreach it would eventually have. But it covered life’s bigger picture, I think people could relate to it. The classic idea of the mentor and student, in this case the old gas station attendant I called Socrates, Richard Bach had his mentor, the Karate Kid had Mr. Miyagi, King Arthur had Merlin and Carlos Casteneda had the brujo Don Juan. So this story of a mentor teaching a bumbling student is not new, but it just works somehow, the reminders about some of the basic life skills, like learning to focus on what’s in front of us rather than get wrapped up in the memory and imagination we call past and future. Those kinds of life skills I learned through the story and my readers also got reminders and that’s all I can do is remind people of what they already know at deeper levels, but we tend to forget.
Sundae: You know, I really connect with that. I feel like that’s part of my job as a coach to really help remind people what they know deep down or help them get back to the knowing that they’ve got deep down.
You know, there’s one thing that you mentioned, the book that we’re focusing on, or that I focus on so much in my podcasts, that you’ve written about the four purposes of life. Because my people that I work with so intensely in programs like Year of Transformation are looking for purpose and meaning and one of the things I loved about your book when you talked about the four purposes, one is that the first purpose is learning life lessons, is you talked about humanity’s curriculum. And for those who haven’t read it yet, you talk about things like learning self worth, discipline, emotions, courage, and self knowledge. And when I first read that I highlighted it and put a star because I really wish these were things that were taught directly in our schools and we had more language for in our in professional context. Because the people that I work with are like award-winning leaders and really successful and still battle with self-worth
Dan: Well, yes, and there’s so much more to it, even that first purpose. If I can just provide a context, in the Peaceful Warrior movie, the character Dan, my character, has this realization when he reaches the mountaintop. They go for a hike up in the hills and he says “Socrates, I just realized it’s not the destination that makes us happy, it’s the journey.” And, yeah sure there’s some wisdom in that true, because most of our life is the journey, not always reaching one destination after another. Except if we don’t have a destination in mind, there is no journey, we just wander around. I believe we’re hardwired gold-seekers, when I watch my grandchild, I have several of them, crawling across the floor, even a young baby, they’re not just doing it for exercise, they want something, they’re crawling toward somebody or something that they want. And from our point A there needs to be a point B, because you know happiness may be defined and success may be defined as making progress toward a meaningful goal.
So it is critical, I think in our lives for the quality of life, for us to have a purpose. And in the four purposes of life, just as as I write in the introduction, as we divide the days of the year in the four primary seasons and the points on the compass into four primary directions, by looking at our lives through the four purposes I write about in this particular book, then it helps us to get some sense of order and direction and clarity. And as I said, meaning amidst the wanderings in the changes of everyday life.
Sundae: I love how you talk about that from a seasonal perspective and it connects with what I’ve noticed in the work that I do with people. There’s this idea of “I want a purpose.” So people automatically go to the career direction. And what I’ve seen, and you tell me if you’ve seen something differently, I’ve seen that you’re not going to land on the right career purpose if you haven’t done the work on really getting clear on who you are, how you tick, what your value is, what your talents are, and are ready to then show up and do something for others, for a profession from that sort of grounded space.
Dan: Yes, very good reminder. You know Joseph Campbell once said, “Sometimes we climb to the top of our career ladder and realize it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” If we don’t know ourselves, many times we know our self-image, we know what we present to the world. But the shadow aspects, the parts we’ve disowned, that takes some work, it takes some time. College kids just graduating and expecting to go right into a field that they haven’t even tested themselves against the world. It usually takes ten years at least, most of us have experienced that, stumbling our way toward the light, finding out who we are, “What are my values? What are my talents? What are my interests?”
See if we don’t know ourselves, we end up making the right decision for the wrong person, the one we thought we were. And many people make mid-course corrections we call a midlife crisis, but I think it’s a mid-course correction because we realize that “Maybe law isn’t for me.”
So it takes time.
