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Recently I was bowling and I had an insight. When I bowl, I take my stance, envision a strike (or spare), and then I proceed. Based on the rules, when we bowl we can only go so far before we must let go of the ball. If we cross the line, it gets slippery. Once we let go of the ball, what happens between our release and the pins is out of our control. We can put spin on the ball to alter the trajectory as it rolls down the lane, but in order to get a strike there is an element of luck. When strikes happen, the ball never hits every pin; the ball only knocks down some pins and those pins knock down other pins. The only thing any bowler can do is prepare for the moment that the ball is in their hands, because once it is released, everything is out of the bowler’s control.

Life is a lot like bowling. We all want to “strike” big. However, many people think that in order to strike big, they have to be in control every step of the way. They want to walk the slippery path in efforts to eliminate all uncertainty and make sure that each pin falls down the way they want. Not only does this eliminate the uncertainty, but it also takes away the fun and excitement of playing the game. The true fun comes from not knowing what’s going to happen; the excitement rest in the moment of no control. No one has perfect control of the chaos at the end of the alley.

Life is full of uncertainty and it is impossible to strike big without learning how to become comfortable with that uncertainty and being willing to take big risk. Oftentimes we get frustrated when we try to dictate the outcome and it doesn’t end up the way we wanted, not realizing that our own unwillingness to let go is what stood in the way of the best outcome. In bowling there is a definite best outcome-a strike. In life the best outcomes are unlimited and when we fail to release control we cut ourselves off from the opportunity to ever strike big. A bowling ball can be a metaphor for any intention we have including a prayer (for healing, for forgiveness, etc), an idea (movie script, business venture, etc), or an action (performance, service learning trip, etc). Like bowling, life is not about being in total control; it’s about having faith in times of no control. In order to manifest any intention and strike big, always remember to:
1. Prepare
2. Let go, and
3. Have Faith

Live purposefully!


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Jullien's Purpose Statement

My purpose is to help as many people as possible reach their full potential by helping them making a living doing what they love and in the process of doing so achieve my own. I want to do this through writing, speaking, and creating offline and online spaces that facilitate conversations around purpose.

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