The Purpose Principles: How To Draw More Meaning Into Your Life

Paperback | January 2, 2015

byJake DuceyForeword byJack Canfield

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A new, inspirational book from the world’s first millennial motivational speaker—TEDx star and motivational coach Jake Ducey!
 
The Purpose Principles draws on the stories of success, failure, and the common threads among some of today’s most successful and influential people, inspiring you to see yourself in the same light as the world’s biggest difference-makers. Jake Ducey offers a humorous, action-oriented approach for getting more meaning out of life, teaching you how to live with more excitement, productivity, clarity, and confidence. This can help you tackle daily challenges, inspire others, live with passion and purpose, and realize all your goals more efficiently, and reach them even faster!
           
With “WOW-ing” and unfamiliar stories of how familiar celebrities like Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Taylor Swift, Stephen King, Dave Matthews, Jim Carrey, and many others came to be, TEDx speaker and inspirational role model Ducey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living your best life in a changing world . His principles and exercises give the know-how to take advantage of the opportunities all around you. The Purpose Principles  spells out the timeless wisdom used by the greatest contributors to human history, and shows how you can integrate them into your life immediately to live your wildest dreams and become a world-changer!


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From the Publisher

A new, inspirational book from the world’s first millennial motivational speaker—TEDx star and motivational coach Jake Ducey! The Purpose Principles draws on the stories of success, failure, and the common threads among some of today’s most successful and influential people, inspiring you to see yourself in the same light as the world’...

Jake Ducey, a kid from a good Southern California family, seemed to have it all. But he didn’t. Something was missing, and the emptiness had led him to a life fueled by alcohol and drugs. Following his heart, Jake left it all behind and, with his meager savings, traveled the world. He discovered  that what he was seeking was inside him...

other books by Jake Ducey

Into the Wind: My Six-Month Journey Wandering the World for Life?s Purpose
Into the Wind: My Six-Month Journey Wandering the World...

Paperback|Apr 16 2013

$11.50 online$14.75list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.23 × 5.43 × 0.62 inPublished:January 2, 2015Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0399172645