So self knowledge is key as I point out in the second purpose, which is about career and calling and distinguishing the two. But that first purpose, you know daily life is a form of spiritual weight training and the purpose of daily life, people wonder “Well what am I doing here? Is it is it about relationships? Is it about finances and career?” We learn about ourselves through these challenges of everyday life, spiritual weights that we lift. So in everyday life, there are rules in the school of everyday life. If we see earth as a school and daily life our classroom, there are actually school rules, we call them universal or spiritual laws, which I summarize a bit in the in the introductory section, number one about learning life’s lessons.
But as you pointed out earlier, jumping back to that purpose, tell someone might say, “Fine, great Dan daily life is to learn, okay, so we’re here to learn from our experience, but what courses are we here to learn in order to graduate?” And you know, I sometimes relate very briefly, a dream I’ve had and now nothing is more boring than hearing someone else’s dream. However, it’s a dream that we’ve all had, whether or not we remember it, I think many of your listeners will relate to this dream. And the dream is, you have an important exam, maybe it’s in high school, maybe it’s in college, but it’s like a final or midterm very important exam. And in the dream you’re confused, it’s hard to find your way to the classroom to take the exam, but even more common you realize you’ve got this final exam and then you realize you forgot to attend the classes, you forgot you signed up for it. And this dream, which many people have had repetitively, I know I have, that the reason it’s important is because that’s how we live. Every day we have tests in our everyday life, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, there are these exams, these tests that come up in front of us, these challenges and we don’t know what courses we signed up for.
Sundae: I don’t think people see it as a learning opportunity, right? I think that, you talk about in the book how true practice is not separate from daily life, but rather it’s very substance. And I think when, especially with kind of globally mobile families, there’s a lot of substance to learn from, but we’re just trying to get through it and we’re not we’re not riding above it and going, “Wow, so, how can I learn about myself here?” You know, “What does this mean about how I handle my emotions?” I think it’s a skill, we’re not taught to go on the meta level and look at how we’re responding to our daily challenges, I just think we get through our daily challenges.
Dan: That’s what we do and it’s just, we see it as these things that appears, life is sort of like whack-a-mole, you know that game you hit one mole down and the other pops up, and we’re not seeing or appreciating it as a form of weight training. You know, if you don’t lift any weights, you don’t get any stronger.
And I often ask people when I’m speaking with live audiences, “Please raise your hand only if you’ve experienced physical, emotional, or mental pain in your life.” Well all the hands go up and I said, “Well, you know, we can disagree on a lot of things if we agree on everything, only one of us is necessary. But I hope we agree on this, wouldn’t you say that difficulty, that challenge you faced, maybe a big one, maybe a small one recently. Don’t you think your because of it your little bit stronger, maybe a little bit wiser?”
In that sense every adversity, every challenge in our life has hidden gifts. We don’t have to pretend to like it, but that is what brought us to our present moment, that is what gave us some perspective in life. What’s the big stuff and what is the small stuff? And so it helps us to appreciate these challenges of everyday life. In fact, we often volunteer for adversity.
Sundae: Everybody who is listening knows they did that, they did it consciously or unconsciously like, “We signed up to be challenged?” Otherwise, we wouldn’t give up our community, our profession or whatever and go across to other parts of the world and restart. Everybody inside, there must be something which said, “I’m ready to learn.” Like you said whether you want to open that gift or not it’s there for us.
Dan: Absolutely, and I have great respect for people who go to different cultures, different countries where maybe they don’t speak the language fluently yet, different cultures, uprooting. But they’re doing it whether they know it or not, for deeper reasons than the one they may have thought they moved there for, and some people will nod their heads and go, “Yeah”.
Sundae: I didn’t know what I was signing up for.
Dan: Exactly, travel is broadening indeed, it wakes us up in a different way. So I think it’s really adventurous and courageous, not only immigrants and refugees going to another country, but people who choose to go for a person, for work, for duty. This is an amazing thing and it does help us learn even more lessons and we all know how we gain perspectives from that, we can look back on our, quote unquote “home country” unless we see ourselves as a citizen of the world, which I tend to see myself that way.
