58 Chapters
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Chapter 2 The Purpose Quest

Leider, Richard J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Service is the rent we pay for living. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.

Marian Wright Edelman

Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor, therapist, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, notes that many of us are questioning life, and suggests instead, ”Let life question you!” We ask: What has life done for me? Will things go my way today? What’s in it for me? However, there is a more profound wisdom in reversing the questioning and letting life question us. An openness to being questioned by life is a way to uncover our purpose.

It is often in the midst of profound purpose moments that we pull back from the entanglements of daily survival and let life question us. The benefit of a crisis is often the letting go of petty concerns, conflicts, and the need for control and the realization that life is short and every moment precious.

Cancer therapists Carl and Stephanie Simonton give their patients this advice:

You must stop and reassess your priorities and values. You must be willing to be yourself, not what people want you to be because you think that is the only way you can get love. You can no longer be dishonest. You are now at a point where, if you truly want to live, you have to be who you are.2

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The Purpose Study Group

Leider, Richard J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Session 1: The Meaning of Purpose

Read:

The Preface and Part I, Chapters 1—4.

Do:

Before the session, answer the following questions:

If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently? (Preface)

Look ahead. How old do you think you’ll live to be? (Chapter 1)

My calling in life is_______. (Chapter 4)

Discuss:

Decide who will be the facilitator.

Perform group introductions.

Read the quote by Andrew Greeley in Chapter 5 (”It seems to me that in the last analysis there are only two choices ”) aloud and discuss it.

Discuss the three presession questions (above).

Session 2: Paths to Purpose

Read:

Part II, Chapters 5-7.

Do:

Review the eight intelligences in Chapter 6.

Rank-order yourself from 1 to 8 based on what you perceive your natural strengths to be (1 is highest, 8 is lowest).

Think of a talent that would fit in your #1 area.

Review the nine passion questions in Chapter 7-

Discuss:

Read aloud the quote by Viktor Frankl at the beginning of Chapter 5 (”We can discover the meaning of life in three different ways . . .”) and discuss it.

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Contents

Leider, Richard J.; Webber, Alan M. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781609949327

Chapter 11 Take a Break—Is It Over Yet?

Leider, Richard J.; Webber, Alan M. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You’ve gone through each of the six practices that make up the Life Reimagined map. So this must be the journey’s end! Right?

Actually no.

In fact, the journey is never over. Remember Yogi Berra’s famous dictum, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”?

When it comes to the Life Reimagined journey, good old Yogi had it wrong. The truth is, it’s never over.

When you reach Act, the sixth guidepost on the map, you haven’t arrived at your destination. You’ve actually just started. Because after you Act, your next step is to Reflect. You pause and see how your action feels to you: Does it sit well? Is it uncomfortable in an uncomfortable way? Or is it uncomfortable in a satisfying way, like the first day at a gym doing a new exercise regime? You know that workout might make your muscles sore—and you also know you’ll feel a little proud of yourself for having made the effort.

After you’ve gone around the Life Reimagined map for the first time, you’ll want to check in with the members of your Sounding Board. You’ll want to report in on how your journey is going. You’ll want to invite their feedback, to add their insights to your own experiences.

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Chapter 8 Choose—What’s Next?

Leider, Richard J.; Webber, Alan M. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Life Reimagined says we make better choices—and find fulfillment—when we live from the inside out.

Think about it this way: at its core, life consists of choices that involve having, doing, and being.

The way the old story encouraged people to “pursue happiness” followed this logic: If I have enough—usually money—then I’ll be able to do what I want—but have delayed choosing—and then I’ll finally be happy.

The new story flips that process: you start with being yourself, with who you are authentically. That leads to doing things that are in alignment with who you are. Finally, as a consequence, you have a fulfilling life—one that is both successful outwardly and feels authentic inwardly.

In the new phase of life, getting this process right is an urgent task.

Go back to the Life Reimagined stories, the people you’ve met in earlier chapters. One of the most striking points is what these explorers and pioneers didn’t say.

No one mentioned making money to buy more things.

No one mentioned a life of leisure or luxury, a life of taking it easy.

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