to Know Your Life Purpose
by Stephanie Relfe B.Sc. (Sydney)
Have you ever set a goal and achieved it? And then felt flat afterwards?
This has happened to most of us.
If we feel flat after achieving a goal, then maybe the goal isn't what's important. So if it's not important, why do we set goals? I'll get to that.
We all know of the many problems facing the earth and its people. And I believe that most people would like to do something about it, but they don't do much about it because they believe that what they do will not make any difference. That was how I used to feel.
Then one day I did a seminar where I learned about the teachings of American Buckminster Fuller. I learned about my life purpose, and how I can make a big difference.
Buckminster Fuller is one of the greatest inventors and thinkers of the twentieth century. There is a story that his life was once like most people's, full of going to parties, football etc. He was a bit of a ``wild lad" in the early days. Then something happened which changed his life forever. His daughter Alexandra who was only around 6 years old was very sick at that time. He left the house one day, promising to be back soon. Before he left, he promised Alexandra he would bring her back one of the small flags that they have at the football, as it was her birthday.
Buckminster Fuller didn't return home after the football. He didn't return home for three days. Presumably he was partying. When he finally arrived home, his wife told him to not waste time apologising to her, but to go upstairs and see his daughter immediately. Alexandra had taken a turn for the worse. When Fuller picked up his daughter up in his arms, he said hello to her. Then she asked him if he had it. This disappointment was enough to end her slender hold on life. She died in his arms.
After that Fuller felt so bad he went for a walk, and decided to end his life. But , the story goes that he heard a voice saying something along the lines -
``You do not have the right to end your life. It is not yours to end. Your life has a purpose. You have not yet done what you came here to do."
After that he began to search for the purpose of life, God and the universe. He sought to discover what, if anything, could be done by a penniless, unknown man working on behalf of all humanity.
First of all, he stopped talking for two years! He realised that words had tremendous power. Words had often got him into trouble. He vowed to not speak until he was sure exactly what was the effect and meaning of any word.
He believed that there was a force (call it evolution, great spirit, God) which is intent upon making people so successful that they can all live at a standard of living much higher than that achieved by ANYONE else before.
He wanted to know what rules God used in setting up this universe. He went onto to discover what he called "Generalised Principles" of the universe. These are principles that are true in all cases.
Most of these principles are in the form of advanced mathematics which I have not gone into. If you are interested, read his books "Synergetics".
I will be explaining some of the Generalised Principles that you can apply to your life. Using these principles will help you to:
The first Generalised Principle we will look at is called:
Precession is not PROcession, which means movement in a line.
I will give you a few examples to explain this.
What happens when you drop a stone into some water?
Ripples go out. That is, there is a side effect to the main effect. And the side effect can be very large.
Here is another example.
It is possible, just possible, that the honey bee has a life purpose. What would that life purpose be? To pollinate plants, to keep life on earth going. We wouldn't exist if it wasn't for honey bees.
But do you think the honey bee gets up each morning and says to herself that she has to cross pollinate plants? No. She just has - what goal? To collect nectar to make honey.
Precession happens at right angles to the direction of motion. It's a side effect. In the case of the honey bee, the side effect is what? The pollination of plants, and the maintenance of life on earth.
So, it's just possible that pollinating plants is the bee's TRUE PURPOSE.
Now, if the honey bee has a true purpose, who else do you think may have a true purpose in life?
Us of course.
So here's the cosmic joke. If the goal was your life purpose, and you achieved it, what would happen? You'd stop. But once you stop, there is no precession, no side-effects - and it's the side -effect, not the goal, that is your life purpose.
Humans are MEANT to be IN MOTION.
Fuller looked at the fact that NO ANIMAL HAD TO EARN A LIVING. They are just doing what they are supposed to do. If they do that, then nature & God looks after them.
So he hypothesized that perhaps that is the way that it is meant to run for us. Maybe we don't have to go after money. Maybe for each one of us, there is something that we are supposed to be doing. And if we do that, then God and the universe will look after us.
