Category “meaning & passion”

Why “Find Your Purpose” is Bad Advice and What to Do Instead

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ~Pablo Picasso

I was fifty-two when I found my purpose. I wasn’t even looking. It literally just smacked me upside the head. That’s a funny thing about life. It throws things your way, and you either grab them and run with them or you turn a blind eye and walk on by.

I used to turn a blind eye. I don’t anymore. These days I’m taking in all that life tosses my way. The good, the bad, and the ugly.


If You’re Trapped Under a Pile of “Should” and Tired of Feeling Unhappy

“Stop shoulding on yourself.” ~Albert Ellis

I was buried under a pile of shoulds for the first thirty-two years of my life. Some of those shoulds were put on me by the adults in my life, some were heaped on because I am a middle child, but most were self-imposed thanks to cultural and peer influence.

“You should get straight A’s, Jill.”

“You shouldn’t worry so much, Jill.”

“You should be married by now, Jill.”

“You should get your Master’s degree.”

I could go on forever. The pile was high, and I was slowly suffocating from the crushing weight on …

How I Moved from Depression to a Deep and Meaningful Life

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” ~Pema Chödrön

Standing at the bathroom sink, I brought my gaze up to the mirror. I couldn’t avoid eye contact with the one person I had no desire to talk to. I had questions, and I knew the reflection looking back at me wasn’t capable of giving the answers I needed.

My solution was a handful of prescription pills to numb my anxiety and Type II Bipolar.

Every morning I popped a Wellbutrin, Cipralex, Valproic Acid, Lithium, and …

When You Keep Failing: How to Recover and Boost Your Confidence

“Success is a series of small wins.” ~Unknown

You tried everything. Nothing worked. What now?

I was the Marketing Director of a tech startup, and my work wasn’t bringing in the money or traction that it should. I did everything to improve my results: I read more books, consulted mentors, changed my mindset and tactics, did more field research and experiments, consulted even more books and mentors.

I won’t go into specifics, as that’s not what this article is about. But suffice to say that I did my best to learn from every book, mentor, experiment, and mistake. And I …

How I Live My Life Purpose Without Doing Anything Big

“You know how every once in a while you do something and the little voice inside says, ‘There. That’s it. That’s why you’re here’ …and you get a warm glow in your heart because you know it’s true? Do more of that.” ~Jacob Nordby

Mornings running the busy roads with the echo of what this one or that one said, lying in my bed in the middle of sunlit days staring at a bamboo plant on my dresser, seasonal jobs, getting all dressed up for waste-of-time employment fairs, scribbling in my notebook when my spirit demanded I fight back—at the …

Why I Ignored Morgan Freeman’s Advice on How to Live My Best Life

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” ~Roy T. Bennett

When I was a college senior, God, or the voice of God (aka Morgan Freeman) came to my campus to give a talk. At the end of the talk, I beelined toward the mic set up in the aisle of the auditorium, excited to ask my question and for him to share his wisdom with me.

“Hi, thanks so much for being with us today! As a college senior trying to figure out what to do next, I was …

How to Be Successfully Content with Your Life


“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~Maya Angelou

Color within the lines. Math, physics and chemistry—there’s absolutely no point in taking drama. A main meal of straight A’s and a side order of volunteer work. A four-year degree with a “safe” major from a reputable college. Then comes the corner cubicle career at a listed company. What about the four-bedroom house and the annual holidays abroad? We can’t possibly forget about those things

All through life, from infancy to adulthood, we are told what it means to be successful. We are …

6 Simple Acts to Make the World a Better Place

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” ~William James

I’ll never forget the call.

It was 1989 and, like most college students, I spent winter break in Florida looking for some sun. Stepping off the airplane and being greeted by a burst of warm air was the best. As I entered the terminal, I had the added benefit of being greeted by my maternal grandparents, who lived in North Miami Beach.

Lounging at the pool, going on walks with them, or eating out, the experience was a wonderful way to decompress after …

My Powerful Personal Code for a Limitless Life

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” ~Miyamoto Musashi

This post is about a code of life. There isn’t a single code, and everyone must choose their own truth. I’ve been searching for my truth in the face of many books and since I haven’t founnd it anywhere I decided to write it myself.

What is the Limitless Life?

When I was young, my father told me, “Son, all limits exist only in your head.”

These words stuck …

If You Think You’re Not Good Enough to Pursue Your Passion

“I think something people need to understand is that others disliking you is not a bad thing. When you are embodying your true authentic self, it creates fear in people who still operate from the ego. If you want to grow, heal, and evolve you have to let go of wanting to be liked.” ~Audrey Kitching

Since I was a child, I have always felt a huge need to express myself and let my inspiration flow. I was a creative and playful kid, with a vivid imagination and an enormous passion for writing.

