How to Truly Live!

“Most people spend all of their lives trying to make money; and then they spend all that very same money trying to really live!

~ Dalai Lama

The statement above is about as true and profound as it comes. Particularly in the West. The entire thrust of this series has been to hopefully educate and inspire that not only have you been conditioned into a certain romantic mindset in many ways (dating all the way back to approximately10,000 B.C.E. reference IAD4), but that you also have the ability to break the chains of your own personal confinement and begin to live a meaningful life—the one you’re meant to live!

Principle Number Six: Know your Innate Abilities and utilize them to fulfill your unique purpose in the world

This is the center of my work at this point in time. Particularly as I see so many individuals trading their life for money, living in fantasy or fear… actually when it comes right down to it… not really living at all!

Truly living and merely existing are two very different things.

As we discussed some time back, I find that in many (if not most) approaches in personal and spiritual development, there is no consideration being taken for the uniqueness of you as an individual. (reference IAD3) Please remember that prescription without diagnosis is extreme malpractice.

 “Being successful is hard. If you don’t love what you do you’ll quit like any sane person would. When you love what you do you’ll continue.”

~ Stephen Jobs

Do you absolutely love what you do? Or have you traded meaning and fulfillment for money and materialism. Love equals life. If you’re not acting from love, then you’re out of alignment with the driving force of the entire Universe. Now there’s one to contemplate deeply!

Money and materialism alone are mere existence and a poor excuse (at best) for life.

So what does it take to truly live and fulfill your unique purpose? Quite simply and straightforward (as always), three things.

Awareness. Courage. Perseverance. And in these three things my friend is where the rubber meets the road.

Colvin’s research (reference IAD17) reminds us that reaching your full potential is no easy or short road. It takes 20 years or more of deliberate practice!

In 2006 my life exploded when The Secret hit the scene. To say my business was struggling prior to that time would be the understatement of the century. Suddenly I was on Oprah, Larry King, The Today Show, Good Morning America and more.

Fortune Magazine wrote a full feature article on me and my business; and in 2009 my company received the Inc. 500 award. It was an incredible mind-blowing and amazing ride to say the least. From complete obscurity, I was suddenly thrust into the public eye as a personal development celebrity.



Many were saying, “Man that James Arthur Ray guy just came out of nowhere!”

Yeah right!

The truth is… it took me 20 years to become an overnight success. Please read that again and let it sink in deeply.

How did all this happen beyond Divine Purpose and Providence? (Which I mean in the most literal sense of the word). Three ways:

  • Awareness—the realization of my own Innate Abilities and unique purpose in this lifetime. This is why we’re all here!
  • Courage: The willingness to pursue what I love and to do what makes my life feel meaningful… no matter what!
  • Perseverance: The determination of continuance, come what may, and no matter how long it takes. In fact, to find joy in the doing itself regardless of external measures.

You see, we discussed the nuances last week between a “developed skill” and your true Innate Ability. Furthermore we discussed forgetting your career and finding your calling. The major difference in both cases is that you chase one; and the other chases you.

You choose a career… a calling chooses you. Big difference.

When you find your purpose you don’t fold

Innate Ability Development™ is specifically designed to assist you in finding your own unique talents and abilities, and to leverage them to the fullest. From this point you’re able to find and fulfill your specific purpose in Life; and to do what you love. (reference Living a Meaningful Life)

Life is too short to not do what you love.

Not surprisingly, you also have a much greater propensity for overall success when you pursue your own purpose and leverage your own unique talents.

That just plain makes common sense.

True success is not measured externally. True success is doing what you choose to do and becoming who you choose to become. Regardless of external measures.

Howard Gardner from Harvard University stated “Each individual is a genius in at least one area” (reference The Habits of the World’s Most Wealthy). Unfortunately our traditional education for the most part has only focused upon math and English. This is why Gardner himself states, “Our traditional school system is completely dysfunctional unless you want to be a professor in math or English.”