The real fruit of what we would be doing would not be obvious to us, because it would be at right angles to the goal we set. It would happen as a side effect.
The trick is to set the right goals. How do we know if the goal we set is creating the right side effects?
He said that we are not meant to go after money. He suggested that instead we set a goal that 'adds value'. That is, that improves the quality of people's lives or of the earth.
Maybe that's why people like to help each other. Subconsciously they know that through doing that they are achieving their life purpose.
Listen to the 'Taps on the Shoulder'
One way of knowing whether or not we have set the right goals is by listening to the 'taps on the shoulder'. These can be positive taps (blessings) or negative taps.
If something bad happens to us, we could take this as a 'learning experience'. We can also consider that it may be a negative tap on the shoulder. Perhaps there is something that we are doing (or not doing) that is different from what we are supposed to be doing.
The trouble with most people, and a reason why their lives may be in a mess, is that they don't listen to the taps on the shoulder. They think that they are just `bad luck' - and don't stop to consider whether or not the fact that they themselves have anything to do with this `bad luck'.
For ten years I have run my life on this information. Bit by bit, more and more blessings came into my life. I kept meeting people who would help me, or give me information or material support that I would normally never have got hold of. Eventually even my cashflow improved. Certainly my health and happiness and the love in my life improved.
And perhaps best of all was a sense of knowing that there really IS a purpose to my life. Life gained a meaning and a quiet excitement that it didn't have before.
Our purpose is to ADD VALUE to the lives of others, and to the earth - to improve QUALITY OF LIFE. Our purpose is not to make money.
Precession is a Generalised Principle that can make good come out of bad. For example, in the early days the king asked the men to make metal swords. What was the precession, the side-effect, from this? The metal plough, which meant that more people could be fed with less work.
What was a side effect of the space program that put man on the moon? The transistor radio.
Get into MOTION! With other people who are IN MOTION! And improve the QUALITY of life!
What is the most important word in the definition of precession? In MOTION.
So do you think that there's much precession while your sitting watching TV? Nope. Get into action. Do SOMETHING. Preferably do something that ADDS VALUE. Then start to watch for the positive taps on the shoulder.
Also note that part of the definition of precession is "the effect of bodies in motion on OTHER BODIES IN MOTION ".
Don't waste time talking to people who don't want to hear what you have to say. Or who are watching TV. Interact with others who are in motion.
What is the life expectancy of most people after they retire? ONLY THREE YEARS! Once they are not in motion, they are no longer achieving their life purpose - and so there is no more point in them being alive.
But people don't need to stop being in motion just because they don't have a job. On the contrary, once they retire there are plenty of things to do.
Here are just a few ideas of how you can cause precession and make a positive difference to your life and the people of earth, no matter what your current situation:
I heard that the American revolution was not won by the people. It was won by about 10% of the people. Presumably the people who were IN MOTION.
There's a lot to this. I will try to cover as much of the important things as I can.
Don't Give up your Job (yet)
When I first learned about Precession I got excited. I thought my job was to save the world. That sounded a lot more fun than my 9-5 job, so I quit my job. Guess what? That wasn't it, at that time in my life. It was hard to be in motion when I didn't have enough money to pay the rent.
One should not become a rescuer. In some way, my job was adding value. One secret of happiness is not doing what you love, but loving what you do.
Instead, for now, start to see how you can add value FROM your job. You are there for a reason. And while you're doing that, you may want to start thinking of a new type of job or career, one that adds more value than your present one does.
Buckminster Fuller's theory that your job was not to make money. It was to add value to others. He believed that 70% of the jobs on earth were not directly contributing to the life-support of the people. Many are making money from money. Or moving paper from one desk to another.
The key is balance. It is unbalanced to work only for money, and only for yourself and your family. It is also unbalanced to NOT work for yourself and your family, to work only for others.
While you are in your present job, work out how you can add value in your spare time. You are there for a reason.
I started doing things in the evenings and on the weekend. Eventually enough positive taps came into my life where I got a much better and higher paying job. And year's later was able to work full time at what I loved to do.