Sundae: Well, I think it’s a stepping back that’s important. And I guess what I’m going to pull back here now for the audience is if you’re feeling like your resilience is low, if you’re feeling the fatigue from transition. One thing that I’m hearing you say is if we go on the meta level and just really celebrate, “Wow, this is hard and I’m learning and I’m growing.” And try to put your finger on what you are learning and growing, will help you build your muscles, like the global family or global mobility muscles, even if it’s hard.
I want to make sure that we get enough time to go through the four purposes. We’ve talked about the first purpose which is learning life lessons, things that I wish we were teaching more actively in school around self-worth and managing emotions and self-knowledge. Second purpose is around finding your career and calling and the big thing I took away from that focus was approaching your career and calling like a treasure hunt, really testing limits to find out, is it that talent that you lack or is it experience. And challenging people to say, “How do you want to spend your life if this is what you’re doing?” So those are some really big things I’ve pulled out from from your book. What I’m finding, help me understand the third purpose better, because the first two I got immediately and the third is what you call the hidden calling or higher potential when you’re discovering your life path.
Dan: Yes, that’s the most mysterious purpose of all and one of my absolute best selling books, over a million copies, is called “The Life You Were Born To Live.” Which addresses in detail this entire field.
But before I touch upon that, it’s always a challenge but it’s fun too. Let me just say one more thing about career and calling, the second purpose. It’s important for people when they hear those two words to understand the difference. Our career is a way to make an income, we may find it meaningful, we may enjoy the people we work with. But if we weren’t making any money at all doing it, we’d have to find something else, because it’s a basic human life skill, producing an income.
And news flash, we don’t have to love our work. We’re told that so many times we don’t have to love it. But if it’s suitable for us, if it matches our talents, values, and interests, if we like things about it and it makes a good income for us, that seems appropriate. So people shouldn’t go around saying “Yeah, but I don’t love it.” Well, nobody loves every aspect of the work they do, if we hate it then we have to look for something else.
So, it is an experiment and calling though may not produce an income at all, it’s something we just would choose to do in our discretionary or it could be a hobby or it could be a deep yearning to do something, an interest we can’t explain. For me, it was a trampoline which started my life out, just jumping on a trampoline led to many other things, or playing guitar or music or poetry, writing, photography, whatever it is that can be a calling. It may eventually produce an income and become a career or it may not, it’s fine if they’re two different things.
Sundae: It’s good you mention it because I think you know when we talk about purpose and this climate that we have right now around portable businesses and doing what you love. It really puts people in an awkward position of like, “Well, it really pays the bills and helps me take care of my family in multiple ways, but I don’t love it.” So really helping people tease out, you know, “Is this a rewarding enough career to then supplement my life with a calling?” So that the whole package feels right instead of putting the pressure on how you’re making money, so I think that makes sense to pull out.
Dan: Yeah, so I want to just address that I’m glad, thanks for the chance to do that. And the third purpose we were turning to, finding your life path, what is that? Because we already have things we’re busy working on, whether it’s relationships, money, health, you know all those different questions. And those often preoccupy us in everyday life, where it’s like multiple attackers in martial arts where we’re dealing with one then the other or juggling.
But so what is this, what is this hidden calling, this life path?
Well, I met one of my four primary mentors many years ago and he sat me down and started telling me things that I could not understand how he knew this about me. I said, “How can you know this, are you a psychic or something?” And he said, “No, I’m not psychic.” He said, “I’ve been trained to know where to look.” He brought my life into a crystal clarity, things that were obscure. He knew me better than I knew myself. I said, “How can you know this?”
Well six months later, he said he was going to teach an advanced training and he was going to teach where he looked, how he found this information about various people. And I said, “You mean I can learn to do for other people what you did for me?” Because he literally changed my life in a one-hour reading. That’s when I started stepping forward and teaching what I do now and many other aspects of my life financially changed. And he said, “Yes, you can learn to do this.” Well, I was there, it was one of the islands in Hawaii, we met with a small group of people and he did a series of lectures. And that’s where I learned what I call the life purpose system.
