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



8 Responses

  1. Nice blog tonight James. According to this I am already successful! 😀 …As I was blessed enough to find my calling some years ago – maybe eight. I think I was turning 42 at the time in the dead of Winter, and thinking, “I am really blessed to have found my niche, my calling at this fine age! I am so very lucky! I knew it then. I don’t think many people do ever find it though – their niche. Far too few! And it is sad, because they have no meaning. Many have no hobbies even! :0 How can that be! I could never be bored! Never run out of things to do. Reading and writing and drawing and gardening and cooking alone could occupy my time. And walking…always walking in between. I do try to help my clients like you do, James, but sometimes it’s to no avail. Most want to know about romance…how boring… Well… usually it’s boring. 🙂

    But seriously… I do find myself baffled a little, scratching my head, because though I do what I love, what I live and breath, what I’ve BEEN my whole life (since I was 13), and though I help many people in the process – change their lives for the better permanently even, I still find that I am living by meager means, as you put it, forced to work a second fruitless job (arrhhhh), and doing readings before work, after work, (many for free – which is why, I suppose I am not rich yet – I’m a sucker is what it is. I’ll do a reading for anybody who needs it, whether they can pay or not) around the housework and the kids. Staying up each night to work or read and respond. Honestly, if I was rich I probably just wouldn’t charge people any more. And I’d write… That I would get paid for! Will get paid for!

    I do wish we could sit down and have a conversation about it, because I really don’t get that part of it, the whole self-reliance thing I guess you could say. I’m still not sure why am where I am, and the circumstances I am in. I guess the Universe has a bigger plan for me than I know or understand at this time. I guess I agreed to this in order to grow. I sacrificed my independence so I could be home with my kids. Why have them if you are going to let someone else raise them? That’s what I’ve always said. But my trust in what was supposed to be a partnership backfired. And I lost all my power for it. Power that is hard to regain after 20 years. Ah, but the kids will soon be grown, and then it will be different. I’ll still be a Mother, of course, but they will be grown and I will finally be free to live my life and do my work. Do you know how many people travel for Tarot – to do their work? Most successful Professionals! “Go where the people are” ..that’s what you said. I can travel now. The kids are old enough. I have a gig coming up in Rhode Island, actually. That’ll be fun! 😀

    So… Yes, I do know my calling, so I will keep striving ahead, regardless of the negativity around me – which is in the process of being dissolved. I guess it also has a lot to do with fear and attachment – two things I’ve let go of recently. Let the fear fuel you instead of stifling you. Yes. But I WOULD like to keep this roof (or another) over our heads, be able to pay for medical things and such.The whole money issue makes my head spin because it doesn’t matter. But it does! It’s all an illusion. And yet it is as real as rain. It matters if I have money to feed and clothe my children and send them to decent schools, and maintain their teeth, etc., etc., etc.. It matters if I can keep my electric on and have a reliable car to drive. Could I take a bus instead or get a ride? Sure, but I would’t want to. Money is power! I don’t have to tell you that. A million dollar smile is worth a million dollars…or close to it these days. It might get you respect or compliments from others. But does that make life meaningful? Well, no…

    But then again.. maybe it does. I’ve love to go to Egypt, Pompeii, Santorini, Scotland, Ireland… another cruise. That would make my life more meaningful. I’d like to have my own gym and have an indoor pool and a hot tub and a huge library in all mahogany and a hot house attached to my kitchen. But I can’t do that without money… Money makes the world go round. People with money are respected. People with money are powerful. And people without are not. Not so much. Maybe in their own eyes they are, but not in the world’s. You an’t buy a plane ticket or a house or a car with your good looks. So…I’m trying to find the balance here (oops…I mean the harmony), to see why one person who is equally as good and giving as another (or even more so) might have so much less than the other. Why is one person able to make an abundance of money, while another is not? I still don’t understand that. But I am trying to. Do I want to be rich (monetarily)? Well, I would like to travel freely, buy what I like without worrying whether it’s going make them shut my cellphone or internet off. The furniture I don’t think they’d want, honestly. lol I got most of at yard sales and thrift shops – but at least I didn’t go into debt for it, and they CAN’T take it away. As meager as it might be – it’s mine. So.. I would love to know your words of wisdom on this, and I hope you won’t think less of me because I am certainly not rich -not yet anyway. Working on being self-reliant anyway… That’s a good goal ;} …Because it is very frustrating to me to work in a jewelry store for $10.50 an hour – not helping anyone (actually I do help people when they come in, some of them, when their loved ones on the other side want to reach them through me… but don’t tell anyone…I’m not supposed to talk about being a psychic there… =) I am capable of making $100 an hour reading cards and changing people’s lives for the better. But here I am in a jewelry store….???? I just can’t figure it out. That’s why I asked you that question about launching my business. “Go where they are,” you said. That was good advice. I’m working on it.

