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Love yourself unconditionally, deeply listen to your heart’s desire and every day take at least one courageous and inspired step toward making your dream a reality.

Life is a precious, sacred journey with many unexpected detours, delights and delays. Remember that the end of this journey, love is the only thing that truly matters.

Make a commitment to love yourself, put your needs first and then serve the world from your open heart. Here is a concrete strategy to help you define your unique life purpose and get love flowing back to your heart center.

Human beings are driven creatures who are programmed to act with purpose and intent. We naturally gravitate toward pleasure and withdraw from painful stimuli. We possess different preferences and aversions that make us all unique individuals with extraordinary gifts to offer the world. What causes one person enormous discomfort may be someone else’s greatest joy.

For example, some people thrive on being the center of attention and love the attention they receive from a public speaking career. For others, the mere thought of standing on a podium makes them break out in a cold sweat. Thankfully, life naturally provides us with many types of experiences so that we can choose which options best meet our aspirations. By paying close attention to our likes and dislikes, we can discover and live out our life’s purpose.

Most of us live lives of boredom and indifference out of habit. We tend to do what is expected of us because we feel this is what we must do to fulfill our responsibilities. Because we are so busy making ends meet, we forget to ask ourselves the questions in life that really matter.

Rest assured that as long as you are breathing, it is never too late to uncover your life’s purpose. One quick way to find your life’s purpose is through the following exercise.

Close your eyes and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Imagine that your doctor just informed you that you have a year to live. Get a pen and some paper and answer the following questions.

  • How would you choose to spend your last year on this planet?
  • How would you restructure your life to accommodate your heart’s desire?
  • What are you true likes and dislikes?
  • What exactly would you do to make the most of your time on Earth?
  • What would you do with the time you had left?
  • What type of work would you undertake?
  • With whom would you spend your time?
  • What places would you visit?
  • Which people would you meet?
  • Who would you forgive and whom would you thank?
  • What legacy or gift would you leave to the world after you are gone?

Look carefully at your answers. You hold in your hands a list of your truest desires and most coveted life experiences. What small steps can you take toward making these desires a reality?

Many people balk at this exercise: “This is so unrealistic!” they exclaim, “If I only had a year to live I would quit my job, move to the islands, and max out my credit cards.” Keep in mind that lounging on a beach and living the life of a sloth would get old and become boring after a few months. Human beings tend to have an innate drive to conceive and give birth to new desires.

However, if you determine that living a life of maximum leisure is your truest desire, I encourage you to experiment with this plan. Money is not an excuse to live your life in misery, in a job or relationship that does not honor your sense of purpose. Although work is a necessary requirement for most of us if we want to have something to eat and a place to sleep, drudgery is not a necessary part of life.

When you begin living from a sense of purpose you will surely attract work that you love and an income that provides you with everything you need. Upon arising each day this week, ask yourself: if this was my last day on earth, how would I behave? How would I want to be remembered?

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Aileen McCabe-Maucher is a licensed clinical social worker/psychotherapist and registered nurse who has helped many people find inner peace and discover their unique life purpose.

Aileen has fifteen years of experience providing individual and group counseling to a diverse client population. She is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Widener University, University of Delaware, and The Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia at Bryn Mawr College. Aileen studied yoga and the chakra system at The Yoga Lifestyle Center in Paoli, Pennsylvania.

She is the author of the book, The Inner Peace Diet, which was published by Penguin/Alpha Books and released nationwide on December 2, 2008. Aileen can be reached via email at [email protected]

A free sample of Aileen's first book, The Inner Peace Diet, can be found on Amazon.

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Anyone who has waited 2 weeks for a biopsy has probably pondered those questions. I personally made some life changes while I waited to find out if I had cancer. That was years ago and I was okay, so then… goes on. It’s a good idea to do this little mind exercise several times over your lifetime!

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