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:
WE ARE YOUNG, there are things we want to do, but often we're 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 I did.
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
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.
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 who can, DO, and those
who can't, teach; and those who 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
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
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're 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
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.
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,
THE MAN FROM Germany wrote back, very happy, and thanked Klassy. To which she replied:
ARE WELCOME! Adam and I actually taught a course for awhile called,
"the Happiness Course" and helped people find what they loved to do
because doing what we love to do brings out our best.
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 although he would not be able to quit
the job he had and do what he loved (because they 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 one
of the 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
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 years ahead.
Bye for now, Klassy