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Locked 101 Classes

Purpose 101

How to Discover Your Purpose and Fulfill Your Destiny

Abraham Maslow tells us that what one can be, one must be. Actualizing our potential is like oxygen for the soul. Helping you discover your purpose and fulfill your destiny is what this class is all about.

Locked 101 Classes

Purpose 102

Bonus Video: 25 Journaling Questions

25 journaling questions on how to discover your purpose and fulfill your destiny.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology. If you’ve ever heard of the “Hero’s Journey,” you have him and his lifelong commitment to studying mythology to thank. This book (written in 1949) is the one that captures the essence of his thoughts on the “monomyth” that shows up across all cultures. One universal hero. A thousand faces. Big Ideas we explore include: a quick look at the hero’s journey, moving past the veil of the unknown (aka romancing your discomfort zone) while creating micro hero journeys (all day every day), your ultimate boon (don’t make King Midas’s mistake), the mistake that the makers of legend made (growth mindset, guys!!), and a portrait of the modern hero (look in the mirror!).

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Power of Myth

Ah, The Power of Myth. This book is based on the amazing PBS interview series Bill Moyers did with Campbell shortly before he passed away and captures some of the 24 hours of filmed wisdom that hit the cutting floor. We'll learn how Campbell came up with the admonition to "follow your bliss!" (hint: it's from the Upanishads), the importance of loving our fate, how we're helped by hidden hands when we really commit to our paths and so much more.

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Pathways to Bliss

Mythology and Personal Transformation

This is one of the three books by Campbell we cover and in this Note, we'll learn why following our bliss is so important (hint: our bliss is the transcendent wisdom within us bubbling up!) and how we can more courageously follow it in our lives (hint: say "Yes!" to life more often!). We'll also look at how we can make the simple things in our life part of our heroic journey and how going for it isn't an ego trip.

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A Joseph Campbell Companion

Reflections on the Art of Living

Joseph Campbell occupies the Grandfather slot in my spiritual family tree and this book is an incredible collection of some of his most inspiring wisdom. In the Note, we'll explore a range of Big Ideas from what it means to (and how to!) follow our bliss as we rock our hero's journey to learning that we've gotta be willing to break some eggs if we want to make omelets (aka, we've gotta be willing to make mistakes as we grow!).

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Noble Purpose

The Joy of Living a Meaningful Life

William Damon is one of the world’s leading scientists studying human development and the psychology of morality. In this book, he gives us a guide to discovering and creating our noble purpose. Big Ideas we explore include making a distinction between noble and heroic, the ultimate purpose formula, 9 tips on how to cultivate your noble purpose, the one phrase your advisor should whisper in your ears when you’ve achieved ultimate success, and how to create true, sustainable happiness.

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The Path to Purpose

How Young People Find Their Calling in Life

This book is a scientific look at Purpose by one of the world’s leading developmental psychologists—a powerful look at how to cultivate purpose in our children (and, for that matter, ourselves) and why it’s so important. Big Ideas we explore include a definition of what it means to be purposeful (and a look at the alternatives), the #1 thing that gets in the way of discovering and creating purpose, 9 key things parents can do to help their kids with purpose, why entrepreneurial spirit is so important and a four-word mantra to reduce timidity and build courage and confidence.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Power of Ideals

The Real Story of Moral Choice

William Damon and Anne Colby are two of the world’s leading researchers in the field of moral psychology. They’re both Professors at Stanford and have been married for 30+ years. This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book that challenges the “new science of morality”’s view that morality is essentially biologically and socially determined. Damon and Colby argue that we all have the power to cultivate our more noble, moral possibilities. Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at our moral exemplars, moral agency, and the three virtues we want to cultivate: Truth + Humility + Faith.

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The Road to Character

In today’s world, the road to character has a much less defined map than the road to external success. In this thoughtful, penetrating book, New York Times op-ed columnist and author David Brooks walks us through the evolution of our culture away from a character ethic toward a society all about what he calls the “Big Me.” And, of course, he shows us the way back to character. Big Ideas we explore include résumé virtues vs. eulogy virtues, answering the summons, conquering yourself, living for holiness and becoming strongest at your weakest point.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Second Mountain

The Quest for a Moral Life

David Brooks is one of the nations’ leading writers and commentators. He is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times and appears regularly on PBS NewsHour and Meet the Press. I loved his book The Road to Character. I loved this one even more. David tells us there are two mountains: The first mountain? That’s what society tells us we should pursue: all the normal trappings of success. The second mountain? That’s where the magic (and joy!) exists: where we move beyond ourselves and COMMIT (important word for this book!) to giving ourselves most fully to something bigger than ourselves. David identifies four potential commitments: to our families, to our vocations, to our faith/philosophy of life and to our communities. Ultimately, the book is intended to be a guide to the ULTIMATE quest in life: “The Quest for a Moral Life.”

