on June 5, 2007
I write about self improvement and personal development on a regular basis, and the absolute most important concept that I teach people is that they have to consciously create their lives, rather than just living their lives. Dr. Swift not only echoes that line of thinking in many different ways, but he also provides more systems for creating a "Life on Purpose" than I have ever seen in one place before.
If you have "been there and done that" in your efforts to make improvements to your life, I recommend "Life on Purpose" as not just an educational tool, but an actual guide that will take you from being completely lost to taking complete control over your life by realizing that your life is all about who you are as a person, not the job that you have or the roles that you fill in life.
One caveat: Do the work! Dr. Swift provides a real "meat and potatoes" look at how to figure out where you have been, and where you want to go, and then he provides the tools to make a consistent and conscious effort for doing exactly that.
I wrote a more complete review of the book on my blog, and I encourage you to stop by in order to get a more in-depth look at some of the book's finer points.
Aaron M. Potts
on June 8, 2007
Brad Swift's journey into living Life on Purpose took him from fatigue to fulfillment, from depression to delight, from the Good Life to a meaningful life. As a veterinarian-turned writer-turned life coach, Dr. Swift has experienced the transformation of purposeful living, and translated what he learned into a "systematic, spiritually based process for assisting people to clarify and live true to their life purpose."
Life on Purpose sits at the nexus of the recent flurry of books about purposeful living and the evolving coaching industry. It's basically a self-coaching manual for purposeful living. Swift looks at purposeful living as having more to do with who you are than what you do. Living purposefully is transformational because it changes who you are and how you relate to the world. Life on Purpose shows you how to make the journey.
Dr. Swift says that your purpose is "the context of your life that shapes what you do" and the things you do are "the ways in which you express your life purpose." When you don't know your purpose, you make decisions according to your default programming--your unconscious "inherited purpose," which is based on whatever people told you when you were a kid. When you do know your purpose, you make decisions that fulfill that purpose, and you experience joy, satisfaction and fulfillment.
You begin with a self-assessment of where you are now; how purposeful your current life is. Then Swift takes you through six passages that help you define your life purpose and begin to live it out. Along the way, he gives you exercises, assignments, tips, projects, examples and tools to help you on the journey.
You can read Life on Purpose superficially, and learn quite a bit about purposeful living. That's what I intended to do; learn about the whys and wherefores of finding my life purpose. Instead, I found myself engaging with the material, thinking about the questions and doing the assignments. And becoming clear about my own life purpose and how to live it out. The book is engaging enough to pull you into the process.
Dr. Swift draws you into a relationship with him and the book. His language is intimate and encouraging; you feel like he's there with you, coaching and helping you as surely as if he were speaking with you in person. He manages to translate the coaching relationship into written form, making it accessible for anyone who reads his book.
Life on Purpose is a practical, friendly, hands-on book for anybody who wants to live a more meaningful life.
on August 15, 2007
Do you live life in a state of perpetual overwhelm, running from one task to another, always doing, doing, doing, but feeling like you're getting nowhere? Do you ever wonder why you live the life you do, and how you could make it better? Life on Purpose, Six Passages To An Inspired Life is a valuable tool to help you get on the way to living a more conscious, fulfilled life.
Rather than looking at life purpose as something you do, the author proposes that your life purpose is a way of being in the world. He says, "Consider that life purpose is the context, vessel, or container into which you pour your life." Clarifying your life purpose gives you a framework for living life and allows you to make conscious choices in every moment.
Unlike many self-help books that tell you how to find love, make a million dollars, and lose thirty pounds in two weeks, this little book shows you how to make every day an expression of who you truly are. You don't have to buy an expensive collection of CDs, attend an outrageously expensive in-person seminar with the guru du jour, or spend weeks or months meditating, praying or otherwise practicing before you see results. Written in conversational, easily accessible language, the book is like having a personal coaching session with Dr. Swift. He includes plenty of exercises, Call-To-Action Assignments, and practical, easy-to-use tools to help you live a purposeful life.
If you want to create a life you love living, buy this book and do the exercises. Your soul will thank you.
on June 21, 2007
Several weeks ago, I got an email asking if I would like to review a new book which was being released. After agreeing that the content of the book was something which related to the general content of my blog, I responded that I'd be honored to participate in what is now being called the Book Blog Tour for Brad Swift's Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life.