Now I need to say and this is the elephant in the room, it is based on one’s date of birth. So in that sense, it is similar to astrology or numerology. Now numerology is not rational. I had never had a real big interest in numerology because it seemed a bit vague and abstract and maybe 40% accurate when I glanced at a few books in that topic. But the system I learned from this particular mentor, I’ll call him the warrior priest, this system had uncanny accuracy and I only had 20 pages of notes. I worked with it, I started doing readings for friends and relatives, anybody who’d listen and they were so impressed, like “How can you know this?” That I began to offer these professionally for almost eight years and finally I decided it was time to teach groups of people the system, and then I finally wrote the book. So that’s where it comes from, it is I like to think of it as trans-rational rather than irrational.
Sundae: I just have to assume that I mean, things that are new to us, even things that other people fully follow, others are skeptical for even like tarot cards or whatever. It’s like who can really claim that they understand the entire universe? I try to keep myself open to what there might be things in systems and energy and patterns that are out there that are beyond my understanding. So this is where I put my brain on the third purpose, I was like, “I have to just surrender that maybe there’s something bigger out there that I don’t understand.”
Dan: Well, I invite any of your listeners to go to my website because they can actually, all our words about it, they’re not going to get what we’re really talking about in terms of this third purpose. But if they go to http://www.peacefulwarrior.com/ and they’ll see right in front of them on the landing page a thing called life purpose calculator, if they just click on that it’s free and just go to put in their date of birth. They will get a berth number, which doesn’t mean much but it has some keywords and it also has a paragraph, a taste, just a teaser of information about their life path or hidden calling and they can access that anytime. So I wanted to invite any listener to do that and it will give them a better sense and they’ll see the picture of the book also and a life purpose app anybody can get for a smartphone Android or iPhone.
Sundae: And it’s fun, mine is around freedom and discipline and cooperation and balance. And what I’ve done with it is instead of trying to understand it, what I’ve done is to look at it as you know, a lot of people are looking for direction, so where in my life can I go further with these ideas of freedom and discipline? Where in my life can I go forward this idea of cooperation and balance? And it’s a way to give people direction, it’s like a heuristic move for those who are the most skeptical. It’s a heuristic move to go, “Hey, where can I play with this in my life and get value?” So I invite them to go check it out themselves and learn more. Just because of time I want to make sure that we have time for the fourth purpose.
Dan: We will, that doesn’t take as long but it’s maybe the most important purpose of all. Let me just say one more thing about this topic which is, if I were to point to a tree outside anybody’s house, anybody’s where they’re staying and they looked at a tree, chances are there’s not a single tree on the planet exactly like that tree. It is unique and every stem and angle of every branch and leaf, so we’re all unique just like that tree, individuals. However, I can say things about Redwood trees that are different from Birches or Aspen’s or Oaks, so in that sense each of us falls into a pattern. If you divide 45 life paths, which are in the book, into the population of the planet that means millions of people are working the same life path. Does that make them all the same personality or identically? Of course not, because we each have our genetic heritage, we have our life experiences, we’re shaped in many different ways, but we do fall into that pattern. And that’s what people find surprising as they go into it in a little more depth.
Sundae: And it’s interesting how people have resistance with that, but they don’t have resistance around personality patterns. Like this is where my tiny brain, I just I can’t comprehend the big picture of humanity fully, because it’s so complex and amazing. That’s where I just find it interesting to sort of surrender to that and go, “What can I take from it?”
So the fourth purpose is one of the things I love about the fourth purposes. You talk about tending to their rising moment, you say that we’re always here in the right here and right now and there’s no such thing as a future decision. Now this I think is really important for my audience because we’re often asked to make a decision, where do we want to live in one year? What country? What language would we be speaking? What job will we accept? So help us apply that idea to these crazy lives that we live.
Dan: Mark Twain once said, “I’ve had many troubles in my life most of which never happened.” Because most of our troubles are in our imagination, what we call the future or our memory, which is what we call the past. But the more we contemplate, the more deeply, the more we realize that all we have is this moment, this moment, this moment, this moment, right what’s in front of us.
Now, you can’t grab onto a nanosecond, there is no such thing technically as a present moment because it passes too quickly, but it’s about handling what’s in front of us and getting less involved. We have the capacity to remember, we have the capacity to imagine, there’s nothing wrong with planning our day, but we don’t need to get too wrapped up in the plans because life has a way of changing.