Please remember this guy is from Harvard!

Unfortunately, there’s no value any longer by the masses in a liberal arts education (music, art, poetry, prose)… but aren’t those the very things that bring meaning and beauty to life?

Recent studies show that most young adults are pursuing technology as an education because “that’s where the jobs are.”

If technology makes your heart sing, then it’s great… if it’s only for the money, or just “where the jobs are,” then we’ve lost our way.

When we find our own unique genius and develop it to the fullest we’re not only more happy and fulfilled but also more productive. Life is about meaning, not money. When you do what you love, if the money comes that’s great. If it doesn’t then you still have your love.

Personally, I’d much rather make meager money doing something meaningful than to make mega-money doing something miserable.

And if you’re really awake you realize that you would as well.

Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it moves your soul.

 Please remember that’s there’s a big difference between a “developed skill” and your Innate Ability.

So what are you doing with your life?

Are you truly living or existing? Be honest. (reference Living a Meaningful Life)

Do you get out of bed each morning energized with a purpose and mission?

Using your Innate Abilities and fulfilling your unique purpose does not mean you won’t ever feel tired or down or experience frustration and self-doubt.  Let’s drop that fantasy like a hot rock! (reference IAD3)

Feeling these feelings (and many others) is part of being human. (reference Alchemy series)

I was mentoring one of the most successful people in Hollywood just last week. One of the things that’s a fact is that high profile people need support and mentoring as well.

Actors, CEO’s, athletes, politicians, agents, and celebrities are human just like we all are. Often the biggest challenge with high profile people is getting them to feel safe enough to open up. They’re so accustomed to people looking to them for answers (or putting them on a pedestal), that they have a hard time stepping back and accepting being led versus leading.

One of the great gifts I’ve been given through the pain of my very public flogging and vilification, is the gift of understanding and compassion. This allows me the ability to much more deeply and profoundly help others in their situations, whether they’re as public as mine was, or even not so public.

I have an innate ability to mentor and teach; and to provide support and solutions… and life has gifted me the experience to truly talk from experience. Do you follow?

There’s always a perfect plan in your life. Even when you can’t see it.

Many of life’s best gifts come wrapped in painful and ugly wrapping.

Anyway… the very successful man said to me, “I don’t tell this to many people James, because they’ll use these kind of things against you. But sometimes I doubt myself. Sometimes I think I’m not that good at what I do. Sometimes I think about how old I am and that I’m not as far along in life as I thought I would be, or would like to be.” (Mentor with James)

I appreciated his raw honesty.

The fact of the matter is that we all feel like this from time to time. I know I certainly have! No one looks forward to starting all over again in their fifties! Particularly when you fooled yourself into thinking you were “set for life.”

Yes, these feelings are part of being human; and the more someone tells you they don’t ever feel this way… the more they surely do.

I know him well; and he’s definitely utilizing his Innate Abilities and fulfilling his unique purpose. Understanding your Innate Abilities and using them to live and fulfill your purpose will not stop these feelings. In fact, sometimes quite the opposite!

Living your life fully often feels like walking a razor’s edge…

between an abyss and an abyss

Masters are committed to the Razor’s Edge. Learn the meaning of The Razor’s Edge here.

When you step out into the unknown to follow your heart, when everything in your head tells you to do something differently… it kicks up all your doubts and insecurities.

But you deal with it… and if you’re smart, you utilize and leverage those feelings and fears. (reference “How to Understand, Overcome, and Utilize Fear”).

It will not make life less of a task master sometimes. And it won’t make life easier. Oh but there’s meaning… deep and profound meaning.

It will give you the strength to continue forward even in the times when these feelings are at their peak. Even when others most likely freeze.

It will keep you inspired while so many are feeling expired.

It will continually make you feel as if you’re doing something worthwhile and meaningful.

And that my friend is what life and real living is all about.

And the journey continues…

Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic,

james arthur ray

James