First, it is of paramount importance to spell out concretely a statement of purpose for one's life, based on one's current understanding - with the expectation it will change or be refined over time. Mine is the currently the following:
Life Purpose - Minimize suffering and maximize happiness for myself, family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, animals and inanimate objects by helping each recognize and fulfill his/her/its purpose.
Here is a new version (10/25/04):
Purpose - Find
happiness by mindfully experiencing life, and by helping others do the same.
having a purpose is just the beginning. To achieve one's purpose, one must
have concrete "rules to live by" in order to guide one's
are the rules that I've developed based on extensive reading in the area of
philosophy, success and personal development. I'm doing my best to put
these rules into practice, and have been extremely pleased with the results so
My "15 Commandments":
· Develop Worthy Principles - Think daily about my purpose and priorities
· Focus on Goals – List, review and prioritize my goals every day
Live Deliberately – Make every decision/action mindful of
· Don’t Procrastinate – “Do it Now!” – Take action, “Ready, fire, aim”
· Work Hard – Don't give up; Success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration
Don’t Compromise – “Do it Right” – Don’t cut
corners, even in little things
· Live Effectively – “Work smart” - Find most efficient way to achieve my goals
· Live in Balance – Balance family, career, self improvement and helping others
· Live Modestly – Don’t strive for excess material stuff or praise for good deeds
· Be Thankful – Appreciate others, and what the world provides
· Think Positively – Find plus in every situation, choose to be happy/successful
· Be Nice – Treat others with kindness & respect, assume their intentions good
Many valid paths. Feel free to explore
them and help others do same
· Be Patient – Life is long, plenty of time to achieve, revel in small steps forward
· Be Happy – Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!
I've found a powerful personal mantra in observations about successful living first made by the Greek stoic philosophers, and perhaps best expressed by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) in the form of the Serenity Prayer:
Grant me the serenity to accept things that I cannot change, the strength
to change things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
I've found the following to be an empowering addendum to the Serenity Prayer:
Prayer Addendum: I
have the power to change much more than I can now imagine.
Personal Hope: Life
will guide me to a concrete endeavor that will allow me to fulfill my life
purpose of helping all to the greatest extent I am capable.
of Life (Dean’s version):
U = O = 2I + 2A +
2S = E
Universe or Understanding
Oneness of all things
Impermanence and Interdependence
of all things
and Appreciation of all things, especially the unchangeable
2S: Surrendering to things as they are, while Striving to improve things for
benefit of others and myself
The reason I'm a practitioner of methods to improve health and extend lifespan is that life is too short to experience everything I want to, and to fulfill my purpose here on earth. By extending my healthy years, and as importantly, showing others how to extend theirs, we could all accomplish and experience so much more. For more philosophical insights on the motivation for life extension, please read the thoughts of Ben Best on the subject.
There have also been a number of books that have been very influential in the develop of my outlook on life, and my life strategies.