Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from A Simple Marriage.

“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.” ~ Greg Anderson

Nineteenth-century poet Rainer Rilke wrote to a young would-be poet to “Live from a Deep Place.” Only then, Rilke stated, would his writing become great.
Many things get in the way of living from a deep place. Our lives are cluttered and busy, determined more by schedules and routines, so it’s no wonder we have trouble defining our purpose.
It’s not easy to find your ”deep place.”
It requires being still and quiet, focusing on beginning the work described in this book, and making a commitment to yourself — putting yourself at the top of your to-do-list. There are no slogans or easy shortcuts. You are getting to know yourself fully.
According to an ancient Tibetan text, life purpose is for “the benefit of self and for the benefit of others.” Read the following quotes and ask yourself, “What does life purpose mean to me?”

“We are here to be excited from youth to old age, to have an insatiable curiosity about the world… We are also here to help others by practicing a friendly attitude. And every person is born for a purpose. Everyone has a God-given potential, in essence, built into them. And if we are to live life to its fullest, we must realize that potential.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
“A purpose is more ongoing and gives meaning to our lives… When people have a purpose in life, they enjoy everything they do more! People go on chasing goals to prove something that doesn’t have to be proved: that they’re already worthwhile.” ~ Spencer Johnson and Larry Wilson

Which of these quotes speaks loudest and most clearly to you? Why?
As a society we have become obsessed with accumulating just for the sake of accumulating: information, goods, material objects, etc. In fact, there is an entire industry designed for the housing of our stuff, complete with locks and pass codes so we can visit our stuff whenever we wish. In accumulating, we have lost sight of the importance of being in life. We misguidedly believe that the only way to have what we want is to work hard and long.
Let me propose an alternate: Be who you are first!
When you focus on being first, this allows you to do what you want to do, which allows you to have what you need. When you allow yourself to be first, the rest will follow.
This does not mean to arrogantly and blindly pursue only your agenda to the detriment of others. It simply means, as John Eldredge has stated, let the world feel the weight of you and let them deal with it.

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