Glancing over some of the other blogs participating in the tour, I see that the book has thus far received overwhelmingly positive feedback. I'm pleased that I'm not here to argue with the other reviewers. Dr. Swift's writing is genuine and warm, and you can definitely feel the coaching roots of his prose. While I don't think I am in the target audience for this book, I can see how it could help those who find themselves in the bewildering position of what can only be described as an identity crisis.
Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life is a detailed step by step method of discovering purpose in life. When Dr. Swift writes of a life purpose, he rejects the traditional western association of career with identity and presents a more balanced approach. He suggests that through thought, intuition, and contemplation, we can come up with a sort of guiding statement for our lives. This statement is meant to be the cup which holds the liquid of our lives. The book is scattered with helpful and inspirational quotes from famous thinkers and utilizes spiritual insight from multiple schools of spiritual thought. Those familiar with Zen and Taoist philosophies will notice many familiar techniques utilized in this system, which to me is a fantastic thing. Dr. Swift's methods advocate contemplation and meditation techniques, as well as learning to live in the moment in order to keep our life purposes on track. The book is filled with exercises and techniques for discovering what kind of life purpose you wish to have, and for keeping the things you do within the context of that purpose once you've found it. Some of the most helpful parts of this book (in my opinion) were the sections dealing with what Dr. Swift titles the Inherited Purpose, something brought about by our past experiences and which influences the way we behave and the decisions we make in our lives. These sections really bring to light the history of your actions and the things which shape the person you've become.
While reading through this book, I sometimes felt that Dr. Swift's directions were tailored for a child, or a very slow learning adult. I also felt that this book was written mostly for an audience of burnt out baby boomers. Despite these things, I always felt that Dr. Swift had my best interest at heart and if you can overlook these small and unimportant points, I'm sure you'd feel the same way too. If you're lost in life, looking for meaning, or finding yourself constantly switching jobs, partners, or life circumstances, I would highly recommend this book as a system of self healing. Go into it with an open mind and a warm heart, and only good can come from the endeavor.
on November 19, 2007
By accident I came accross this book, looking for marital advice I came across a web site that had really nothing to do with what I was looking for and one of the recommended readings was "Life on Purpose" so I bought it. What could it hurt?! It is great! I have started reading and each time a question comes up or a test is given, what ever it is, I pull out a blank sheet of paper, write it at the top and answer it but if I have trouble answering the question I finish reading and come back to my piece of paper. Then I add it to a three ring binder and am creating a workbook of sorts that I can go back and refer to. This helps you see your progress and gives you a "paper trail" so you can see where you are and where you came from. It has really opened my eyes and makes you think and see things from different angles than you normally would. I recommend it. What could it hurt?
on December 18, 2012
There are far far too many usages of "divinely inspired" and other claims of the hand of some deity at work where totally and completely unnecessary and well, extraneous fluff. Perfectly simple things requiring no more than paying attention and being a bit bold and rational are claimed as the work the Divine. What is important is what works to help people discover and live their true purpose. It is not important or terribly relevant to believe in a lot of purported spiritual assumptions which frankly feel more like hand-me-done viewpoints. They may be authentic to the author but just swallowing them by the pageful will not be authentic to many readers. It isn't to me. So if the author's purpose if to reach as many as possible this is in the way of that goal.
on May 15, 2007
Reviewed by Patty Inglish for Reader Views (5/07)
There is a multitude of self-help books available today in bookstores, eBooks, and libraries, with new ideas published seemingly on a daily basis. At times, it appears that the public runs from book to book, hoping that the next new one will hold the "key to life," only to be disappointed and dismayed that it did not. In America there are many backrooms and attics full of self-help books that, in fact, did not help.
Dr. Brad Swift has written more than a self-help book. He has mapped out six passages through the mire of daily life that pummels everyone, out into a purposeful, useful, rewarding lifestyle. Unlike the illusive "Northwest Passage," "Life on Purpose: Six Passages to An Inspired Life" exists now and is a successful course through the larger landscape.
