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April 30, 2008

Today I lead a workshop on the 8 Principles of Purpose for 300 Ghanaian young adults through my friend Allah Jesus' (that's his real name) company called Real Talk.

Because it was over the phone, I wasn't really able to engage with them as deeply as possible, but here are a few question that I got:

1. Once you've found your purpose, how do you maintain it?

Friends and community are your maintenance. It's easier to fix a flat tire with 2 people instead of 1. Your partners pump you up. Its no fun going on a road trip alone.

2. What if a physical disability is preventing you from doing what you love?

There are many examples of people with physical dis-abilities that are living or lived purposeful lives. They have found ways to use their dis-ability to their advantage instead of thinking about it as a dis-advantage:
  • sprinter, Oscar Pistorius (double-amputee, still competing to be in the 2008 Olympics representing South Africa)
  • theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but is still making ground-breaking discoveries in phsyics)
  • author, Helen Keller (deafblind, yet campaigned for woman's suffrage and worker's rights)
  • former boxer, Muhammad Ali (Parkinson's dis-ease, yet still lives life more fully than most)
  • former Superman, Christopher Reeves (paralyzed, but now leading stem cell research movement)
  • musician, Ray Charles (blind, but made inspiring music nonetheless)
  • musician, Stevie Wonder (blind, but has made incredible music that has influenced many other musicians)
  • "Back To The Future" actor, Michael J. Fox (Parkinson's dis-ease and appeared before Senate to advocate for federal funding)
Also watch Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. Please contribute other examples by commenting below.


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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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