You a Peaceful Warrior? Are You Living on Purpose? by Mitch Axelrod
of the best perks of being a speaker is getting to listen to other speakers.
Recently on a Sunday, I had the good fortune to speak after Dan Millman,
author of many books including the one that put him on the map nearly
20 years ago, The
Way of the Peaceful Warrior.
met Dan in 1997 at the Maui Writer's Conference. That Sunday,
I bought Dan's book Living
on Purpose (this is my fourth Dan Millman book). I highly recommend
you have at least one Dan Millman book in your library. And, I made it
a point to attend Dan's session, because he is a joy to listen to. In
this article I will highlight the 10 key points Dan shared.
Here are the 10 key points Dan shared, with my comments in (parentheses).
1. There is so much illusion in the world, you must become really good
at distinguishing illusion from truth. (I call this illusion, Success
B.S. and I'm writing a book to be published in 2002. I'm sure you
can figure out what the B.S. stands for. I bet you could write your own
chapter, if not your own book.)
2. Distinction: knowledge, ideas and concepts vs. use of them.
(We are on information overload. Success in life is not only about stuffing
our heads with more information and knowledge, but using what we learn
in the real world to better our lives. We already know more than we can
use in 10 lifetimes. Everyone who is overweight knows what to do to lose
weight. It's not the knowing that loses the weight; it's the doing).
3. Take ONE DEEP BREATH every waking hour.
4. Choice means giving up something you want for something you want
more. (For more on the distinction between choice and decision-making,
read my special report, "10 Tips for Making Good Decisions Without
Stressing Out!" at http://axelrodlearning.com/10gooddecisions.html.)
5. Distinguish between the "real" world and the "ideal"
world. We strive to live ideally but that's an unrealistic and virtually
impossible standard to attain in the real world. Ideally, many of us would
choose to eliminate all the guns and weapons of mass destruction in the
world. This is not reality. (Many people try to live an "ideal"
or perfect life. See more about this in the next section, the paradox
6. There are two levels of "reality" in the world: conventional
and transcendental. Each "reality" has a different set of
"truths." Conventional reality is physical, emotional, and mental,
which we can see, feel, touch, taste and smell. We are born, we live and
we die. We are all separate beings. If I stub my toe, do you feel the
pain? These are conventional truths. In the transcendental world we are
spiritual beings, connected as one with the universe. (Rather than battling
over which view of "reality" is right or true, we are better
served to make the distinction and recognize there is truth in both worlds,
and that they can co-exist).
7. Dan suggests there are four purposes to life:
is a school, and life is our daily classroom.
or job IS our form of service to the planet.
about overcoming challenges, problems and hurdles, as well as finding
and fulfilling our talent.
moment-to-moment choices means we NEVER have no purpose. Our purpose
is the next choice.
we don't learn the easy lessons, life will continue to present them in
harder ways until we "get" it.
9. Distinguish between influence and control. Influence is exerting
effort in a desired direction with NO guarantee of results. Control is
the ability to will it, intend it and, MAKE it happen. We are responsible
ONLY for those things we can control. GET THIS: we CANNOT control our
thoughts or emotions, therefore we are not responsible for our thoughts
This was a powerful and potentially, controversial distinction, one that
truly explodes some of the myths we accept as truths. We are taught to
believe we can and should control our thoughts and emotions. We spend
a lot of time, energy and life force trying to control the things that
are uncontrollable. "Control your thoughts, and you control your
life" is a popular notion. The truth is, we can't stop a thought
from happening. Try to stop a thought from entering your mind before it
happens. Can't do it. You might be able to influence, push away or distract
yourself after a thought appears, but you CANNOT STOP A THOUGHT FROM ENTERING
YOUR MIND. Thoughts happen without our conscious control. We are NOT responsible
for our thoughts.
Can we really control our emotions? Let's test it out. Right now,
TRY to feel terrified; now, depressed; now, surprised; now, anxious; now,
sad. Here's a really tough one for some people: feel happy. Really TRY
to feel these. Dan says emotions are like the weather patterns of the
body. They pass. We are NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR EMOTIONS. You have NO
control over your emotions. Trying to control things you have no control
over is a misuse of vital life force and energy. If we can't control thoughts
and emotions, what can we control?
WE CONTROL WHAT WE SAY. WE CONTROL HOW WE ACT AND BEHAVE. WE HAVE CONTROL
OVER WHAT WE DO.Spend time and energy controlling that which you have
10. Spiritual maturity includes three things:
feelings and thoughts as natural.
needs to be done.
Dan for an uplifting and stimulating experience. For more on Dan Millman's
work, visit his
Mitch Axelrod is a speaker, writer and motivator. You may visit him
. Sign up for his excellent and inspiring newsletter that addresses business
and life issues.
A brand new FREE eclectic e-newsletter, Career Success Planning, is on the way. I will be contacting former sbscribers to Portfolio Potpourri and all who have taken the Portfolio Career Self Test to subscribe to the new FREE e-newsletter. Use the form below to sign up!
When I started doing the research for this book, I knew that my own experience as a Portfolio Careerist (having more than one career at the same time) wasn’t going to be enough.
After all, those of us who love and maintain Portfolio Careers also love the variety and thrive on doing things our own way. So, I put out a call to those I knew have or have had Portfolio Careers and would be willing to answer a series of questions.
Thirteen Portfolio Careerists answered my call, so you will get the full story
site we hope you are not only learning how
to live a successful and rewarding freelance
life, but also having fun while here.
to be SHARP and
By developing your
own personal and professional STYLE,
you will live your life
on purpose - with
class, pleasure and success in every area. We have created a
Special Report, 125 Ways to Develop
Your Personal and Professional STYLE.
101 Best Freelance Careers
Make your own hours, make your own decisions, and make money
doing it ... with this cutting edge guide to trends, options,
and opportunities for freelancers.
Freelancing: The Complete Guide
In this up to the minute guide, writers, consultants, artists,
and all other types of freelancers will find the essential
information they need to set up and run a profitable, successful
Freelancing: Home-Based Careers
Running a home based business is the way more and more of
us want to work. This will help freelance designers, consultants,
writers, computer service providers, sales people or anyone
who wants to work for themselves.