“I believe each of us enters life with a purpose,” writes Marcelene Anderson in the Preface to her brief self-help book. “Regrettably, most of us leave without ever accomplishing it.” In 5 Golden Keys to Your Life Purpose, she aims to help readers discover their purpose in order to live more fulfilling lives.
Anderson directs readers to examine five areas she believes contain powerful keys to unlock their life purpose: “People” (what you’ve learned from others); “Pain,” (how to transform “your pain to better the lives of others” or deciding “what pain in the world” you’d like to address); “Proven Skills” (pinpointing and developing personal skills “that can make a positive difference”); “Passion” (identifying what you “care most deeply about”); and the “Master Key” (putting it all together to create your overall goals).
Anderson uses the same format for most chapters: introductory text followed by exercises that encourage a personal inventory of the past to uncover conscious and unconscious beliefs that drive personal behavior.
Throughout, she draws on her own family and career experiences, which include working with indigenous cultures. She also offers stories of well-known people. For example, she cites how Helen Keller transformed her disabilities to help others, demonstrating Anderson’s theory: “Finding genius within pain is a special skill that can be learned…”
Readers will find her anecdotes, question prompts, affirmative statements, checklists and exercises useful. Much of the book, however, presents familiar ideas (the power of your beliefs; the usefulness of failure, etc.) And she sometimes veers off topic (e.g., a discussion of “The 5 Languages of Love,” in her “People” chapter). Finally, her prompts are rather broad; many readers might require further guidance on how to break down each question into more manageable pieces to effectively probe their internal lives.
While more in-depth instruction would likely bring better results, Anderson offers a useful outline of ideas to consider when looking for your life’s purpose.
Also available as an ebook.