ISBN - 13:9780399172649

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FOREWORDThe circumstances surrounding my first meeting with Jake Ducey illustrate some of the reasons why I wanted to write this foreword.It was 2013 and I was emceeing a fund-raising event in Los Angeles. The event was sold out and the ballroom was full. Someone had told Jake that I would be speaking there, so he bought a last-minute ticket in the hopes of meeting me. He was twenty years old and was about to publish his first book, Into the Wind, which he said was inspired by me. He drove two and a half hours to the event carrying a signed copy of his book for me. His sole intention was to introduce himself and give me the book. But the odds were slim considering how crowded the event was. Toward the end of the night I went to my seat for dinner. That was when Jake walked over to introduce himself.“Hi, Jack. I am Jake Ducey. I wrote this book and you inspired it,” he said.“How did I inspire it?” I asked. “You say in your book The Success Principles that when someone says ‘No,’ you say ‘Next.’ And every time I was told I was too young to be an author, or when literary agents told me I needed more experience before they would represent me, I just kept saying ‘Next,’ and I didn’t quit. Now I am standing here with you, holding my book!” Jake said this with a zest for life I came to appreciate quickly. My face lit up with a smile. I could feel passion oozing out of him. I immediately welcomed him and introduced my wife. While the waiters served dinner at my table, Jake and my wife chatted. Coincidentally, his mom and my wife went to the same high school. But what was more of a coincidence was that in that sold-out event, where there seemed to be no empty seats, the chair to my left was somehow empty. Once the food was placed in front of us, I asked Jake if he was going to sit there and enjoy the plate of food at the empty seat next to me. He said he was so excited he hadn’t noticed that the chair was empty!What are the chances? What are the odds that out of a five-hour event, where there seemed to be no empty seats, Jake got the urge to come introduce himself at the exact moment the waiter was coming to serve dinner at my table—and that the person next to me had left early? How is it possible that the opportunity for us to connect happened so perfectly? I believe it was possible because of Jake’s belief. He says he didn’t know “how” he would meet me—he just knew it was possible that we’d become friends. A few months later, my wife and I invited him to my birthday party. That evening he asked me, “Jack, what do I need to know in life to live my dreams?”“Write it down, make it happen,” I told him. He sat there, hoping I would explain myself in more detail.“Jake, you have within you the ability to achieve anything you desire, because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to have the desire in the first place,” I said. A few months after my birthday, Jake wrote me to let me know he followed my advice, and that Tarcher/Penguin would be publishing his new book, The Purpose Principles, which was inspired by our chat and by my book The Success Principles.As I have become older, one of my passions is inspiring and empowering young people to live their highest vision through the Success Principles seminars I conduct. One of those Success Principles is “Ask for What You Want.” I believe that everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask for it. Just as Jake illustrates in this book, your dreams aren’t out of reach, your fears and limiting beliefs don’t have to stop you, and you’re never too young or too old to live more confidently or to make a difference. You are fully capable of waking up every day to a more productive and meaningful life by simply choosing to apply these principles! Jake considers me his mentor—a role I relish. Just as important, I consider him an inspiration in my life. Jake is such a radiant and inspirational being because he has chosen to live a life committed to the full expression of his unlimited potential. And because of that, he has the ability to inspire others to live their dreams, too. I am confident that through this book Jake will now inspire you to achieve your most heartfelt dreams, and by so doing, contribute to a more equitable, just, and compassionate world.—Jack Canfield coauthor of The Success Principles and the Chicken Soup for the Soul seriesA WORD FROM THE AUTHORFrom the beginning of time, billions of people have dreamed about living meaningfully. Some even dream about changing the world, or at least their own one. Though most of us do dream, few of us live our dreams. Many of us simply can’t uncover how to do so.The ability to live our dreams is the great mystery. Why do some people seem so skillful and impassioned, while others can’t step out of the choking monotony of an ordinary existence? This book was written to answer this question and others, including: How can we live a meaningful life? How does one become more successful, confident, and fulfilled? What do the world’s most successful, happy, and influential people have in common? What common attitudes, traits, beliefs, and strategies do those who’ve marked human history share? How can one simply live with more joy?In this book you’ll find common principles, characteristics, beliefs, and stories that have helped some of the greatest contributors and achievers of the twenty-first century. These ideas can be used to improve your internal world as well as the world around you. Each and every chapter provides a stimulus to help you find a deeper meaning in your life, find passion in simple things (such as the beauty of the sky), and even find ways to alter the course of human history.While in the process of uncovering these keys, you’ll find it easy to dismiss any feelings of doubt that you may have had when starting this book. If you’ve ever tried and failed, had difficulties that kept you from getting what you want, or found that your progress has been stunted by illness or physical ailments, these stories may prove to be the very thing you’ll need to overcome your obstacles.If you are committed to putting these principles to work, you’ll no longer see yourself as anything less than those mentioned throughout the book. I could tell you how you’ll know when you’ve reached this state of inner strength, but that would deprive you of much of the value that you’ll receive when you make your own