But the most important purpose is the one that is in front of us. So yes, we can plan our day, we can project into the future, but we really make our decisions when we act. Someone once said, “How do I know what I think until I see what I do?” So decisions are made by action and by focusing on “What is my purpose in this moment?” It helps bring us back to earth, give us roots and ground us, rather than worrying about our cosmic purpose sometime in the future.
There is no future happiness, you’re either happy now with everything. So because all we have is now, so that’s how we make decisions in the moment. And there’s a method I believe in that book or one of my other books called time lining where we use our imagination, a form of time travel to help make fully educated decisions. And obviously, there’s no time to go into that now.
Sundae: So I’ll put a link in the show notes for that so they can check it out themselves.
I’ll just use one of your quotes from the book, you said, “While some people act without thinking, too many of us think without acting.” And I think it connects to the fourth purpose really well.
Dan: And I might add that thinking about doing something.
Sundae: Right, and we discover what we really want by doing, by getting evidence in real life and finding out if it feels like we’re going towards something good or going away from something good, so I’m completely on the same page.
So because our time is almost up here I would love to hear from you two things, last parting words of wisdom for our people and where can they find you.
Dan: Okay, well, they can find me the same place they find the life purpose calculator at https://www.peacefulwarrior.com and they can write and contact me, it’s not impossible to do, just contact and if they want to drop me a note anybody does. So that website, it has some fun features as I mentioned.
And I think a closing message would be, don’t compare yourself to anybody else, don’t even compare yourself to your younger self because comparison is a form of disrespect for your own process. And it’s really about trusting the process of our life unfolding. I think that’s so important, that’s why I tell people, “I’m not here for you to trust me, I’m here to help you.”
Sundae: You just gave me chills up my arm when you said, “Don’t even compare yourself to younger self.” I think that’s a message that a lot of us need to learn.
I know your time is valuable, so I just want to say thank you so much for joining us here on Expat Happy Hour, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you.
For those of you who are listening to Dan and resonate with all of these core things, I will put the links to his books in the show notes. So you don’t
So there you have it, you’ve heard the four purposes as briefly introduced in our conversation between Dan and I.
I want to just go back and recap some of the main takeaways that I have after reading the book “The Four purposes of Life” and our conversation together.
I think from the first purpose we look at learning life’s lessons, these are the basic things what he calls a humanities curriculum, that we would all love our children to learn right self-confidence, self-worth, how to work through fear. But honestly, when I think about all the hard work that I do with my clients, we’re still knee-deep in humanities curriculum.
So if you are out there and you’re struggling, you’re really honest with yourself with self-confidence and self-worth, it’s time to focus on the first purpose because this is really about using life as a classroom to add depth to your own understanding and depth to who you are and how you show up in the world.
In the second purpose finding your career and calling, I really like how Dan pulls out the difference between what is a career and a calling and it’s a gentle reminder in this individualized digital Nomad life that not everything that you do for your career has to be so deeply deeply purposeful. That if what you’re doing serves a function and pays the bills, that there are other ways that you can live a deeply purposeful life that doesn’t always result in making money from it. So it kind of offers a respite from the pressure that people feel, that every single minute of your professional time has to be deeply meaningful.
And I can tell you I adore what I do, it is part of who I am, it is deeply purposeful and meaningful. But if I’m really honest, doing my taxes and accounting is not, but it’s part of the gig.
The third purpose we talk about, discovering your life path this hidden calling, this one I thought was interesting because it offers what I call a heuristic move, another way that you can look at the work that you do as you discover how you do your life’s work.
And then the fourth purpose, when he talks about attending to this arising moment. It is such a reminder that all we really have is now and that when we get stuck in the past or the future we’re not really living.
You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider Bean, thank you for listening.
I will leave you with a quote found in Dan’s book by Oprah Winfrey, “You have a sacred calling, the question is will you take the time to heed that call? Will you blaze your own path? Are you the author of your own life? Don’t let others define it for you, real power comes by doing what you are meant to be doing and doing it well.”