Important Questions

I’ve been using this Serendipity Journal as an on-line version of my prayer journal.  So far, I’ve limited it to simply rewriting what I’ve been exploring in my hand-written, bound journal; here’s a new opportunity to explore the technological power of this on-line journal, freeing it to become something more. 

I’d like to direct all of you to a fantastic essay by fellow blogger Chris Guillebeau who writes three times a week on life, work, and travel in The Art of Non-Conformity.  Chris has chosen to “live a remarkable life in an conventional world.”    He worked for four years as a volunteer aid worker in Africa.  Acting as the Program Director for a medical, non-governmental organization, Chris worked with the senior government leaders of eight African countries.  Currently, he’s a graduate student in Seattle persuing a degree in International Studies from the University of Washington.  He has set a goal of travelling to every country in the world within 5 years time; he has visited 83 to date.  He has also set the goal of starting his own social movement, helping others “to change the world by achieving remarkable personal goals while helping others at the same time.”  His manifesto is modestly titled A Brief Guide to World Domination, and you can access his link to it here

I can give no higher praise to Chris’s manifesto than to say that I’ve printed copies for my children to read.  If they can grasp and believe in the truths revealed in this paper, then they will be well on their way to living the abundant lives they’re meant to have.

At the risk of stealing some of Chris’s thunder, I have to report on an instant of serendipity I experienced after reading the manifesto.  The foundation of the entire paper is what Chris calls “the two most important questions in the universe”:

  1. What do you really want to get out of life?
  2. What can you offer the world that no one else can?

Shortly after reading A Brief Guide to World Domination, I watched The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  My wife Carol had been urging me to see the DVD for over a month, and the time felt right.  In the movie, Morgan Freeman’s character gives a description of the ancient Egyptian beliefs about the after-life.  When you reach heaven, you’re asked two questions; your answers to those questions determines your fate for the rest of eternity.  The two questions:

  1. Have you found joy in your life?
  2. Has your life brought joy to others?

I don’t need to repeat my beliefs that I wrote about in When God Is Shouting At You.  The bottom-line: I’ve learned from experience to pay attention when I receive the same message from different sources.

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:14.  I believe that Chris has found his abundant life.  It’s there for all of us, if we’re willing.  Chris has given the world a great resource, a road map of sorts, for each of us to find our abundant life. 

Me personally, I feel like I’m standing at that gate, wanting to pass through, but I haven’t been successful yet.  This blog is turning out to be an account of my efforts to live my life out loud.  It’s too early to tell whether I’ll be successful or not, but I sense that sharing my story is important to the effort.  I believe a big part of the reason why I haven’t been successful so far is because I’ve been too focused on that first question; I’m a little too busy chasing after my rewards.  In the end, I believe that the second question is the more important.  The first question is for motivation and focus; it helps to keep you moving forward, but it can’t be the primary driving force because it’s self-focused.  But where the second question intersects with the first, there lies heaven.

Do you have your answers to the two most important questions?  Don’t let yourself off the hook.  Pursue them, maintain them, share them with others.  Good luck pursuing your remarkable life.

One Response

  1. Hi Doug,

    Thanks so much for the thoughtful review! I really appreciate you telling your readers about the manifesto.

    All the best,


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