discoveries. And if you’re thinking, “I am not meant to live the life I love,” or, “I can’t change the world,” then please consider this question: “If not you, then who?”It’s important to note that education and age have nothing to do with your ability to make an impact. A college dropout named Steve Jobs applied these principles to alter the course of human history with his technological inventions and the creation of Apple. High school dropout and founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, used these principles to build one of the largest business enterprises in history. A degreeless Malcolm X used the knowledge herein to find the strength, clarity, and know-how to alter the course of human history and bring about greater racial equality. And Mother Teresa, an uneducated (at least by formal standards) woman from a small town in Macedonia, also lived these principles and transformed the consciousness of the Western world.You’ll find their stories and lessons throughout the book alongside many others. My goal is to show you that a deeply fulfilling life charged with purpose, contribution, and success is obtainable by applying the knowledge learned herein. The subtitle of this book is How to Draw More Meaning into Your Life. I chose the word draw because it has a double meaning and it is often associated with artists. Drawing is a creative act that requires vision, imagination, originality, dedication, and patience. It is a perfect metaphor for the way we need to approach life. We must apply our artistic skills to get the most out of each day. An artist doesn’t stop at seeing a vision or having an idea in their mind—they take it further and work to turn what they’ve seen in their imagination into reality. This is the same skill set that needs to be developed in those who want to live an authentic life of their own creation.How do I know that this works? You’ll be answering that question on your own before you’re done with this book. You may find the answer in the first chapter, or perhaps on the last page.To you loving your life,Jake DuceyINTRODUCTIONFebruary 7, 2013He was standing with a beautiful, tan young woman when I saw him. He had a big smile on his face. I could see his friendly blue eyes glint in the warm San Diego sun. That’s when he opened his arms to give me a welcoming hug. He was walking out the door of the Counter, a burger joint next door to Jimbo’s Natural Foods in Encinitas, San Diego, where I was going to grab some groceries. I had just parked my car and was walking a few hundred feet along the sidewalk to the store.“Jake, congratulations on your book! I can’t wait to get a copy. You inspire me!” he said with enthusiasm.He made me feel so good about myself when he said it. So good that I told him to wait there on the sidewalk while I went back to my car to grab him a copy that I had in my trunk. I signed it for him:Dear Vic,With love for doing what you love while you’re alive.Love,JakeWe gave each other a hug. I could tell by his genuine excitement for the book that he’d read it soon, perhaps even that very day. Five hours later I got a phone call from my best friend, Luke. “Hey man,” he said, “I hope you’re sitting down. . . . Vic just died. He was skateboarding without a helmet on, hit his head, and died on impact.”I was shocked. I feel that I deal pretty well with death, but Vic’s really hit me. Especially because the book that I had just gifted him, Into the Wind, relayed the message that you can die at any time, which is why it is important to live now. And yet, there he went, onward and outward from this physical experience.A few days later, about 350 people showed up for his celebration of life. I can still see his brother Charlie’s tears falling as he stood next to me. My friendship with Charlie had dwindled since high school—he joined the army and I distanced myself from organizational structures. We didn’t seem to have much in common anymore. But on that day we shared something that connected us again. Death showed both of us that life must be lived as we want it to be lived—that it was to have meaning—for it will soon be gone. Perhaps even abruptly.I saw his mom soon afterward. She said Vic had read my book from the moment I gave it to him until right before the time of his accident. That made me cry. I knew he’d read the opening quote from the book, a quote from Steve Jobs, “Remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool that I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” I wondered if my book had cursed him or set him free. I assumed that after he read it he was inspired to go and do what he loved—skateboard.Later, I learned that he had left a page bookmarked where he’d been reading, as if he was planning to be back to finish it soon . . . or perhaps his subconscious wanted to mark the last page that he ever read. I walked away from the celebration of life crying and asking myself, “Is it better to die young and brave the adventure, or to live long and weather the sun of comfort and security, having never really lived?”This also makes me think about some of the last words of my good friend’s father, Loren Nancarrow, who passed away after a long battle with cancer on December 28, 2013: “One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that happiness lies in discovering your passions and exploring them fiercely. And passions aren’t necessarily big, grand notions. We can also find passion in a rose garden, in the smell of a puppy, and the writing of a first grader. Wherever they are, whatever they may be, seek out your passions and cultivate them.”This is so true. And unfortunately so few of us spend time cultivating our passions. . . .Chapter 1Seeing Without EyesThe only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.