Founding the Life On Purpose Institute, Dr. Swift offers the six passages that make up the sections of his book:
1. Preparing for the Journey.
2. Starting on the Purposeful Path.
3. Uncovering What has Been Shaping Your Life.
4. Clarifying and Polishing Your True, divinely Inspired Purpose.
5. Learning the Tools for Living on Purpose
6. Mastering the Tools for Living on Purpose.
In addition to the six passages, the book contains more in its practical "Purposeful Toolbox": Purpose Practices, Purpose Prayers, Purpose Places, Purpose Projects, Life Purpose Coaching, Purpose Pods, Purpose Partners and others for regular use.
Many people think and talk about "finding their purpose in life" or "finding themselves," but Dr. Swift describes this process differently and puts a new perspective in place. Our purpose is not the job we were meant to do. Although we may all have a specific calling to do a job well-suited to us, thereby producing magnificent results, this is not our purpose. One's purpose is at once more singular and more general. For example, Dr. Swift's purpose is to "live an inspired and inspiring life of purposeful, passionate, and playful service; a life of mindful abundance balanced with simplicity; and a life of spiritual serenity." This purpose does not define a specific job, but it could be included in several positions including Buddhist monk, Franciscan brother, psychologist, mountaintop guru, musician, artist, comedian, librarian, circus performer, farmer, and many more, including Life On Purpose Institute's job position of Life Coach. The concept of purpose recalls Patch Adams and his institute in West Virginia, at which patients are first asked what excites them about life. Our purpose, then, is exciting to us and goes beyond the job, although that can be part of it. Purpose in ourselves is that which brings joy to both ourselves and to others, through us.
In studying vocational and health psychology, I once stated that work should not be punishment, even though it is a necessity for most of us. By using Dr. Swift's six passages and toolbox, I think that we can weave more joy into the workplace, even in work that we already enjoy doing. However, perhaps we need to change to another line of work. The six passages help us learn what our core values are, if we do not already know - and I think some people do not -- ask them what they would die for and they would probably say, "Nothing!" Life at all costs, even unhappy life. Not good. Our core values, a truly deep part of our character and personality, give us our larger overriding goals. These goals, then, help determine a life's work that brings results and accompanying joy.
People successfully using the six passages have stated that the result was like the alignment of the universe for their own nurturance and reward. As they began fulfilling their individual purposes, good things began to happen for themselves and for others that they met and served. There may be a time to stand and fight in a job position, even when no results or poor results are the only results. However, when the fight passes a certain level of difficulty and becomes "too hard," it may be time to turn toward another career direction, and the six passages can open onto the path to the most purposeful one of the best fit and results.
Along with Howard Gardner's works on multiple intelligences theory since 1983, and the many books and other tools available to use in examining one's vocational calling and skills, Dr. Swift's book, "Life on Purpose," should become part of any vocational or spiritual library.
Received book free of charge.
on July 9, 2007
As a certified Life on Purpose Coach, I am deeply familiar and committed to the process developed and articulated by author Brad Swift. That process is very clearly articulated in this very user-friendly book, written in a coaching style for individuals. On the road to discovery, readers will greatly benefit from discussing their journey with others who are also reading the book, or from contacting a Life on Purpose coach directly. When I first encountered the Life on Purpose coaching process I was a bit apprehensive; as an ordained United Methodist clergywoman I was concerned with how it would mesh with my theology. I am happy to report that however you understand Spirit, the One Greater than oneself, what Brad call's Universal Love is deeply a part of the process of clarifying life purpose and living a life on purpose. With numerous books on the market promising a magic elixir through discovering purpose, rest assured that "Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life" is unique. When you use the Life on Purpose process in this book, you will receive the benefit of clarifying your life purpose, which will enhance every aspect of your life.
on October 14, 2012
This is a rare book about being "successful" because it starts at the beginning of the journey, a place most other books on this topic seem to skip. This is actually a very practical book. It points you to the one thing that will not only dramatically increase your odds of being externally successful, but directs you to the one thing (for you) that will make you fulfilled as a person - what it is that you personally find purpose in. If everyone took the time to figure out this important element first, whatever that may be for each individual, they wouldn't need to read so many of the other self-help type books out there. Give it a shot!
on May 31, 2014
i really liked the book and it came at a very good time for me. The book helps you direct your yourself. We are all different yet share in some of the most basic ways and aspire for more. The more you put into the book the more you put into yourself and others around you. this is not a read only book, but this is a workbook and you will have to work though the book and yourself.