Find a Goal that Adds Value to others or to the earth, that you can commit to for at least 20 years
Have you ever known (or been) someone who just couldn't stick to one line of work for long? Precession explains why this happens.
What happens when we get in motion? The waves go out. Suddenly, off to the left and right new opportunities appear.
So what do some people do? They get bored with what they're doing, and go after the new things that they see. Trouble is, once they do that, the waves then go out again, to either side of their line of motion.
Again, they see new opportunities arise off to the side. Again they change direction.
This goes on forever.
Which is not to say that it is bad. It is good to experience many different things. But these people end up going around in circles. They never stick with any one thing long enough to become a MASTER at it. They don't build up a network of contacts and a store of knowledge, expertise, wealth etc. to make as big a difference as they would have if they had stayed in roughly one direction for a longer period of time.
The answer? Find a goal that ADDS VALUE and that you REALLY LOVE. That you REALLY CARE about. And CLEARLY CHOOSE to commit to stick with that for a long period of time, say at least 20 years. You may find that changes occur along the way. You may end up achieving your goal in a way that you would never have thought possible. For example, if your goal is to improve health, you may end up not being a doctor. You may work in health food stores, write books and work with natural health instead. If your goal is to improve education, you may end up running for office rather than becoming a teacher.
Work out what you want to ACHIEVE. Work out what the final end result will look like. Don't work out how you are going to do it, or what your are going to be to do it. For example, make a goal "To have cancer no more on the face of the earth" rather than to "Be a doctor". For more information on this, see ``How to have what you want".
As well as work which provides money for you, you may do things that earn you no monetary reward directly. The blessings (positive taps) will flow to you in other ways (and sometimes in the form of money as well).
If other goals occur to you along your journey, you may want to do them as well. Just so long as your main eye is still on your main goal which adds value. The other goals will probably end up helping your main goal.
Knowing Your True Life Purpose
So the joke is - you will probably never fully know your true life purpose. But know that if you are in motion and adding value (improving the quality of life), you are achieving it. Especially if you are getting positive taps on the shoulder.
Some people sit around meditating to "find out what their life purpose is". Guess what, this is not how to do it. Meditation is good if that helps people to work out what goals to set. And to be more effective and aware. But if there's no motion, there's no precession. People don't start achieving their purpose until they get into motion. Imagine if the honey bees decided to start meditating and stopped collecting nectar!
What goal should you set? It is suggested that if you know of something which needs doing, and nobody's doing it, THEN THAT'S YOUR JOB.
PRECESSION BY ARTEFACT
An artefact is "an object produced or shaped by human workmanship". It could be a book, song, invention, webpage, movie, building or magazine article that adds value. Once it is made, and 'out there', it will be producing it's own precession. This is a very powerful way to make a difference.
If you want to learn more about Precession, read ``Critical Path" by Buckminster Fuller. Details of this book are given at the end of this article.
MAKE MISTAKES AND LEARN FROM THEM
It is possible that a major reason why more people don't get into motion is the fear of making mistakes.
This is unfortunate because one of the MAIN ways we learn is by making mistakes.
When a baby makes its first efforts to walk - what happens? He stands up - then falls down. Does the baby then think - "I'm so embarrassed. I'll never do that again". No. He stands up - falls down - stands up - falls down - and keeps on going until he makes it. We can all walk, so we have probably all been through this.
But somewhere along the line the ego and fear of other's opinions seems to get in the way. People start wanting to never make mistakes. The only way to do that is to do nothing. So they do nothing.
But once we do nothing, there is no precession. The magic dies. Our purpose in life is no longer being fulfilled.
We are MEANT to make mistakes! The only thing wrong with making mistakes is when we don't admit them, or don't' learn from them.
Luckily we can speed up this process by learning from the mistakes of others.
Who invented the lightbulb? Thomas Eddison. How many mistakes did he make before he it worked? I have heard 10,000. I have heard a story that someone said to him – "How do you feel making 10,000 mistakes?". He replied "I didn't make any mistakes. I found out 10,000 ways that it wouldn't work".