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The Great Work of Your Life

A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling

Stephen Cope is the director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living—the largest yoga research institute in the Western world. In this great book, Stephen brings the Bhagavad Gita to life and helps us apply this ancient wisdom to our modern lives. Big Ideas include the four keys to living your dharma, creating the right conditions, dealing with difficulties, training elephants, and reducing yourself to zero!

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Leonardo da Vinci. Charles Darwin. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Martha Graham. The Wright Brothers. Jane Goodall. Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Edison. Zora Neale Hurston. What do they all have in common? Mastery. In this great book Robert Greene shows us the key components of their mastery and, most importantly, how WE can each attain our mastery in our own lives.

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Falling Upward

A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Alexandra got this book for me after I told her how much I loved David Brooks’ The Second Mountain. Apparently it is recommended alongside that book on Amazon. With 1,400+ reviews, Alexandra thought I might like it. Not only did I like the book, I loved it. And, I fell in love with Richard Rohr. Father Rohr is a Franciscan priest who beautifully integrates his faith with wisdom from various perspectives. Big Ideas we explore include our main Job in life (remembering that we're light bulbs and staying screwed in!), life's two major tasks, the fact that the way UP is DOWN (hence, the title of the book: Falling Upward), the hero and the heroine and their journeys, the paradox of the ego ("You ironically need a very strong ego structure to let go of your ego"), and how to become a Serene Disciple (let God drive).

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Ralph Waldo Emerson. He’s the great-great-grandfather in my spiritual family tree. We named our son Emerson after this great 19th century philosopher and when I imagine the heroes whose qualities I want to emulate, he’s on the top of the list. Big Ideas we explore include: Trust thyself (every heart vibrates to that iron string!), nonconformity (and the integrity of your own mind), what must you do? (vs. what will they think?), Hobgoblins (begone), your voyage (of a thousand zigs and zags), and the Royal You (act like that now!).

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Future Visions

The Unpublished Papers of Abraham Maslow

As you know if you’ve been following along, I love Abraham Maslow and feel a deep kinship to him and his work. We have featured two of the books he published during his lifetime: Toward a Psychology of Being and Motivation and Personality. Although this book has only ONE review on Amazon and I could only buy a used copy of it, I knew I’d love it. And, although I had already been deeply influenced by Maslow and his thinking, there was something about reading his unpublished essays and journal thoughts that made me feel that much more connected to this great man. Big Ideas we explore include Maslow’s thoughts on the “eupsychian ideal” (aka: the “eudaemonic ideal”!), the psychology of happiness (eudaimonology!!), Stoic philosophy (Maslow was a fan), vicious cultural influences (Maslow was NOT a fan!), and the Jonah Complex (ANSWER YOUR HEROIC CALL, already!!).

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Life's Great Question

Discover How You Contribute To The World

I’m a big fan of Tom Rath and his work. And... I’m not alone. His 10 books have sold over 10 million copies. Dan Pink (author of Drive and When) calls him “One of the most successful nonfiction writers of his generation.” We featured two of his earlier books: Eat Move Sleep and Are You Fully Charged? Plus: His children’s book called The Rechargeables remains one of my all-time favorites. “Life’s Great Question” that beckons all of us (“What can I contribute?”) is beautifully framed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that kicks off the book: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” This book is a field manual to help us go about answering that question so we can, as per the subtitle of the book: “Discover How You Contribute to the World.” Big Ideas we explore include creating a sense of urgency in life, Purpose 2.0, connecting what we do to those we serve, undivided attention (our new secret weapon), and creating the energy to be our best.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Die Empty

Unleash Your Best Work Every Day

How do you want to die? With a calm serenity knowing you gave your best or with deep regret that you never took the risks and cultivated the discipline to show up with urgency and diligence each day to create a life of deep meaning? The answer is obvious. Big Ideas we explore on how to die empty include optimism vs. wishing, the root of mediocrity, the 3 S’s of goal setting and dealing with The Lag.

