I first met Mark when he left a comment on my How to Find What You Love to Do
Here it is in case you donâ€™t want to scroll down through all the comments.
"Thanks to this article I have just discovered my true purposeâ€“ or rather uncovered the purpose that was buried deep inside. Your method really worked for meâ€¦ I feel so pumped up about my future because I know exactly what I will become. Thank you!"
Being the curious person that I am, I contacted him via the email address he left behind, curious to know more about what he wrote and his story.
Below is the response I got verbatim and rather than do the usual Q & A, I figured I would let his story speak for itself as it flows like a regular Q&A. Itâ€™s really a great story that â€ścapturesâ€ť the feeling I want everybody else to have all over the world (youâ€™ll see it when you read it).
I want to thank Mark for writing his story and for letting it be heard. I really appreciate it!
Thanks for the email. And thanks for the daily inspirations as well.
I found that article by googling "how to find your purpose" or something like that. I don't remember the exact phrasing, but it was the first result on google.
I am 26 years old. I have been 'floating' through life for the past 5 years. I had dropped out of college 4 times because I didn't know where a degree would lead me. I have had issues with anxiety, depression, and a lot of self doubt. I've tried a lot of self help advice- everything from CBT to transcendental meditation. And while much of it was helpful in terms of coping strategies, it never pointed me in a direction- it didn't help me find a goal I was enthused about working toward.
I applied your method exactly as you suggested in the article- writing my skills and interests in separate columns. I realized that writing it down was key because it lays out your options in front of you. It visualizes the thought process.
It was pretty immediate for me: the goal I came up with is something I have been mulling over for a long time (5 years), but there were always doubts about whether I could realistically become a person who could achieve this goal. When I wrote down my skills and interests I SAW, right in front of my eyes, that I do actually have what it takes to get into a Masters in Architecture programme. I have often doubted my abilities, but when I did the exercise it suddenly became clear that my life was always building up to this-- all my skills and experience were pointing me in that direction. It was totally affirming.
So, I'm now registered in college again to finish my undergraduate degree. Next semester I'm starting a school club with another friend who is interested in architecture-- we're going to design and build temporary structures around campus. We've already got a professor to oversee our club, and this will greatly improve my chances at getting into the architecture school of my choice. But even if I don't get into my first-choice school, I know I'll get in somewhere else.
I've talked to 2 local architects in the last week and have arranged a job shadow with one of them. I have no doubt that I WILL become an architect & designer, so now I feel okay about telling people. Before this I was reluctant to tell people my goal because I didn't know if it was realistic, and I worried about what they thought. Now I don't care what they think. I'm doing it. End of story.
I also really enjoyed your articles about being a man. You are so right about 'nice guys'-- I know because I am one. However I have started lifting weights this week, and I am planning to join a martial arts gym. Finding your site was very timely for me-- a few days before I found it I was sitting in a coffee shop late at night. 6 guys chased a single guy into the coffee shop and started beating him right in front of my eyes. Another patron and I met eyes-- we nodded at each other like, "yeah, we've got to do something." We both stood up, but then I just froze. The other guy-- much smaller than me-- jumped into the fight and tore the hooligans off the guy who was getting beaten. I felt like such a coward, I left the coffee shop immediately.
So, your articles have really inspired me. You're a great writer, and I look forward to reading more of them.
Happy holidays, and thanks for all your articles.
I want to thank Mark again for taking the time to write his story and for allowing it to be published here.
Markâ€™s story is a perfect sample of someone who UNDERSTANDS, not just KNOWS.
People who know, donâ€™t do.
They know what they SHOULD do, but they donâ€™t do.
Those who DO, UNDERSTAND, and because they UNDERSTAND, they DO other things as well.
And you know exactly what Iâ€™m talking about here.
He actually DID the exercises. He took out that pen, that sheet of paper and he did the exercise mentioned in the article.
The result was IMMEDIATE.
He saw the answer in a flash when he saw his thoughts were laid out on paper in front of him.
Thatâ€™s how powerful doing the exercise is.
The answer most people seek is within them. They are just a piece of paper and a pen away from uncovering exactly what that is.
And notice what happened, when he KNEW what he was going to do:
"I have often doubted my abilities, but when I did the exercise it suddenly became clear that my life was always building up to this-- all my skills and experience were pointing me in that direction. It was totally affirming.
â€¦Before this I was reluctant to tell people my goal because I didn't know if it was realistic, and I worried about what they thought. Now I don't care what they think. I'm doing it. End of story."
Can you FEEL the confidence, the conviction, the drive, that energy that comes behind a man with PURPOSE when he finally figures out the direction heâ€™s been seeking so long?
Itâ€™s there. That feeling of total affirmation when the pieces fall together, and when they do, you find that energy you never found before that unites your whole being to push you toward the destination youâ€™ve set.
That â€śah haâ€ť moment, where it all crystallizes and gives you the DIRECTION youâ€™ve been seeking, itâ€™s one of the best moments in a personâ€™s life and Iâ€™m glad Mark experienced it.
And notice that once you have that, you start moving and get the ball rolling, which is exactly what happened in Markâ€™s case.
Iâ€™m also grateful that Mark gave his background info as well, about floating around, not knowing what to do, dealing with issues of anxiety and depression because I donâ€™t doubt for a second itâ€™s not just him. I think there are millions of people dealing with the same things and when you just find DIRECTION in life, all of that just seems to fade into the background.
Mark also makes a VERY IMPORTANT POINT, that I couldnâ€™t put better myself:
"I've tried a lot of self help advice- everything from CBT to transcendental meditation. And while much of it was helpful in terms of coping strategies, it never pointed me in a direction- it didn't help me find a goal I was enthused about working toward."
Thatâ€™s GOLD right there because itâ€™s SO true. All the self help stuff you read about, it only really helps IF you have something to shoot for. Itâ€™s POTENTIAL information thatâ€™s not really unleashed UNTIL you have something working for.
I have no doubt that Mark will do very well in his journey and I hope for those reading, that they too have a goal they are enthused about working toward as well, that they too have experienced that moment of total affirmation, where they know â€“ this is it.
This is the direction theyâ€™ve been seeking.
And that theyâ€™re doing it.
End of story.