Colonel Sanders (founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken), when he was 65 years old, was broke and living in his car. The only thing he had of any value was a recipe. He had to knock on 1,009 doors before someone agreed to his deal - to give him a royalty from every piece of chicken cooked with his recipe. His wife kept the statistics.
Another story: About Tom Watson (Not the golfer, the founder of IBM). A worker lost his division $10M. in 3 months. The worker got a memo from Tom Watson – "Please see me Monday at 3pm." That weekend was the worst weekend of the worker's life. He told his wife he was going to be fired. At the meeting on Monday he walked into Tom's office. Tom was at the board saying, "I want you to run this new division." The worker couldn't work out what was going on. He said "Aren't you going to fire me?" Tom replied "Fire you! Fire you! Why would I fire you when I just spent $10M. educating you!" Tom understood the value of making mistakes and learning from them.
If you make too many mistakes in school, what do they call you? A …
I suggest that life is a game. And in this game -
In this life we don't have winners and losers. We have winners and learners!
What is the difference between a professional and an amateur?
A professional knows more what?
What are distinctions?
LITTLE differences that make ALL the difference.
How many words do eskimos have for snow? 30 - 300 words!
How many words to Hawaiians have for snow? One word! Hawaiians have less distinctions around snow, because it's not important to them.
What the difference between a racing car driver and the best racing car driver in the world? Not much - just a few distinctions.
Professionals get paid to practise. That is, professionals get paid to make mistakes!
We have only one word for love. But the ancient greeks had a dozen or so words for love. They made a distinction, for example, between the love for children, the love for parents and the love for a spouse. Maybe that's why some people have a problem saying ``I love you".
By the way, once you decide to take action, remember -
And whenever you make a mistake, there are two ways that I know of to help you to not beat yourself up.
2. Remember when we first went to the moon. And what a great achievement that was.
When the rocket went to the moon, how often was it on course?
ONLY 2.5 % of the time!!!
What was it doing the rest of the time?
So, as long as you correct after each mistake, and keep in motion, you will achieve what you set out to achieve. And even if you don't, as long as you are aiming to add value, you will still be achieving your purpose in life - and blessings will be coming to you from all kinds of directions.
If you want to make a BIG difference or if you want to be rich (in money terms), then you need to understand and use leverage.
What is leverage?
Doing more with less.
What were the first computers like? Big, expensive, difficult to run and they didn't hold much information.
What are computers like today? Small, cheap, easy to run, with lots of information. Computers do more with less.
The Japanese did as well as they did (before the current economic collapse) because they focused on adding value, by doing more with less.
Prices are meant to go down, not up. Just like with computers.
(It is likely that the main reason why some prices go up is because of the game that some bankers are playing. This is explained in "I want the Earth plus 5%").
Don't focus on working for money. Instead, focus on adding value.
Leverage is one of the Generalised Principles of the Universe. It has helped us get to where we are today.
Here's leverage: The Lord's Prayer contains 56 words, the Gettysburg address 266, the Ten Commandments 297, the Declaration of Independence 300.
Here's negative leverage: a U.S. government order setting the price of cabbage contains 26,911 words!!! At the state level, over 250,000 bills are introduced each year. 25,000 are passed, to disappear into the mazes of the law (Reference: "Positioning" by Ries and Trout).
Some more examples of leverage:
One of the highest forms of leverage is EDUCATION. I am not talking here about the kind of things that are taught in school or university. Schools are at least 70 years out of date. And many universities teach only the one-sided views of the peers running the university.
Educate yourself. For example, read the books recommended by this website. Read about new ways of alternative, natural health care, energy production (books on Nikola Tesla and Viktor Schauberger) and farming ("Secrets of the Soil" by Peter Tomkins). Learn about Accelerated Learning. Learn about the powers of the mind (Read "The Holographic Universe"). These things are not taught in universities - possibly because it is not profitable to the multinationals that directly or indirectly influence what is taught in universities.