As a teenager, I became interested in …

How to Audit Your Life by Asking the Right Questions

“Don’t let your fear paralyze you. The scariest paths often lead to the most exciting places.” ~Lori Deschene

I first learned about the concept of focus creating reality in 2004 when I was given William Whitecloud’s book The Magician’s Way.

The first chapter is about the main character having a magic golf lesson. He learns that when people play golf, most of them think about how to hold the golf club, how to stand, and how to move the club. He calls this the “swing circle” and recounts how golfers often get caught there, rather than just focusing on …

How Redundancy Can Be a Blessing in Disguise

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” ~Thomas Jefferson

To most people, redundancy is a dreaded word.

It conjures up thoughts of hardship, of scarcity, and of struggling to make ends meet.

I have twice been made redundant, and at both times, it was difficult to accept.

Throughout the redundancy process, and for some time afterward, my emotions were all over the place, making it difficult for me to think straight.

But I’ve discovered that when we’re able to look back, we can sometimes see that redundancy might not …

When You Dance with Discomfort, Surprising Things Can Happen

“I wish for a world where everyone understands that discomfort is the price of legendary. And fear is just growth coming to get you.” ~Robin S. Sharma

For years, I felt like the most incredible dancer. Whenever I heard music, no matter where I was, I would start moving, at first slowly and then, as the music started to infuse my soul, with increasing abandon. In that moment, I was filled with passion, and I completely let go. It was me and the music—no-one and nothing else. I was in another world.

When I danced in front of …

7 Awesome Things That Happened When I Started Surfing at 55

“It’s never too late for a new beginning in your life.” ~Joyce Meyer

I sat on the beach, watching the sandpipers skittering back and forth, pecking at the water’s edge. A dead horseshoe crab washed back and forth in the surf.

Finished at fifty-five, I thought. I’m as useless as that poor crab.

Several years ago I was laid off after thirty-three years at a Fortune 500 company. “Workforce rebalancing” was the term they used, but for me it simply meant a month’s severance pay and colleagues solemnly shaking my hand. Hand over your badge… there’s the door, …

How Are You Trading Your Time, Energy and Life?

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” ~Henry David Thoreau

We all make trades in life.

We trade our time. We trade our energy. We trade our hard-earned money. We trade our attention.

Many of us move through life in constant motion, never stopping to reflect on where that motion is taking us. If it’s helping or hindering us. If the trades we are making daily are letting us live our best lives. If the trades are giving us more quality time with those we care about most. If we can turn up for …

How to Break Free from Your Inhibition and Start Living Life

“You are very powerful provided you know how powerful you are.” ~Yogi Bhajan

For most of my life, I felt that life was happening to everyone else and I just got to watch.

Someone else’s parents came to see their high school graduation and celebrated with them. I walked home alone.

Other people went to their own university graduation. I didn’t even bother turning up and had my certificate sent to me.

Other people dated and experienced what it’s like to spend their time with a variety of people in an attempt to find out who suits them and who …

How to Gently Coax Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

“Everything you ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone.” ~Unknown

We’ve all seen this quote or similar ones. All the magic, growth, and transformation seem to happen there. Not everything that happens outside the comfort zone is magical though. So, when we go wandering, leaving the safe shores, we also need to be realistic and aware that mixed in with the good, there’s also potential pain and discomfort waiting for us.

Being aware of this, how can we still motivate ourselves to try something new and to step outside our comfort zone?

On the one hand, I …

Why Your Failures Are Your Most Valuable Currency

“The master has failed more time than the apprentice has even attempted.” ~Proverb

There’s no prize for coming last. But that doesn’t mean it holds no value at all.

We’re so obsessed with not measuring up to expectations that we can deny ourselves the permission to take chances. So many of us are risk averse. Paralyzed by the fear of failure. It robs us of our creativity and moments of spontaneity that are often the source of our greatest triumphs.

And although some may view failure as the end of the road, it’s far from being an absolute.

You’re meant …

How to Recreate Meaning Now That the Pandemic Has Upended Life

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can find a number of helpful coronavirus resources and all related Tiny Buddha articles here.

“It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.” ~Tony Robbins 

Like millions of others, I lost my job in the wave of the coronavirus pandemic. I was teaching on a small island in the Caribbean. I discovered a purpose through my work, loved the peaceful nature of the island, and, true to my introverted nature, loved living in my too-quiet community. It was a job and a life that I …

How to Be Really Great at Failing

One of my dad’s favorite stories to tell about me when I was a kid is when I played catcher in Little League. I was probably around seven years old, but I had (and still do have) an intensity that wasn’t matched.

I would squat behind home plate, the catcher’s gear a little too big for me, and punch my fist into my catcher’s mitt, just like my favorite player Mike Piazza. And like Bruce Lee, I’d point my index finger at the pitcher and signal him to “bring it.”

One time, a foul ball was hit into the air. …