ONE OF OUR READERS wrote
in from Germany and said he has a strong desire to do more with
his life but can't seem to determine what he wants to do. Klassy
Evans wrote back to him as follows:
WHEN WE ARE YOUNG, there are things we
want to do, but often we are told we can't or it isn't appropriate
or you're too young or too old or not smart enough or don't have
enough money or something. I suggest to you that you may not
feel a burning desire for anything because what you really want
to do is no longer on your list of possibilities. I suggest to
you that it's possible you might have turned away from the one
thing you would most enjoy doing. I know at least that I did.
I'd like to share a little process that
literally changed my life. It helped me see what I really wanted
to do with my life. It might help you. It's simple. It'll only
take a little time over the next couple of weeks.
Here's what you do: Get a little notebook,
small enough to keep with you at all times. Now, during the day,
try to remember times you were happy. When you think of a time
even if it was very long ago write down where you
were, who you were with, and what you were doing.
If anything happens to you during the next
couple of weeks that makes you happy and brightens your spirit,
write that down the same way. Just those three things: where
are you? who are you with? what are you doing?
At the end of a couple of weeks, go over
your notes and see what common thread runs through those moments.
Then, find people you trust and without telling them what you
saw, ask them what they see common to all those times.
I did that process many years ago and realized
I'd always wanted to be a teacher, but I'd been told many times
that "those that can, DO, and those that can't, teach; and
those that can't teach, teach teachers!" But the truth is,
I loved to teach and over the years I've become, what I jokingly
call, a "freelance teacher." I give talks on things
I think will help others. I love doing this. It's makes me feel
like I'm doing what I was born to do.
Collecting that little list of things that
made me happy got me to see that I'd turned my back on something
I really wanted to do.
Maybe the little happiness notebook will
be your compass to your purpose in life. I hope so.
And one last tip: You can also discover
your interests indirectly by monitoring your level of effort.
As interest increases, the effort required to do the task decreases.
Given a high enough interest, it can be hard to stop doing it.
Like reading a great book. But try to read what you are not interested
in and the effort to get through the material inches upward as
your interest in the subject declines. So, sometimes when you
can't figure out what your interests are, look to the level of
effort you're using to do the task at hand.
I just want you to know that you can find
your purpose and desire in life. You can. Even turning ever so
slightly in the general direction of your purpose will increase
your strength. It brings out our best to be going after something
important. The more important the task, the more strength we
have to do it. We are all capable of more than we imagine. The
challenge will bring out your best.
I wish you well, Klassy Evans
THE MAN FROM Germany wrote
back, very happy, and thanked Klassy. To which she replied:
YOU ARE WELCOME! Adam and I actually taught
a course for awhile that was called, "the Happiness Course"
and helped people find what they loved to do because doing what
we love to do brings out our best.
One couple comes to mind and I thought
I'd just give you a little bit of their story. We did that process
with the notebook to collect times they were happy. The man realized
that though he would not be able to quit the job he had and do
what he loved because he needed the money and security of his
job, he DID manage to go back into radio and found a small town
station that had a Sunday morning spot open. So he went back
on the air for his two hour show each Sunday morning. Now, you
might think that only doing what you love for two hours a week
wouldn't do much, but it made a big difference in his life. All
week he had something to think about and look forward to. I tell
you this, because sometimes you can only add a little bit of
what you love, but even a little bit will make your life happier.
In his case, much happier. He had his little radio show and he
had the money and security of his "regular" job. Sometimes
it doesn't really take that much to make us happy.
And his wife found out that the only times
she was really happy was when she was having lunches with her
lady-friends and talking about stuff. Well, you might say, what
are you going to do with that? She decided to start a little
women's group that would meet once a week, which she did. Then
she started to charge a little fee for coming. Then she realized
she really and truly did love talking with women and helping
to support them and she went back to school and became a counselor
and now has her own practice. It took a few years, but we grow
older anyway whether we're going to school or not.
By the way, you're only 36. That's a great
age to be. You have enough experience to guide you and enough
years left to make a change.
Happiness is not a slight thing! Happiness
literally makes us healthier. When we're happy we have more access
to our intelligence and we make better decisions and our character
is stronger. Plus, all those around you your wife, your
family and your friends will all benefit from your happiness
because you will be a better person in their life.
Hesiod said: If you should put even a little
upon a little and do this often, soon you would have a lot.
Little changes now can totally change the
Bye for now, Klassy