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The Four Purposes of Life

Finding Meaning and Direction in a Changing World

Dan Millman is one of my favorite teachers and deepest inspirations. This is a super concise, quick-reading book (150 pages) in which Dan synthesizes wisdom from many of his other books—shining light on how we can engage in the four purposes of life to create meaning in an ever-changing world. Big Ideas we explore include a quick look at the 4 purposes of life, the fact that daily life is your master teacher, the required classes in the school of life (and how you’re graded), the importance of deciding to decide (then going all in), how to live happily ever after, and making every moment extraordinary.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle

Jim Rohn influenced a generation of self-help gurus and this book lays out his "five major keys for the life puzzle." We'll take a quick look at your life philosophy, what you're doing with the 86,400 ticks each day, how to finish before you start as you design your ideal life and other such goodness.


#1 +1 or -1 = Destiny Math

What Must YOU be?
Abraham Maslow studied the greatest people of his generation. People like Eleanor Roosevelt and Albert Einstein. He told us about the
Locked +1s

#89 Ikigai

What's Your Reason for Getting Up in the Morning
Do you know what the word for retirement is in Okinawa? Here’s a hint: There ISN’T a word for retirement in Okinawa. (Hah.) Think about

#124 Follow Your Bliss

Jump into Enlightenment
The great mythologist Joseph Campbell told us to follow our bliss. Why? And… How’d he come up with that? Well, among many other things,
Locked +1s

#125 Follow Your Grunt

Bliss + Grunt + Grunt = Magic
In our last +1 we had fun exploring the ancient wisdom that led Joseph Campbell to tell us: “Follow your bliss!” Later in his career,

#131 How's Your Hedgehog?

3 Circles on What You’re Here to Do
Jim Collins is arguably the greatest business thinker alive. He’s written classics like Good to Great, Built to Last and Great by Choice
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#186 100 Questions

An Exercise to Create a Meaningful Life
In our last +1 we met our Angel’s Advocate via Michael Gelb’s great book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. Here’s another
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#205 To Thine Own Self Be True

The Very First Quote I Ever Memorized
William Shakespeare once told us (via Polonius in Hamlet): “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night
Locked +1s

#212 Eulogy Virtues

How to Chisel on Your Road to Character
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that the word character comes from the Greek word for “chisel.” David Brooks wrote a book all
Locked +1s

#253 Your Dreamer + Your Doer

How to Build Your Confidence: Have Both in Mind Today
In my interview with Barry Michels about the great book he wrote with Phil Stutz called Coming Alive, we talked about a bunch of things. One

#285 How Are You Intelligent?

The 2 Steps to Getting in Your Element
In our last +1, we had fun hanging out with your Genius. Recall: EVERYONE in ancient Roman times was said to have their own guiding spirit,
Locked +1s

#309 The Definition of Hell

Meeting the Person You Could Have Become
In Getting Grit, Caroline Adams Miller walks us through the science of grit and then helps us apply it to our lives. One of the main lessons
Locked +1s

#330 Hit the Rock

A Parable on How to Get Clarity
In our last +1, we took a quick look at Warren Buffett’s three-step goal setting process and then chatted about how it fits into our Big
Locked +1s

#355 The Decade View

What’s YOURS look like?
Matthew Kelly has written a number of great books. We have Notes on three of them: Perfectly Yourself, The Rhythm of Life and Off Balance.
Locked +1s

#368 Zero-Based Thinking

What Goes if You Started at Zero?
Brian Tracy is one of my favorite old-school self-development teachers. I can still remember listening to his CDs back in the day when I was
Locked +1s

#397 Seeds of (Metaphorical) Corn

You Planting Yours?
We’re on a roll with some mindfulness wisdom via Goenka, so here’s one more story. Once upon a time an Indian woman with a large family
Locked +1s

#398 The Parable of the Talents

Using Yours?
In our last +1, we talked about a wise daughter-in-law who planted her seeds and reaped a bountiful harvest. Another great teacher once told
Locked +1s

#399 Bonzai Trees, Goldfish, and You

How to 100x Your Awesome
Today we’re going to chat about bonzai trees and goldfish and you. Alan Cohen puts it so perfectly (in his epically named book Why Your
Locked +1s

#403 Capacities Clamoring to Be Used

Answering Your Soul’s Cries
As you know (and as we’ve discussed many times), Abraham Maslow once said that “What one can be, one must be.” He described this as
Locked +1s

#404 Caterpillars, Butterflies and You

(And Maslow, Aristotle, Stoics and Others)
In our last +1, we talked about Abraham Maslow’s wisdom and the ancient etymology of the word clamor in the context of your capacities
Locked +1s