—HELEN KELLER“I just want to thank you,” a gray-haired, well-dressed man said to me. “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever known what I wanted because this is the first time I’ve ever been asked what I really want. . . .”I looked at the man. He was dressed in a nice suit and looked like he was doing quite well financially. There was a brightness in his eyes that continued to speak on his behalf. “Heck, I’ve made good money, but my life has only been average because I’ve done what everyone wanted me to do ever since I can remember. Now I’m sixty-one years old, and I finally know what I want from life!”I was shocked. This happened at the end of one of my all-day workshops where I help people define their vision and create a plan to achieve it. I truly believe that we must find what we really want, and not simply get stuck doing what we think we’re supposed to do. So there I was, a twenty-one-year-old college dropout, with a man almost triple my age standing in front of me telling me that he’d never known what he really wanted out of life—that he’d never been deeply fulfilled with his lifestyle, regardless of the fact that he’d made good money.The craziest thing of all is that he’s not alone. Most of us don’t know what we want, and haven’t been given the time and space to find clarity about it. It isn’t something we’re taught in school. As a default, we gravitate to what’s considered normal and easy—what our parents, friends, spouses, and bosses want from us. Yet when we’re little we’re told stories about the legends and visionaries: Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Rosa Parks, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan, and other seemingly larger-than-life people.We’ve developed a romantic affair with the word visionary. But we often fail to ask the questions: How did they get there? What do they all have in common? When did they become so great? Where did their ability to alter human history come from? Why them?Instead of digging deeper to answer these questions, we naively tell our kids stories about honorable people by making them out to be some rare breed of superior humans. Ones that are born with gifts that you and I don’t have. What intrigues me about all the visionaries that I mentioned above (and others, including Aristotle, Maya Angelou, Plato, Albert Einstein, and Mark Twain) is the fact that they continued to breathe the same air as us. Has that ever occurred to you? The very same sun warmed their bodies. They watched the same stars. Anatomically, they were the same. They used two feet when they walked. And they were really weird—seriously, very strange. But all of us are odd in our own ways, so that can’t be the sole reason they’ve become legendary, rather than ordinary.These people aren’t really unique on any level except one: they knew exactly what they wanted. They had a vision. They put this vision before their very lives, and, thus, became larger than life. But let’s not get captured in the Hollywood shindig of the lights, icons, and cult-like following of celebrities—let’s stick with how these people made lives filled with such meaning and value. The first place to focus our attention is vision: knowing what you want.They knew that life is too short to live without dreams and to do any nonsense that you don’t want to do. There’s no point to life if you don’t find what you love and then work toward that vision every day. One day you will (or perhaps won’t) wake up and there won’t be time to do all that you wanted to do—that’s why the greats became great; they knew this and did what they loved while they still could.You and I (and everyone else who has ever breathed earth’s air) are like individual planets. Each of us has a gravitational pull. The women and men who’ve changed the world knew that if you decide and define what you want to pull into your life, and know the destiny you want to orbit in, the moons that shine on your night will be those of a meaningful life.However, before this can happen you must know what you desire. Some people may think, “That sounds a lot like the Law of Attraction,” the New Age philosophy that says by simply thinking about what you want, it comes to you—no work required. But it’s not—what I am talking about is the law of refusing to subject yourself to someone else’s agenda, knowing what you want out of life, seeing the vision, and getting it through lots of hustle, no matter the cost. There’s nothing mystical about it. Every great person knew first what he or she wanted, and then achieved it through hard work.The problem that 97 percent of the population has is that they don’t know what they want, or they have never even thought about what they want. They unconsciously pull the wants, needs, and opinions of others into their orbit—they follow the popular trends and fads that are suggested to them by the media. If one doesn’t choose, it’s chosen for them. What they unconsciously pull into their lives as their daily routine—the people who surround them, and everything else that their experience entails—is largely created by default. Then one day they say, “Hey! This isn’t what I want! What I am doing?” Many of us submit to what our parents, friends, teachers, Hollywood stars, and others tell us we’re supposed to do. When we don’t question what they say, we unconsciously accept it, believing they must know best. Year after year it’s pounded into us: you should be this, you should do that, you’re best at this, this is the smartest decision for you.We start to believe that we want what others want for us, which was the case of the man I met and told you about earlier. Or at least that was his case prior to the day it dawned on him in my workshop. That day he realized that he didn’t want what he had—he wanted something more. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t aware that we don’t want to do what we’re doing. We’re too busy being distracted by pretty, tasty, entertaining, and mind-altering things. We’re so busy that we don’t have time to wonder why we’re running around so much. We’re too distracted to feel our own feelings.People often say, “I think I feel this. . . .” Can you see that that’s where we’ve lost? We’ve started to overthink how we feel. We think about what we want rather than just feeling out and doing the thing that gives our life the most excitement and meaning. That’s why people thought Steve Jobs was crazy—he quit doing what he thought he should do and started doing what he felt he should do. And everyone said, “What are you thinking? Don’t drop out of college!”But he wasn’t thinking—he was feeling. He answered the inner calling of destiny and purpose that lies within each of us. People also questioned the Wright brothers when they said they would make a plane fly. But they felt that they could and they did.It’s actually quite funny. We’ve thought up our entire reality (what’s good and bad, right and wrong, smart and dumb, safe and risky, normal and crazy, possible and impossible), but we’ve never considered the most important thing—what we want. Instead, we’ve just created boundaries around everything and have decided that this is how life is