manifest your purpose

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Treasure Hunt, Part 2


A Treasure Hunter’s Guidebook:
Keys to Unlocking the Mystery of Your Life Purpose
Part 2: Finding Purpose Where you Least Expect it

In the first installment of A Treasure Hunter’s Guidebook, we looked at our lives through different lenses and examined several clues that when pieced together can help us to solve the mystery of our life purpose. In this volume, we continue to look for clues to your life purpose in places you might not be inclined to search. Before we begin, take a few moments to settle into your heart and allow yourself to breathe deeply and fully. Slow down and quiet the mental chatter. Let’s go on a journey together with the intention of peeling back the layers of the mystery of your life purpose, by following some common clues.

We can increase our understanding of our purpose by looking for messages in seemingly random coincidences.

Clue: What seems to be coincidence, isn’t

If we become highly attuned to events in our lives, we will notice the occurrence of coincidences. Carl Jung used the term synchronicity to describe meaningful coincidences. In his book, The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield defines increasing awareness of synchronicities as the first insight on the road to greater spiritual awareness. And on our life journey we can become clearer about our purpose by looking for messages in seemingly random coincidences.

I experienced pronounced synchronicities several years ago after I became dissatisfied with working as a software engineer. I periodically traveled for business, attending meetings and doing presentations about work for which I no longer had any passion. On at least three occasions as I sat alone in the air terminal, a stranger came up to me and began a conversation in which they told me their life story, then thanked me for listening, and stated that I’d make a great therapist. On another occasion, I traveled to Europe with a coworker. As we were in a foreign country, we spent most of our free time together. He also proceeded to tell me some of his current life challenges, and stated that I would be an excellent therapist. Boy was he surprised when a couple of years later, I reminded him of what he said and I left my job to change careers.

While this example may appear to be filled with obviousness, these experiences occurred over a two-year period. And I easily could have missed the connection between them and the message behind them.

Now take a few moments to look at the synchronicities in your life. Bring yourself into a quiet, centered space. What synchronicities are you aware of at this time? These could be chance meetings, unexpected opportunities, new directions that seemed to unfold without much doing on your part, or any other seemingly random events. Write them down under the heading Synchronicities. And continue to observe synchronicities that occur in your life from this point forward. As new coincidences manifest in your life add them to this list. As you raise your awareness of these synchronistic events, you may be surprised to note an increase in both the number and quality of the coincidences that manifest in your life.

Sometimes what seems to be an obstacle may be a strong hint to your life purpose.

Clue: What seems to be an obstacle may instead be a beacon

When unexpected difficulties arise in our lives, it is easy to look at them as obstacles that take us away from our chosen path. Yet, many times our greatest challenges offer us the opportunity to learn at a much deeper level or to change our direction. And sometimes what seems to be an obstacle may actually be a strong hint to your life purpose.

Samantha’s experience illustrates this well. She was happily married with 3 children. She considered herself fortunate to work part-time as a computer programmer. After 15 years in the profession, she no longer enjoyed her work, but stayed for the money and the flexibility of her work schedule. Her youngest child, Amy, had an unusual learning disability, one that was not alleviated by a dose of medication or helped by the school’s special-needs program. Samantha did some research on her own, and found her daughter’s teacher was receptive and eager to try the techniques she had learned in her study. Amy’s performance at school improved and her teacher encouraged Samantha to share what she had learned with other teachers and parents. Over time, Samantha realized that her life purpose involved working with children who had learning difficulties. Eventually, she went back to school to obtain the required training, and is now employed as a social worker in a school setting. For Samantha, her daughter’s disability could have appeared as an obstacle. However, her openness allowed her to eventually recognize it as the strongest clue to her life’s purpose.

Now let’s look for obstacles in your life that may point to your purpose. Breathe deeply and silence the internal dialogue in the mind. What obstacles have taken you away from what you thought you should be doing? What obstacles have been particularly troublesome? When have you asked, “Why is this happening”? Or “Why me”? Write your answers under a heading labeled Obstacles and Gifts. Several years ago, I adopted a belief that in every challenge there is a gift. And when difficulties occur in my life, I often remember (sometimes after kicking and screaming for a while) to ask myself what is the gift here?

For each obstacle you have recorded, consider what is the gift in that challenge? Allow the answers to unfold, and write each gift next to the obstacle you recorded earlier.

What appears as a mistake is often in actuality a course correction.

Clue: What seems to be a mistake may instead be a course correction

A Course in Miracles boldly states that there are no accidents. And a wise Hopi Indian woman whom I will call Eagle Face once spoke to me, “What you would call a mistake is the opening up of another path you had not considered to go down. If you made no mistakes, you would head down a straight path. But life does not flow that way. Each path opens opportunities for different lessons. When you make a mistake you create the opportunity to learn lessons you might not have otherwise learned.”

Thus what appears as a mistake is often in actuality a course correction. Even commercial airplanes constantly make course corrections to arrive at their intended destination. And so must we to arrive at the destination of our journey of fulfilling our life purpose.

Robert’s story serves to illustrate this point. His dream was to start a business. So he left his job to create his own company. To his surprise and dismay, the business did not fare well and after a few years, he was ready to look for another opportunity. He had begun volunteering and using his business training at a non-profit company that created personal growth workshops. Over the course of a year, he became more involved in the company, and created an environment that motivated people to volunteer. Enrollment in workshops was up and the community of graduates was eager to volunteer. Through this process, Robert realized that his purpose was not to create a successful entrepreneurial venture, but that it was to inspire people to live out their greatness. Yet Robert would not have been available to work intensively with the volunteers if he had not been between opportunities. What he perceived to be the failure of his business idea, instead opened up another path that eventually helped him to discover his life purpose.

Now let’s see if this principle applies in your life. Breathe gently and fully for a few moments. Then look back at your adult life without judgment. Are there some mistakes that you might consider to have been a waste of time, money, or other resources? What choices have you made that you wish you could erase from your experience? Now examine each of these mistakes more deeply. What benefits did each bring? What opportunities did it open up? And write your answers to these questions under the heading Mistakes and Opportunities.

Where do you go from here?

By solving the clues in these first two installments of A Treasure Hunter’s Guidebook, you can collect several hints to your life purpose. If you continue to bring awareness to these clues, you will likely discover more pointers to your life purpose in the coming days. Look for synchronicities to unfold. Increase your awareness that some obstacles and mistakes may provide strong hints to your purpose.

If you regularly revisit the hints you have uncovered thus far, you may start to notice connections between them. When you are ready, move on to the conclusion of the A Treasure Hunter’s Guidebook and continue your journey of solving the mystery of your life purpose. Bon voyage!


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