Leverage is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to know if you want to get wealthy. Unconsciously, or consciously, all wealthy people know this.
By the way, borrowing money may not be the best type of leverage to use. Because while it can go up, but it can also go down. Use leverage that can only benefit you in a positive way. Live on 80%-50% your income and don't pay interest.
Start thinking about how you can do more with less - in your own life and in your goal to add value.
The more you focus on doing more with less, the bigger difference you will make.
This next part will be especially interesting for anyone who is interested in business. Most of this information comes from the work of Dr W. Edwards Deming.
What were Japanese products known for before WW2? Being shoddy, cheap and copy cats.
What are Japanese products known for today? Being good quality, still cheap and innovators.
What changed Japan? A man called Dr W. Edwards Deming.
After the Second World War, what was the demand for cars like? Great. Do you think the USA was interested in hearing about quality and adding value? No.
So American Dr W. Edwards Deming went to Japan. The Japanese had just been beaten in the war. They listened.
Deming taught a number of things, which are very different to standard American management principles. Normal management blames the worker for lack of quality. Instead Deming taught that in most business situations -
Deming said "Don't blame the people. Change the SYSTEM."
Buckminster Fuller said much the same thing. He said to change the environment. Leave the people alone. You CAN'T change people! You CAN change the environment. You CAN change systems!
This is a good rule to apply in your personal life as well. Don't blame yourself or your partner or children if things go wrong. Change the system that caused the problem.
For example, if you get upset because you lose your keys, don't blame yourself. Change the system. Hide a spare key in your wallet, in the garden etc.
If you have a health problem, don't blame it on bad luck. Find out what is in your health `systems'. Find out what you are doing that is causing the health problem. For example, if you ingest any coffee, tea or chocolate, read ``Caffeine Blues". If you take aspartame, learn what it does to your body.
The two best books that I have found which explain this much better than I can are given at the end of this article.
What is Synergy?
Synergy is when the sum of two or more things together is greater than the sum of the things when considered individually.
In other words,
I'll give you an example. This comes from "Critical Path" by Fuller. Take some tin, which is a soft metal. Mix it with copper, which is also a soft metal. What do they produce? Bronze, which is a hard metal.
When there is synergy, an extra 'magic' appears from the mixing of two or more things.
Another example of synergy is when the Australian sailing team won the America's Cup - the first time that it had been won outside of America for 100 years. It was said that the America's team was a "team of champions" but the Australian team was a "champion team".
Because of synergy, a chain is NOT as weak as its weakest link. And a team is not as good as its best player.
If you work to get synergy, you can create extra magic which helps you make a big difference.
Synergy does not just happen between people. There are certain things that they need to do which help it to manifest. Some keys to achieving synergy are
1. "LISTEN ACTIVELY". If anyone in your group (or your relationship) is an 'expert' then you are unlikely to achieve synergy. If you want to achieve synergy, then the ego has to be put to one side. The 'expert' is the kiss of death to synergy.
2. "TRUST YOUR INTUITION - SPEAK UP". The second kiss of death for synergy is not as obvious as the expert. This is the person who knows the answers but KEEPS IT TO THEMSELVES. These people need to speak up and be heard.
3. "AGREE TO AGREE". The third key to synergy is to "agree to agree". This means to agree to reach a resolution. Compromise is not an option.
What does compromise mean? A settlement of a disagreement where each side makes concessions. The end result is usually unsatisfactory to both.
What does Resolution mean? Both sides are happy.
In order for this to happen, what do you usually need? A third option. If you are going to achieve synergy, you are going to start being creative thinking up 'third options'.
4. 'BE FLEXIBLE. The fourth key to achieving synergy is to "Be flexible".
The first solution proposed is not necessarily the best one. Groups that fail to acknowledge and consider multiple courses of action run the risk of accepting a suboptimal solution.
5. "BE COMPASSIONATE". The fifth key to achieving synergy is to be compassionate.
