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The Four Purposes of Life: Finding Meaning and Direction in a Changing World [Hardcover]

Dan Millman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 2011
For many of us, life seems like a puzzle with pieces missing. We form plans and then change them; we choose one path, then another, trying to find the right mate and career, hoping we’ve made the right decision and that it will all work out. At some point, we may even ask the important questions: What is the purpose of my life? How shall I spend it? This book provides some answers to finally bring your life into sharper focus. First, we have to understand that we are here to fulfill not one but four fundamental purposes: Learning Life’s Lessons Finding Your Career and Calling Fulfilling Your Hidden Life Path Attending to This Arising Moment The Four Purposes of Life was born from Dan Millman’s decades-long search to make sense of life. He distills decades of experience into a concise map of the journey — the full scope of what we’re each here to accomplish here on planet Earth.

Frequently Bought Together

The Four Purposes of Life: Finding Meaning and Direction in a Changing World + The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose + Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
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Product Description

About the Author

Dan Millman is the author of 17 books read by millions of people in 29 languages. He teaches worldwide, speaking to men and women from all walks of life, including leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, politics, sports, entertainment, and the arts.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Four Purposes of Life Sept. 12 2011
Most of us tend to focus our energy in one or maybe two avenues. We see things in a very either/or way. Either we make family a priority or we build a successful career. Either we make money or we follow our calling. Balancing what we have is difficult enough so doing it all seems rather unrealistic.

The Four Purposes of Life tells us that not only is having it all possible but having a balance between all the parts of our lives is crucial. The book looks at the four purposes and is taught in stages or levels. For instance, in the first stage, we learn all the basics such as self- discipline, well-being, money, intuition, feeling, courage, love, knowing yourself, etc. From here, the other three purposes are more about finding your calling and providing service.

I'm thinking that the average person would be lucky to gain even a foundational understanding of half of the basics. Mastering these would probably take more than a single lifetime. I guess it's a journey not a destination.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intersting April 13 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this book to be interesting and I enjoyed reading it. It is easy to follow and I find it useful in understanding other around me as well as myself! A good read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 25 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book. Fast Delivery!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars for Four Purposes Jan. 10 2012
It has been awhile since I have read a book by Dan Millman. And I was reminded of what I love about his work. No matter how lofty the subject matter, Dan always has a simple, down-to-earth way of expressing himself. Here are some profound truths delivered in a way that anyone can understand and benefit from.

Steven Lane Taylor, author of Row, Row, Row Your Boat: A Guide for Living Life in the Divine Flow
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This simple and profound little guide provides wise advice on how to create a more meaningful life April 3 2011
By Alain B. Burrese - Published on
There is an old saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." In the case of Dan Millman's newest book, "The Four Purposes of Life: Finding Meaning and Direction in a Changing World" it is more like, when the student is ready, the lesson will appear. I say this because I have been a fan of Millman's books and teachings since the 1980s when I read "Way of the Peaceful Warrior." I've studied his teachings, and they have influenced my own.

I've also known that this book was coming out in 2011 for quite some time, and looked forward to adding it to my library. What I didn't know was this book was for anyone seeking deeper insight into themselves and their lives, but especially for those at a crossroads, facing a challenge or change, when "business as usual" no longer applies. Just this week I embarked upon a new journey where I will face unique challenges as I accepted a position as an Executive Director of a not for profit organization that fulfills two (satisfying work and providing a useful service) of the three needs Millman discusses in the chapter on finding your career and calling. One of my challenges is to lead the organization to a place where the third need (financial income or good money) will be realized.

"The Four Purposes of Life" is a small hardcover book that contains a simple, yet profound message. Simple in that is it easy to read, and that Millman has the ability to describe complex ideas in language that make the ideas easier to grasp and implement into one's life. Profound in the fact that contemplation on the ideas presented in this short guide can have an enormous impact on one's life.

The four areas, or purposes, covered include learning life's lessons, finding your career and calling, discovering your life path, and attending to this arising moment. Each of these chapters provides insight, guidance, and stimulus to think about your own path and where you will go from here. The third purpose, discovering your life path, is a short course on the Life Purpose System that Millman detailed in his book "The Life You Were Born to Live." This system is based on your birth number, and there is an appendix to assist you with determining yours, or you can go to Millman's website to find your number. The fourth purpose, attending to this arising moment, is something Millman has written about before as well, but this chapter really hit home as I was reading it this morning. It is good to be reminded that there are no ordinary moments, and I just may reread Millman's book of that title for some deeper contemplation on this topic.

Each of us has a different path to follow, and Millman has that rare ability to offer practical guidance and insights regardless of one's chosen path. This simple and profound little guide provides wise advice on how to create a more meaningful life. The wisdom in these pages will not only help you find the passion to improve your life, but provides the inspiration to do it now.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., a regular column on negotiation for The Montana Lawyer.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan's most concise teachings in one book April 1 2011
By Martin Adams - Published on
I've been a dedicated follower of Dan's teachings for the past ten + years, and for good reasons: they exude excellence, clarity and compassion in a way rarely found in this world. So I naturally have high standards when it comes to Dan's work, and I'm pleased to say that this book exceeded even these expectations.

In this book in particular, I sense a spiritual maturity and clarity that can probably only come from a long life well lived; I can't quite put my finger on why I have this particular impression: it could be the style, the 'tightness' of the prose (every word in The Four Purposes seems to have a purpose in itself as well!) or simply the energy resonance I sense between the lines. Either way, it's a gem of a book. It also distills most of Dan's teachings into a concise format -- all these years, all the different directions the author explored, have been brought together into a single framework, and that's what I love about this book as well.

I sense this book in particular can be a great introductory book for newcomers to Dan's work as well. Highly recommend it.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Yet!!! March 29 2011
By David L. Cairns - Published on
While Dan Millman has written four(4)inspirational novels, eight(8) guidebooks, an inspirational book and two(2) children's books this book is his best, most complete book to date. It takes the best from each of the 8 guidebooks and distills them to the essence of the message. This is a book that I will give to friends and student's much as I have given away "Way of the Peaceful Warrior". It is truly a book that enables you to "find meaning and direction in a changing world".
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Millman has another winner with Four Purposes... April 15 2011
By Bill Kipp - Published on
Dan Millman has become one of the most prolific writers of our time on the topic of self improvement and living the life we all strive for, yet on our own so few seem to find. The Four Purposes is perhaps his most simple and concise work to date to lead us toward more conscious living. It is an easy and entertaining read which is hard to put down once started. I am anxious to jump back in and re-read it again and again to gain all of the juicy tidbits that Dan cleverly places in his text, sometimes subtle and sometimes a not so gentle kick in the pants, but always on the mark. Thanks and keep them coming Dan!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Millman Scores with The Four Purposes of Life March 29 2011
By TOm Callos - Published on
Dan doesn't waste words or your time in this book. He makes his point as clear as the ring of the Zen master's bell. This is an accomplished writer with something to say that is worth listening to --and reflecting upon. Buy a copy, read it twice, and pass it on. Great work Dan Millman!
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