supposed to be lived.But how can anyone tell you what your life is supposed to be like? How can another person decide how you’re going to spend your time when they aren’t you? The answer is that it’s possible only if we give up our power of choice. But no legend, visionary, or hero has ever done that. They don’t give up their right to decide their own destiny. The old adage “Live your life” simply means live your life. It does not mean: “Live Mommy’s life,” or “Live Daddy’s life that he never had the courage to live,” or “Live Justin Bieber’s life,” or “Live the life that everyone else says you should live,” or “Live the life of what’s easiest and most normal,” or “Live the life that your teachers tell you is right, smart, and safe.” “Live your life” means live your own life, and nobody else’s.To make this happen you must take the first step in living the life you want, which is to create the terms of your life. You must have a dream—a direction. However, this is often the moment when a voice in our heads creeps in and says, What if people think I am crazy?When this happens you need to reason with your mind and say, “Who cares if people think I’m nuts? It’s better to be strange to others than to be a stranger to myself.” Be yourself—whoever that is. And that is only possible if you don’t settle until you find what you love and do it with all of your heart and focus!One of the most quoted lines in literature is Shakespeare’s “To be, or not to be: that is the question. . . .” Rather than “that is the question,” I would say, “that is the choice.” A choice we all have to make—to be the person you want to be and do the things you really want to do, or make the choice not to. When you choose to pursue what you love, life becomes so much more than what we think of as ordinary experiences, choices, routines, and careers.Despite the fact that I am a college dropout, I believe that I have the educational understanding to give you a thesis on the first step in living above and beyond the ordinary—know what you want. That’s it. And when you know what you want, you know what you will or won’t stand for. The greats that I mentioned above wouldn’t stand for anything other than what they wanted, and that’s why they changed history. That’s why we talk about them and all the lives they’ve touched.The only difference between social icons and the average person is that they knew what they wanted—they had a vision and a direction, something that pulled them out of bed. They didn’t listen to the voice in their heads that said, “Turn the alarm off and go back to sleep for another fifteen minutes and then get out of bed and get to work!” We’ve all had that voice get us out of bed . . . but, come on, is that really the voice we want to wake up to? No!Still, that is why most heart attacks occur between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Monday mornings. Stress, worry, fear, and boredom pull people out of bed, when they deserve to be pulled out of bed by the excitement to chase their dreams and help others. That’s why I believe we’re at the highest rate of teen suicides ever. We’ve got a whole lot of people doing a whole lot of things they really don’t want to do, at all.To find meaning and purpose in life, you must create a direction, a vision, a dream—you must know what you want. But first, you must stop telling yourself that dreams don’t matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible. Because when you cease to dream and pursue your dreams, you cease to live. So don’t simply seek success, even if you want it. Instead, do what you love and success will come. You only have one life and if you’re not doing what you love, what’s the point of living it?“What You Want” ExerciseI am going to ask you a question. I’d call it a million-dollar question, but that’s pretty limited considering the possibilities that open up when you know the answer. But before I ask, I want you to know that I am going to ask in a few different ways, just in case your response is, “I don’t know. . . .” or “It doesn’t matter. . . .” or something else that avoids answering the question.So here’s the question:What do you want?What would have to happen in the next year for you to look back and say that it was your most successful and fulfilling year yet?Now, before we go on too much further, I know there are a lot of people who’d say, “Hey! I don’t know what I want! I just want to fit in!” I know this because that’s almost the only thing a lot of us ever say in life about what we want—“I don’t know.” We don’t know what we want, so we just stand in line buying things that other people want us to buy. We remain in a vicious cycle of not knowing what we want, yet not realizing that we don’t know what we want because we’re too distracted by what other people want us to want and by what we think we have to do.I believe that life itself demands us to tell it what we want, because otherwise it’s useless. Life is just waiting, asking, “How can I serve you?” But we don’t know how it can serve us, and so we say, “I don’t know. . . . It doesn’t matter. . . . I don’t matter. . . .” But if you didn’t matter, you wouldn’t be here.Now, I’ll ask again: What would have to happen in the next year for you to look back and say it was your most successful and fulfilling year yet?Don’t let your mind tell you that it can’t be this easy! Allow it to be this easy. It is that easy. However, the problem is that what is easy to do is also easy to not do. And it sure would have been easy for a fourteen-year-old African-American kid to not stand up during one of my workshops and ask to make a statement.I was in Portland, Oregon, speaking to a room full of mostly thirty-five- to sixty-year-olds, and I asked the same question, “What would have to happen in the next year for you to look back one year from now and say that it was your most successful and fulfilling year yet?” Just then, this little—it’s hard to call him little with all the power he had in his heart—African-American boy stood up. He wanted to share: “I wanted to say that the answer to the question for me is that I want to write a book. The reason I want that is because it makes me feel like myself.”The room went silent. I began to feel threatened—perhaps this child could help my audience more than I could. He continued, “Everybody always wants me to be somebody, or something, or do something. And so, I think that we can find the answer to what we want by asking ourselves, ‘What makes you feel like yourself?’”It became so clear to everyone in the audience that we live in a world where everyone wants us to be something other than who we are. Where so often we become something other than ourselves, turning our life into a fight to get back to where we once were. I’ve been there too, and the solution is—just as this brilliant young adult advised—to do what makes you feel like yourself!So what makes you feel like yourself? Play the what-if game, like when you were a kid. What if nothing could stop you? What if your answer couldn’t be, “I don’t know” or “There’s too many things so I can’t possibly choose. . . .”