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Weekly Blog

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cylinders of Success

Last week, about 25 students and community members attended a 2-hour workshop with Jullien Gordon, the "Purpose Finder". With Jullien as our fearless leader, we each answered the golden question: What is my personal and professional purpose?

Jullien has developed a day-long course, called "Driving School for Life", that leads students through a process of articulating one's own purpose. The analogy he takes is of an automobile: to drive smoothly along the highway of life, we need to make sure we have all the essential components. The components are what he calls the 8 P's, a.k.a. 8 cylinders of Success: Principles (my dashboard), Passions (my keys), Problems (my fuel), People (my motor), Positioning (my lane), Pioneers (my pace cars), Picture (my road map), and Possibility (my momentum). Jullien has carefully conducted research on personal and professional success (Csikszentmihalyi, Gladwell, Poras et. al.) and studied many of world's most successful/happy/passionate people (Bill Gates, Oprah, Steve Irwin the "Crocodile Hunter"). The Driving School is a systematic process for putting each of us on a path to living in alignment with the common themes Jullien found in his research.

We went through filling out our 8 cylinders on beautiful posters that Jullien had for each of us. We also did some interesting activities.

Among the favorites were:
  • Filling out the 'Dashboard': What are three ways I measure my success in life and work?
  • Writing out careers that start with each letter of the alphabet, from A-Z. Lesson: There are so many things out there that we can do; open yourself up to the possibility
  • Text message 3 friends, asking them what they think you are passionate about (loved this one!)
  • Taking your keys out of your pocket and asking yourself, "What are all of these keys for, and do I really need them?" One student had a house key and a duplicate on the same chain :)
Personally, I got a lot out of the course. I realized that my number-one passion is currently meditation :) since I make time for it even when I don't have any time. The course concludes with writing a personal purpose statement. I arrived (and was quite delighted) with "Improve my community through self-improvement". I think the most valuable aspect of the course was being walked through the process of actually articulating (on paper) things that often just stay floating in your head. I think this helps focus on concrete objectives, and, at least in my case, helps reveal one's true motivations and intentions.

I wasn't the only one who felt the power of the course. Jullien received numerous comments about how helpful they found it. I observed smiles all around :) I think one great testament to the value was that most of the students stuck through the course even though we started an hour late and a band was blaring next door for the final 20 minutes :)

It was really inspirational to be with Jullien. The man oozes positive energy. A 26-year-old who has found his life's passion, is unflinchingly pursuing it, and doing it all while positively impacting others and keeping a smile on his face. Just amazing. He traveled especially from NY to give us this special 2-hour version of his course, which was itself offered as a gift to us (the full course has a fee). Not to mention he offers Driving School for Life as part of his full time business while also writing a book. Don't know how he packs it all in, but I do know he's one of those cars on the highway of life that you look at and just admire. Keep riding brother!


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