#415 Your Grand Purpose

How to Turn Apparent Misfortune into Great Fortune
One of the themes we come back to again and again is the basic idea of loving what is — whether that’s via Byron Katie’s wisdom or the
Locked +1s

#441 The Two Goddesses of Wealth

Which One Are You Pursuing?
In Creating Affluence, Deepak Chopra tells a great story about two Goddesses involved in creating abundance in our lives. Now, I’m a
Locked +1s

#463 Doing What You Love

How Can You Get Paid to Do It?
In our last +1, we talked about that little thread that runs through your head. (Did you gently pull it up?) I also briefly mentioned the
Locked +1s

#491 Jobs, Careers, Callings

Which Do You Have? (Here’s How to Make It All Three)
In our last +1, we talked about you starting a hypothetical new job. Today I want to talk about the science of jobs, careers, and callings.
Locked +1s

#492 Sweeping Streets with Martin Luther King

Like Shakespeare, Beethoven and Michelangelo
In our last +1, we talked about Martin Seligman’s ideas on the science of having a Job vs. a Career vs. a Calling. I proposed we aim to
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#498 How to Discover Your Mission

3 Steps to Clarity on Your Life’s Work
While we’re talking about Alex Lickerman and his ideas on how to create an indestructible self while turning poison into medicine and all
Locked +1s

#531 Wisdom from My Mom and Thomas Carlyle

God Gave You Gifts. Give Them to the World!
My mom and her husband Tom recently visited. I was blessed to be the best man in their wedding. I especially enjoyed having the opportunity
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#541 Making (Life) Music with Jerry Garcia

Key Lyrics: Be You
On my sunrise hike/trail run this morning, I saw a guy wearing a sweet Jerry Garcia t-shirt. I waved and smiled and said “Hi!” and we
Locked +1s

#713 Your Genius Zone - Part 2

What Is It You Can Uniquely Do?
Many moons ago, very early in our +1 journey together, we talked about Gay Hendricks’ wisdom on your Genius Zone. As you may recall, your
Locked +1s

#717 Your Daimon Zone

See You There!!
A few +1s ago, we spent some time in your Genius Zone. Today I want to revisit that wonderful spot and talk a little more about how to spend
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#725 Your Marching Orders

Our Purpose Here on Earth
In our last +1, we had some fun soaking our minds in some epic “To Dare or Not to Dare” wisdom. We kicked that party off with a Søren
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#765 Your Idiosyncratic Dharma

Honoring Our Sacred Duty (Yours?)
In our last couple +1s, we’ve had fun exploring some wisdom gems from my recent PhilosophersNotes binge-athon. Today we’re going to talk
Locked +1s

#766 Your Deep Gladness

And The World’s Hunger (Where Do They Meet?)
In our last +1, we talked about Stephen Cope and his take on dharma. Recall his belief that “every single human being has a unique
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#805 The Alchemist Says

The Universe Is Conspiring to Help You
Have you ever read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho? It’s amazing. I’ve read it a bunch of times. Guess how many copies the book has sold
Locked +1s

#1093 Life’s Great Question

Can You Guess What It Is?
I’m a big fan of Tom Rath and his work. And… I’m not alone. His 10 books have sold over 10 million copies. Dan Pink (author of Drive
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#1094 Purpose 2.0

Time for a Purpose Upgrade?
In his great little book Life’s Great Question, Tom Rath talks about how to create more meaning in our lives by creating more meaning in
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#1095 How to Meaningify Your Work

In One Simple Step…
In our last +1, we talked about making a Purpose upgrade—going from a grand conception of one “big purpose” for life (Purpose 1.0) to
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#1115 The Path with Heart

Trust Thyself, Every Heart Vibrates to That Iron String
In our last +1, we spent some time with Carlos Castaneda and his Toltec Warrior. Today, we’re going to spend a little more time with this
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#1147 The Three Quests + U

Universal + Unique + Ultimate
In our Mastery Series, we kick off the third session of Module II on Hero-ology with The 3 Quests + U in which I proposed that we all have
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#1157 Moonshots with Kennedy

What Goal Is Organizing and Measuring YOUR Energy and Skills?
In our last +1, we planted some trees with John F. Kennedy. Recall that he told us: “I am reminded of the story of the great French
Locked +1s

#1192 The Oak Sleeps in the Acorn

Sprouting Genius Work
In our last +1, we talked about doing Genius Work (vs. Mediocre Work) as we reminded ourselves that both the Romans and the Greeks had a