? What if you couldn’t fail and your lack of resources couldn’t limit you?What would have to happen in the next year for you to look back and say that it was your most successful and fulfilling year yet? Take out a sheet of paper and define this in one or two sentences. Describe how your ideal life would look in one year. Don’t think so much. Just feel.The only way you can ever truly know something is by putting yourself there. To do so, you must time-travel (in your mind) to the future. Feel what it would be like to live this dream as though it were happening now. Get up and act it out if it helps you. Then, come back here and describe it. Did it feel wondrously beautiful? It should!Writing down what you want is the first step to creating success and fulfillment. I received this exercise from Jack Canfield—one of the most successful men in the world of publishing and the creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.Serious-less-nessThe world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it you think it’s real, because that’s how powerful our minds are . . . but don’t worry, because this is just a ride.—Bill Hicks, American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musicianMany people wish for life to be exclusively perfect. But the good life that most desire is actually a life warmed by mistakes and humility. A life touched with a ceremonial grace, which is impossible to live without occasionally picking your nose and dancing naked (maybe not in public). And many people who seek perfection think that life is like a math test—they think that if they don’t get really serious, they’ll fail, or won’t get straight A’s. However, I think life is more like those times when you think you misplaced your car keys, but they are actually in your hand. We spend much of our time intensely looking out into the world for life, but the keys to a purpose-driven life are in our own hands, in our own perception. As a result, we spend our time desperately trying to find life, when it is actually already in our hands—we can choose how we wish to live. So why not lighten up, be weird, and be yourself?The mind is like a county fair. There are thousands of voices in your head, all calling out to you to take their ride. They all tell you what you must do, where and how you must look, and what you should say. While at this fair, the majority of people tell you to buy the ticket and take the ride. But have you ever wondered what happens when you don’t buy the ticket—if you choose not to do all those things you think you must do in order for your life to be perfect?We spend a lot of our time trying to get everything just right, stressing ourselves out, only to one day see that there was no need to be so uptight. One of the things I know for sure is that a lot of good things start to happen when you seriously get serious about not being so serious. In fact, palliative nurse Bronnie Ware wrote a book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, where she recorded her findings of common life regrets before death. One of the top reccurring regrets of her patients was, “I wish I would’ve let myself be happier. . . .”Often we don’t allow ourselves to be happier because we forget how close to death we truly are. We think that it’s more important to look good or do well than it is to enjoy life. A man in one of my seminars perfectly illustrated this fact:“Everyone stick your finger in your nose and smile!” I said, just before we took the picture at the end of the day.One man, David, just couldn’t do it. “This is ridiculous!” he said. “I can’t do that!”It had been a focused day, with a lot of hard work. We’d just finished and I wanted everybody to stop being so serious, to head home in a goofy mood so they wouldn’t feel stressful about their goals. But this fifty-year-old man just couldn’t do it. He thought he looked too stupid. Finally, the other thirty students in the room chanted his name until he caved in. His face went from bright red to gold and liberated.It’s funny how we spend our lives trying so hard and stressing so much, just to get it right. But the truth is no one knows what he or she is doing. Everything is just an idea. “Popular” and “cool” are just words we made up. And their definitions are attached to other ideas we made up about how you must dress and what you must do to be categorized by these labels. And later, the very ideas we created drive us crazy during our attempts to conform to them.But conforming isn’t worth it. Just take a look at some of the greatest contributors in the world: Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Jim Morrison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Branson—not only were they great influencers to the consciousness of humanity, but also they were (or still are) really, really weird. They didn’t try to be normal—they were themselves and followed their wild imaginations. They didn’t overly panic when they were in deep water all alone with no one by their side.It reminds me of a story a friend once told me. He wasn’t a good swimmer. In fact, he would describe himself as “aqua-handicapped.” One day he and his family and friends were on a boat off the coast of Catalina. They parked the boat off the dock. His kids decided to swim into shore. Shortly thereafter he had the urge to follow them in. It wasn’t long until he was drowning. His arms flailed and he screamed, “Help me! Help me!” He yelled louder and louder, but all he heard was laughter from his kids. He could also see his friends laughing on the boat. Minutes passed and he was still screaming, but no one was coming. He was losing energy and began to sink. Suddenly, someone from a nearby boat jumped off and swam to him with a flotation device. Just before they got to him he sunk underwater, flailing violently, thinking he was about to die.

