Two Tantamount Truths
Bill Cottringer

“Conscience is no more than the dead speaking to us.” ~Jim Caroll

There is no shortage of authors, books and movies about near death experiences, with over 5 million Internet works available. Authors like Moody, Jakoby and Greyson; books like “Life After Life,” “Children of the Light,” and “Embraced by the Light;” and movies like “If I Stay,” “Heaven is for Real,” and “Always” give us glimpses into what the afterlife may be like. In my own near death experience research, I have been particularly intrigued by the frequent report of two questions that get asked by the reported “Light.” These are: (1) Have you loved and been loved enough? (2) Do you still have something to accomplish?

These two questions prompted me to write this article on the two tantamount truths people might consider focusing most on when time seems to be shorter than ever. These two intertwined truths are:

· Pursue Purpose Passionately.

· Live Love Lavishly.

Having a bad case of ADHD myself, I have always wanted to experience everything as quickly as I could. Accordingly, I have pursued many diverse purposes with passion: Photography, writing, gardening, cooking, teaching, law enforcement, counseling, sport psychology, corrections, security, reading, interior decorating, relationships and even farming. In looking back in a life review, a commonality emerges. All these vocations and avocations had one main purpose. They were all were all aimed at finding and sharing truths about simple beauty in ordinary things, that when appreciated, can bring us great purpose, meaning and happiness. Doing most of this for free or at least being underpaid for some, has made it an act of unconditional love because I have never expected any major return on my investment. Getting the inherent satisfaction from just doing it is really quite enough. To me that is what success is—doing the things you do to get it because it feels right.

I think most of us are already living our lives with this combined lavish love and passionate purpose. But sometimes we just don’t realize it because: (a) we either don’t slow down enough and take the time to notice it, or (b) we get caught up with too much gory media hype about the opposite side of life—the dark shadow of terrorism and senseless mass killings of innocent people that consumes us, and all the other fears that are at our fingertips with 24/7 hand-held devices.

Whether you are a minister saving souls or a grocery clerk helping people get checked out with cordiality and speed; a tire salesman making your car safer or a talented athlete entertaining you; a teacher teaching useful knowledge or a student learning this knowledge; parent or child; employer or employee, you are in fact pursuing your purpose passionately and living love lavishly, even if you are getting paid well for it or not. Sometimes your need to travel 3/4ths the way to your desitination before it becomes clear enough for you to see.

Now if you find yourself without purpose, stop and ask yourself a few questions along the lines of what Rick Warren suggested in his earlier book, “A Purpose-Driven Life:”

· What are you best at doing and enjoy doing most?

· What do people tell you that you are good at?

· What comes easiest for you that is the most fun in holding your attention?

· What is most difficult to do, but which you sense an owed obligation or being drawn towards?

· What can’t you seem to not be able to do?

· Who were you really born to be?

If love is lost, maybe you might consider redefining it so you can have more of it. And remember, love is something you ahve to learn how to give before you receive it, just like depositing money in the bank before you can withdraw it. Also, consider love as just experiencing life naturally without making quality judgments or simply being kind to a stranger or animal or plant when they seem to need it most. Begin to let go and experience things more openly to become more empathetic, serve people unselfishly, give generously and walk in nature alone to feel all the natural teamwork going on in nature, where weather is the only enemy or fear. Or, do the easiest thing of all and rescue an animal.

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” ~ Buddha

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice-President of Puget Sound Security Patrol, Inc. in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, The Prosperity Zone, Getting More By Doing Less, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, “P” Point Management, Reality Repair, and Reality Repair Rx. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or or