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Below is a self-addressed letter I wrote to myself exactly one year ago as an assignment in Debra Meyerson's Leading Social Change class at Stanford.

It couldn't have returned to me at a more perfect time as I prepare for this major life change to commit more time to Mylinia and the You Can't Google Purpose book!
My Mountain
by Jullien Gordon

“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.”
John 4:34

Hey Jullien,

My name is Nia. I am your purpose and I’m writing to remind you of who you are and why you are here. Your purpose is to help as many people as possible reach their full potential and in the process of doing so reach your own.

I have strategically placed certain people in your life to remind you of your light. In high school, I placed in you in Father Malo’s Living and Dying class where you read Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Victor Frankl said “A man who knows his why can bear almost any how.” I did because I want you to help people find their why, their reason, their purpose.

In college, I introduced you to Chip Anderson. Good old Chip took you under his wing and was available for you at 6am every day he taught. Chip’s purpose was to initiate the strengths-based revolution with Don Clifton of the Gallup Organization. His research showed that people were happier and more fulfilled when their life was centered around their strengths. Through their online assessment, StrengthsFinder, Chip and Don have impacted the lives of over a quarter-million people. I want you to go one step further and take what you learned from Chip and create the PurposeFinder. It’s one thing to know your strengths for yourself, but it is another thing to apply your strengths in a way that helps improve the world.

Father Malo and Chip were your academic teachers, but your best teacher has been the life of your mom. Your mom was a successful anesthesiologist. Her career afforded her the luxury of buying a 3-story house and a nice Mercedes Benz. Despite all that, she was missing the most important ingredient to life…purpose. Your mom wanted to be an abstract artists all of her life. I gave her the talent to be the best, but she let fear, her parent’s perceptions, and money take her off that path. She said “I was afraid that I would starve.” She didn’t’ trust me. As a result of suppressing her passion, a canyon was created with her profession (what she did to make money) on one side and her purpose (what she was created to do) on the other. She tried to fill that emptiness with alcohol until she became an alcoholic and her whole world crumbled.

Since that 5-year period, she has made a remarkable recovery. It’s never too late. Now she uses her passion for medicine to fight alcoholism (the banana peel that made her slip) as an addictionologist. She is great at what she does because she knows her patients better than anyone. She has lived through her patients’ problems, whereas most doctors only know in theory. This is her new purpose. Always remember that you can’t run from purpose; either you seek it or it will seek you.

The millennial generation has been born into a critical time. Your brother and sisters have a huge responsibility to positively change the course of the world. Franz Fanon said "Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity." You have been given an simple insight to help them discover and fulfill their mission. The Passions + Problems = Purpose equation has been embraced by many that have come before you, but now everyone should be aware of it. The world is suffering from wasted potential, unhappiness, and lack of meaning. Help people reach their full potential, find meaning, and be happy by achieving the following goals:

1. Mass customize education
2. Align people’s passions, purpose, and professions
3. Integrate social change into people’s daily lives

As a young man, you will face some challenges on your journey. The post-academic world is at your doorstep, marriage is on the horizon, and your mother is aging. Upon graduating from Stanford, you will be highly valued by many. Remember that your true value can never be measured in dollars; it is measured by how much love you give. This should be your measure of success. You will have the desire to get married and start a family. For many, this new responsibility leads them to become more selfish and protective. But remember that family is not just biological; all life is part of your family and you must extend yourself to embrace it. Lastly, you mother is aging and will likely become financially dependent on you. Love her, spend time with her, and support her, but grow the unconditional love that she modeled for you by sharing it with the world.

Most people wait for the elusive perfect time to pursue their calling. The time is now. You are who you’ve been waiting for. You have all of the gifts and talents that you need to accomplish your mission. You are a renaissance man; you are a thinker, strategist, writer, poet, artists, teacher, coach, consultant, counselor, and entrepreneur. Multiply these talents any way you can. Create. Build businesses. Organize information. Write books. Lecture. Design curriculum. Empower people. Teach. Manifest all of the ideas that have been give to you. In case you forget, they include:, the Ghetto Gospel, Youth Ministry, the Purposefinder Book, The Life I Want To Live movie, Black Male Retreat Center, popular spiritual songs, Jesus’ Purpose book, Video affirmations,, Sermons for the Millennia, Collective Call Prayer Group, African-American Microfinance, and Membership & Employee Development Services. These are the various avenues by which you can and will fulfill your purpose. All of your life experiences have prepared you for your path.

May this letter serve as a beacon of light in your life. I hope that when you receive it and read it, you find yourself accomplishing many of the things mentioned.

Have faith. I believe in you!


Nia (means purpose in Ki-Swahili)


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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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