    Well, I’m not sure where God was going on this one – except for maybe the little things that I’v e learned while I’ve been there at that store – like self-respect and self-reliance, and the fact that your day job isn’t who you really are. Well, maybe they’re not so little after all. Anyway, nothing really profound tonight, only practicalities on my mind, because in the coming few weeks and months the winds will blow more fiercely than ever before, not just mentally and emotionally, but financially as well, as we weather this storm. I’m not thinking of the “how”, but I do know the “why”. And the why is propelling me forward regardless of the demons that approach and jump at me from all sides. I think I can shake them off. Those demons are funny, you know. When you ignore them they shrink and fall into the shadows. So, I will keep doing readings, even if I give most of them away because people need the help. And I’ll keep moving forward on my book (my deck), not so I can get rich, but so I can reach many, many, many people with my work, and hopefully make enough money so that I can leave the jewelry store behind, and buy my retreat/camp, where I can write full time and do my readings and classes, and let somebody else sell the jewelry.

    I know this is not really a normal blog response (from me anyway) and may be even more long-winded than usual. And maybe it’s a bit on the personal side. But then I am an open book, and I know that my reading others’ posts sometimes helps me, and maybe it will help someone else out there too…maybe in a similar situation to me, to understand it, so they, like me, can grow and become what they are meant to be. Suffering little fermenting grapes, working hard on becoming fine wine.

    1. Thank you Lori for your beautifully honest response. Both blog message and yours strike a chord within. Great questions and ideas that lead to going deep within for my answers to many similar uestions.

  2. Thank you James for making another Monday special.

    If you’re going through hell, keep going. – Winston Churchill

    The bigger the breakdown the bigger the breakthrough as long as you don’t quit or turn back.

    I would trade some awareness for a little more money sometimes. I attended a 50th birthday party recently. The attempt to regain the youth, hope and exuberance of a teen with excruciating loud music from the sixties, alcohol and juvenile behavior just covers up the sadness feeding it at the same time.

    There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. – R. Buckminster Fuller

    Naiads hatch from eggs and live for years in the water feeding on smaller life forms, usually mosquito larvae. One day they climb out of the water and the exposure to sun and air has them breathe. Their shell breaks, they crawl out of their shell, pump their wings and the dragonfly spends the next six months or less feeding on smaller insects, mostly mosquitoes.

    If we are fortunate, we will experience more than one transformation in our lives. Some of us go through many. Life is Epic.

  3. This was an epic article James, thanks!

    Just a little question, is it possible to have different purposes in your life? I mean you find something that moves your soul, you do it for a few years and then something inside you tells you, you have done enough and asks you for a change? Can this be possible? to have different calls in your life?



    1. Hector, I don’t believe in my experience it’s possible to have “different purposes” read the blogs again and you’ll realize that our sole/soul purpose is further expansion, experience and expression (The Triad). What can and does often change is HOW we choose to actualize that purpose and fulfill it in the world. Make sense? And this is where you must become super clear on your Innate Ability. At one point I thought I wanted to be a professional musician, then an actor, then a sales trainer, then a management trainer, and finally a catalyst. It was process of further refinement but they are were leading in the same direction. Hope this helps. Clarity is power. ~ JAR

      1. More than clear Thank you James!! I guess I was confusing expression with purpose, now I see it more clearly.

        Thank you once more!

  4. Thank you Barbara Budan. Your response touches me more than you know. <3

    And thank you Michael Eisbrener. I am always interested in what you have to say and today's response is particularly meaningful for me.

    "If you are going through Hell keep going." – Winston Churchill

    Well, I am going through Hell, so I guess I'll keep going until I come out on the other side.

    "The bigger the breakdown the bigger the breakthrough as long as you don't quit or turn around."

    Thank you again Michael! This breakdown (the one I am experiencing) has been 20 years in the making. Thank you for the strength in this message. I will not quit or turn back! Your naiad analogy is wonderful, and it makes me see in my mind's eye the hatching of the chick as well. It can't be helped along too much or it will die. It must come out of its shell on its own. In its own time. With its own Strength. With its own energy. But that small, wet, weak, little chick might one day soar to be an eagle or an osprey, if we leave it be, flying above all other birds and mammals! And then we will see that that really has nothing to do with money at all.

    Yes… life is epic isn't it? And what an epic adventure it is! I am so glad that I have woken up enough to see that and to begin to experience it fully. All of it!

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