These five steps help you reveal a purpose that will make your life complete.
I’ve asked countless people the same question: “What is it you really want?” The answers I’ve received have differed a great deal. Some people want to start big businesses, and others want to help those who are powerless and underprivileged. Some people just want to live simple, comfortable lives as free of conflict as possible.
When I’ve gone deeper, though, I’ve found that there is a common thread running through all those answers. What people ultimately want isn’t money, cool cars, expensive clothing, or lofty titles. It’s not material values, like the attainment of wealth and social status. What they want is the feeling that they can live freely and independently, the feeling of loving and being loved, the feeling that their lives are precious and valuable, the feeling that they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves. In short, people want, more than anything else, the inner satisfaction that comes from the realization of their highest values.
Finding Our Values
What does that look like for each of us? It can be as different as we are to each other. Figuring out the ultimate purpose of our lives can be a pursuit unto itself. There’s a lot of advice available to help us but, in the end, the answer can only come from inside us.
Our true purpose and highest values, however, aren’t found in our conscious minds, although we need our conscious minds to become aware of them, accept them, and understand them. Instead, they are found beyond our minds and our egos in our true self.
If we run with the answers from our minds and egos, then we will only end up satisfying our egos. But satisfying our egos alone will leave the rest of ourselves longing for something more. It’s a momentary, superficial satisfaction, not a complete satisfaction.
Finding Our Inner Purpose Step by Step
Listening to our deep inner voice and acting on what we hear requires developing our inner senses, our energy system, and new habits, as well as the brain circuits to support all of these. The Brain Education system of personal growth that I developed empowers and guides you to develop them in five steps.
Step 1: Brain Sensitizing
Our minds are normally busy paying attention to the events around us and the needs of our lives and the people we care for. We’re worrying about the past and the future, and we are often full of thoughts and emotions. Our ability to sense everything that goes on inside of us–from the movement of our toes when we walk to the movement of energy in our bellies–is dull. However, this inner sense does exist, and it is not only a sense but a skill we can develop with practice. The mindful meridian stretching, breathing exercises, and energy meditations that make up Step 1 of Brain Education stimulate our bodies and their energy, drawing our attention to them, and calming our thoughts enough to focus on them for longer and longer periods of time. By strengthening the connection between our bodies and brains, Brain Sensitizing lets us become more conscious of our inner selves at every level.
Step 2: Brain Versatilizing
As our awareness goes within, we can see how stiff we are in our bodies, our thoughts, and our habits. Brain Versatilizing exercises such as stretching, renaming games, and pinky-thumb make us more flexible. They help us see a world other than what we’ve been used to, bringing us hope and the excitement of different possibilities. We become better able to find our life purpose as we widen the scope of our imagination.
Step 3: Brain Refreshing
Although by this step we are more flexible and can see farther and deeper, our insides are still full of a lot of thoughts and emotions. We are bound by our past experiences and our fears for the future. These thoughts and emotions are not our true selves; they are what we have, not what we are. Clearing them and quieting their loud voices lets the voice of our true selves be heard. By dialing the volume of our thoughts and emotions down to zero with vibration, breathing, sound, and energy meditations, we can sense the self-existent and neverending energy and consciousness of our true selves inside.
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Step 4: Brain Integrating
While we can now hear our deep inner voices, the other parts of ourselves still exist. The next step is integrating them. By making all the parts of ourselves work as a cohesive unit, we can uncover our life purpose and align all of our thoughts and actions with its achievement. The exercises in this step bring together the left and right sides of our bodies and brains, our conscious and subconscious minds, and our thoughts and emotions. Using our bodies and our voices, we proclaim identities, characters, and beliefs that align with our chosen purpose.
Step 5: Brain Mastering
Our integrated selves can now make plans, take action, and work for our life purpose. With that goal as our compass and everything in our inner world pointed to it, our outer world will begin to align with it as well. We become conscious creators of our lives and can contribute to the betterment of our world.
This process, depending on our starting point, can involve a complete transformation, like that of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. We need to change everything on the inside to the deepest part, as well as changing everything on the outside, so that it is in alignment with our highest values and life purpose. Once we do, however, we can find meaning in the challenges we face and even in the small things in life. We can live as a complete human being on a journey that can satisfy us at every age, whether or not we succeed or fail.
- Ilchi Lee’s Picture of a Purpose-Driven Life
- Make Your Life Your Own
- The Essential Lifelong Question
- The Real Source of Satisfaction
- What Should We Live for in Our Later Years