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How to Live an Intentional Life with Purpose

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Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream because he had a purpose. This article is a four-step process to manifesting your MLK, Jr. dream.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that gave him purpose, his reason to be in the world. He is often quoted saying that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Inside each and every one of us is a dream. I would say the other urgent question is, what are you doing about your dreams? Now you might say, who am I to have a dream as big, as visionary as Dr. King’s? How about instead asking, who are you not to? Who are you not to step into the fullness of all that you are and can be? You may just be the medicine that someone else needs.

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So, then perhaps look in the mirror and ask who are you to deny being the therapy that can serve, that can heal others? If a middle child, a person of color, born in 1929 Atlanta, who sang in the church choir could grow up to stir a nation enough to win a Nobel Peace Prize, think what may be possible to come from you.

Though where does one even begin to uncover the dream, the talent, the purpose that lies within? One way is to start with these four steps:

  1. Identify your core values, which whether you realize it or not, drive all your decisions. What are the virtues and qualities you value most? Like, love, integrity, generosity, forgiveness, courage.
  2. Describe what life looks like today? What is working? What is not? In both cases, reflect on why this is your reality?
  3. Think about what you want life to look like tomorrow? What are the perceived obstacles getting in the way of your dreams? What would help you to overcome them?
  4. Then, make a plan. What steps do you need to take to close the gap between the reality of today and your vision of tomorrow?

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Here is the other thing about why considering your dreams and making a plan to manifest them is more than a mere mental exercise. In fact, it is essential. One of the building blocks to Happiness is living an intentional life.