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Question 7  — Answers | 7.1 | 7.2 | 7.3 |

Answer 7-1.
I would suggest Jonathan get the book, What Color Is Your Parachute, by Dick Bolles. Most libraries have a copy. There are several exercises in that book which are quite useful in deciding what you want to do, or at least to point you in a more specific direction. Look especially at informational interviewing, which is talking to the people currently doing the jobs Jonathan decides he may be interested in, in order to get a more detailed view on what a job really entails, rather than just what someone who hasn't done the job thinks it entails.

Dick Bolles has a website with some info and useful links (make sure to check out the Research link).

Note that the book is big, 400+ pages, but just look for the 'flower' exercise section for the essentials (although the rest of the book is informative, too). Also, there is a new edition every year, but most of the exercises stay the same, so if the edition the library has is a few years old, it is still useful.

Make it a good day!     [ Back ]

Kevin Longshore, 4-30-04

Answer 7-2.

  1. Determine your values and beliefs.
    A characteristic of "self-actualized" individuals is that they have a strong sense of their values and beliefs. Knowing your most important values/beliefs will give a sense of overall direction to your life. Example:  being very rich; being happy. Also ask yourself, what is so important about being rich or being happy, etc.
    "Know thyself" — Socrates
  2. Practise 'old-fashioned' virtues.
    E.g., Benjamin Franklin's thirteen virtues or the cardinal virtues. A healthy society is characterized by a critical mass of citizens who act selflessly and considerately toward others. An unhealthy, declining society is characterized by self-centered and selfish citizens.
    "One ought to seek out virtue for its own sake, without being influenced by fear or hope, or by any external influence. Moreover, that in that does happiness consist." — Diogenes Laertius

    "Virtue is its own reward. There's a pleasure in doing good which sufficiently pays itself." — Sir John Vanbrugh

    "The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort." — Confucius

    "Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world." — George Bernard Shaw

  3. Serve other people/ have a sense of mission. This is another characteristic of self-actualized people.
    "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity" — Leo Tolstoy

    "All success consists in this: You are doing something for somebody — benefiting humanity — and the feeling of success comes from the consciousness of this." — Elbert Hubbard

    "We are not put on this earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you." — Jeff Warner

    "There is incredible value in being of service to others. I think if many of the people in therapy offices were dragged out to put their finger in a dike, take up their place in a working line, they would be relieved of terrible burdens." — Elizabeth Berg

  4. Practise NLP and self-hypnosis.
    NLP will teach persuasion skills which you will need for everything. Self- hypnosis will give you greater control over your own mind.     [ Back ]

    Louis B. Brown, 5-10-04

    Answer 7-3.
    It is our eternal quest to find out what our mission or destiny should be. We are born into an environment unique to us alone, equipped with nothing but adaptability and capacity to learn. What we can do will be thrust upon us in myriads of potentialities and demands. Which one thing will catch our interest and deserve our devotion? Any number. A fine guideline is "Find a need and fill it." Another is, "Be the best you can be." Again, "Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run..." And "Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and departing leave behind us footprints in the sands of time..."

    There may not be necessarily only one perfect role we should play. We may play a whole cast of functions through the years. Try many things. All the past is prologue that may lead, much later, to the perfect fusion of all you are and can be. It is a very rare person who sets his mind on a single mission by the age of ten and never veers from it. Experiment, investigate, try this and that, learn as much as you can about everything. The truly important will make itself known in due time. When it happens, you will know it.

    Many will try to convince you that your first concern should be service to others. Approach this notion carefully. Do consider what you can offer others, but only in exchange for equal value received. Let mutual benefit, not slavery, be your guide. If there be not joy in it for you, shy away from it. There are many smiling predators out there. Don't consent to be a victim.

    Keep the widest possible context; see always the big picture of where your little corner fits into the largest scale of being. Don't sweat the small stuff. Remember that the measure of a man is the size of the thing that can get his goat. Rise above. He who lies down with dogs gets up with fleas. Remain noble in soul, and never compromise your principles. Truth is non-negotiable. Every moment comes only once. Make the most of it, and don't waste time on regrets. Don't fret over "the road not taken". Be assured that whatever road you take, you'll still be headed right.     [ Back ]

    Kate Jones, 5-25-04

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