We tend to put other people's ideas down. When we do this, we stop people from thinking and contributing. Thinking is the hardest work there is, so we need to encourage people to do it.
To get synergy we need to support others efforts to do well. When we differ from others we need to do it in a manner which is constructive rather than defensive.
For example, state differences as being your own concern, without implying that the person with whom you are differing is wrong. That is, use the word "I". Don't use the word "you"
CHANGE FROM SCARCITY TO ABUNDANCE
Scarcity is an outdated theory, which is still taught in Harvard university. A theory is a good idea - it is not a fact.
Thanks to technology, leverage and synergy, since the industrial revolution we now have abundance on the planet. For example, there is enough food to feed everyone at least twice over. It's only problems with distribution that have people lacking in food.
The main reason why we don't see abundance is partly because we still believe in scarcity, and because of problems in distribution - which arise because of the belief in scarcity. It is also because of people in power who like to maintain scarcity because they can more easily control us and they love to do that. See "I want the earth plus 5%".
Also search on "Nikola Tesla" who was a genius who invented AC electrical systems and also knew how we could have free, unlimited, clean energy way back in the early 1900s. These facts are not taught in schools.
Sometimes the trouble with making a difference is that a person's old behavior can pop up. When things don't go the way we want, what do we sometimes do? We -
Have you ever been blamed for others' mistakes? Have you ever blamed others for your own mistakes? Or blamed yourself?
Sometimes we don't lay blame on others or on ourselves. Instead we do something else. What do we do? We-
We justify why things are the way they are. This means that we come up with reasons to explain why things are the way they are.
Some examples of justifying are "There's a recession", "There are no good men or women available", ``I'm too old / too young", ``That's the way it is".
But will anything improve if all we do is justify or lay blame?
Whether or not it's your fault -
This is not saying that you ARE responsible. For example, some people have problems because of things their parents did. But their parents were like that because of what THEIR parents did. But does knowing that really change anything? No.
The buck stops here. The ONLY way that things will change is when we take the position that we are responsible for any changes we want. Change the system. And change yourself. Don't blame the people to justify why things have to be the way they are.
PRAY TO GOD. The best way to work out what you should be doing is to pray to God CONTINUALLY for guidance. Listen to your heart and your intuition. God will speak to you through them.
Precession is "the effect of bodies in motion on other bodies in motion". When you get into motion, with others who are in motion, focus on adding value, doing more with less, changing systems and achieving synergy. Then watch the blessings come in!
I will leave you with the following words from W.N. Murray, from the Scottish Himalayan Expedition in 1951.
For more information on Precession and Generalised Principles read:
Over the course of the
88 years of his lifetime, `Bucky' became perhaps the best known American thinker
of the Twentieth Century. Sometimes called "the planet's friendly genius",
Bucky gained renown as an inventor and designer.
With his customary brilliance, extraordinary energy, and unlimited devotion, Bucky Fuller shows how mankind can survive, and how each individual can make a difference to the unprecedented threat we face today.
P.S. Make sure you have a good dictionary with you when you read this extraordinary book.
For more information on Systems read:
Deming: The American Who Taught the Japanese about Quality
"Deming's management philosophies are the driving force behind Japan's economic miracle" - USA Today. Dr W. Edwards Deming, a household name in Japan, became the prime catalyst behind the incredible success of Japanese industry. In fact, since 1951, the Deming Prize has been the most coveted and prestigious award among Japanese corporations. Today, Deming is finally becoming a household name in his own country. The lessons he has to teach the business people of American and other countries are more urgent than ever
E Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
"Gerbers' powerful insights have given thousands of entrepeneurs new control over their businesses" - Success Magazine.
Michael Gerber dispels
the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace
assumptions can get in the way. He draws the vital, often overlooked distinction
between working ON your business and working IN your business. After you have
read The E Myth you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable
and productive way.
Copyright ©: Stephanie Relfe & Michael Relfe - 1998 - 2020
Permission is granted to use this article in whole or part if you acknowledge the author and quote and link to www.Relfe.com