Editorial Reviews

“As Jake illustrates in this book, your dreams aren’t out of reach, your fears and limiting beliefs don’t have to stop you, and you’re never too young or too old to live more confidently or to make a difference. I am confident that through this book, Jake will now inspire you to achieve your most heartfelt dreams.”—Jack Canfield, originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series“It's about time a success manifesto was written by a young voice. Jake Ducey is the ideal ambassador of inspiration for the next generation. This will be huge."—John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus “[Jake Ducey has] a winning collection of inspiring stories from celebrities and historical figures, including Jackie Robinson’s brave stance against racism, Sylvester Stallone’s uncompromising attitude in his early career, and J.K. Rowling’s perseverance during her pre–Harry Potter life. Ducey’s message is simple—goals are best achieved through active pursuit…” —Publishers Weekly "Jake Ducey is the modern, 22-year-old version of Tony Robbins—minus the hot coals."—San Diego ReaderPraise for Into the Wind:“Into the Wind is one long Chicken Soup for the Soul story. Jake Ducey is an amazing young man and his story will inspire you to love life to the fullest.”—Jack Canfield, Coauthor of the New York Times-bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series.“Decades ago there were visionaries at Apple Inc. who changed the world; Steve Jobs and me. Now Jake is here to transform the world in his own right.”—Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc."Jake's book will move you to pursue your wildest dreams."—Laird Hamilton, World Surf Champion“Jake Ducey brings a message built on his compelling personal story and insatiable zest for life in his speeches. He reminds us that the best path forward is the one guided by our own dreams. In these cynical times, his optimism, energy, faith in humanity, and sheer delight in the adventure of personal discovery and growth are refreshing and even inspiring. ”—Christopher Campbell, Director and Professor of Community, Environment, and Planning at the University of Washington“Jake Ducey's authentic inner journey in Into the Wind creates a beacon to guide many others across the planet into their own unique quest—beyond the illusion of traditional limitations on fulfilling our true potential. It was an exciting and humorous read, and I look forward to the sequel as the next chapter of Jake’s life.”—Foster Gamble, creator of Thrive“Jake’s journey and book are proof that when we follow the Law of Attraction, miracles become regularities and we live our wildest dreams while love surrounds us!”—Richard Cohn, publisher of The Secret, founder of Beyond Words Publishing“Jake’s book shows that if you Make-A-Wish and act on it, you’re rewarded. Inspiring!”—Frank Shankwitz ,founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation“Jake is proof that when we trust in Spirit, we achieve whatever we put our minds to, including changing the world.”—Leah Amico, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, motivational speaker“Jake’s book shows that no matter your age, you can Think and Grow Rich, but that wealth begins within.”—Greg S. Reid, author of Think and Grow Rich: Stickability“With a raw, authentic passion for his mission, Jake Ducey is bringing New Thought principles of truth and love to a whole new generation of seekers. I’m so excited to watch the unfolding of this blossoming visionary.”—Lisa McCourt, author of Juicy Joy – 7 Simple Steps to Your Glorious, Gutsy Self“Jake’s book and ability to speak will take you from your transition phase to one of success and purpose.”—Johnny Campbell, The Transition Man (Speaker Hall of Fame 2007)“Jake’s adventures of illuminating past mistakes into divine greatness is an inspiration for anyone wanting to go beyond their negative mental conditioning.”—Dr. David Corbin, author, inventor, life coach“Jake is a fearless and daring young man with a message and journey that’ll make you leap off the edge of comfort to your destiny.”—Nik Halik, author of Thrillionaire, motivational speaker