I want to live a purposeful life
June 2, 2011 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Self-actualization in a box: I'm searching for a book or journal or any other resource that has daily guided exercises to help you become a more creative/emotionally healthy/well-rounded individual. Sort of like "Purpose-Driven Life", but not *as* Christian-y (though I'm not entirely opposed to religious-based resources)

I feel like I'm at the cusp of becoming the person I want to be, but I just need a little push. I know what I want to accomplish in life, but I lack the drive and direction. I'd tap back into my creative side (up until my sophomore year of college, I was constantly writing poetry and plays and songs or learning to sew or craft), I'd like to live a more socially conscious lifestyle (becoming more aware of my consumption and how it affects others), and I want to be more aware of my own emotional health.

I'm on the right track and I'm doing these things now, but it's hard to stay motivated because I have no direction and it's hard to stay focused.

If it helps, I'm a 25 year old single female and I'm an INFP (sometimes INFJ).

Maybe what I'm looking for doesn't exist; I have the feeling that someone will give an answer like "You're only 25! You just have to live 25 more years until you figure yourself out". I understand that this is true, however, I'd like to make the next 25 years count.
posted by chara to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I'm looking for something like the "Big Book" for Alcoholics Anonymous, but for people who aren't alcoholics. I've got a friend in OA that uses it and it's changed her life.
posted by chara at 8:21 AM on June 2, 2011

Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
posted by heatvision at 8:27 AM on June 2, 2011

Best answer: Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way is something like what you're looking for.
posted by not that girl at 8:34 AM on June 2, 2011

EQ Fitness Handbook - You In Relationship - 300 Daily Practices to Build EQ Fitness is a series of daily exercises for developing "emotional intelligence." I got an older version at a leadership development event, but the content is driven by the idea that the better you are at recognizing your own state of being, the more you'll be capable of interacting meaningfully with others. I think it might do some of what you are after.
posted by janell at 9:08 AM on June 2, 2011

Best answer: Perhaps The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice might be what you are looking for. It's written by a rabbi in a 12 step program -- but from a non-dogmatic standpoint and for folks who are not necessarily alcoholics. I linked to the Kindle version which lets you download a sample of the book to a Kindle, smartphone, or computer so you can check it out and see if you like it.
posted by elmay at 9:39 AM on June 2, 2011

It's not *quite* what you are describing, but if you like writing/being creative with words, I HIGHLY recommend The Write Brain Workbook - it's got a writing activity for every day in the year, and I use it all the time (I am also INFJ, formerly INFP).
posted by guster4lovers at 9:53 AM on June 2, 2011

"The War of art" sounds like it may be something you may benefit from.
posted by jade east at 2:44 PM on June 2, 2011

It focuses on drawing rather than writing, but I found Frederick Franck's Zen of Seeing a good resource to change habits to include daily observation and creativity.
posted by thatdawnperson at 4:51 PM on June 2, 2011

The Artist's Way series is really good for this. And, depending on where you live, you might be able to join a group who is following the schedule. There are online groups around as well.
posted by dawkins_7 at 5:14 PM on June 2, 2011

Alan Watts. Just search him in youtube for dozens of amazing lectures. He brought eastern philosophy to a western audience better than anyone else before or after and it's not full of yuppy crap like some recent authors and it's not too deep on any one philosophy either. It's really good.

If you like some of those videos, then buy his books. But really, his videos are free and all over the web and explain it all.
posted by penguinkeys at 9:41 PM on June 2, 2011

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