The Great Work of Your Life
By Stephen Cope
Book Overview: If you’re feeling lost in your own life’s journey, The Great Work of Your Life may provide you with answers to the questions you most urgently need addressed—and may help you to find and to embrace your true calling. Click here for more info!
Post(s) Inspired by this Book: Quotes from Book /// The Power of Mantra – As Described by Mohandas Gandhi’s Family Servant.
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“We cannot master everything, taste everything, understand everything, drain every experience to its last dregs. But if we have the courage to let almost everything else go, we will probably be able to retain the one thing necessary for us – whatever it may be. If we are too eager to have everything, we will almost certainly miss even the one thing we need.” ~ Thomas Merton, Monk
“[Ludwig van] Beethoven came to see that complete surrender to his situation in life – to his deafness, to his various neuroses – was absolutely essential for his own spiritual development and for the development of his art. He accepted the apparent mystery that his art and his suffering were inextricably linked.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“Blessed is the man who, having subdued all his passions, performeth with his active faculties all the functions of life, unconcerned about the event… Be not one whose motive for action is the hope of reward. Perform thy duty, abandon all thought of the consequence, and make the event equal, whether it terminate in good or evil; for such an equality is called yoga.” ~ Bhagavad Gita
“The whole world is inside each person, each being, each object. To know any part of the world deeply, intimately, is to know the whole world. Each of us, then, must find our own particular domain – that little corner of the world in which we can drill for gold. For the acupuncturist it is knowing the body through the language of Chinese medicine. For the painter, it is knowing the world through through paint and the canvas. For the writer, it is knowing the world through words.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“To organize life’s energies around anything less sublime than our true nature is to still be split – separated from Self. No matter how much focus we may bring to any task, if the task is not our real vocation we will still be haunted by the suffering of doubt, and the internal agony of division.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.” ~ Annie Dillard, American Writer
“When we reach sixty-two, we are likely to interpret feelings of exhaustion and boredom as the signal to retire. But couldn’t they just as easily be the call to reinvent ourselves? As we age it seems harder and harder to let our authentic dharma reinvent us. We imagine somehow that the risks are greater. We tend to think that leaping off cliffs is for the young. But no. Actually – when better to leap off cliffs?” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“You cannot be anyone you want to be. Your one and only shot at a fulfilled life is being yourself – whoever that is. Furthermore, at a certain age it finally dawns on us that, shockingly, no one really cares what we’re doing with our life. This is a most unsettling discovery to those of us who have lived someone else’s dream and eschewed our own: No one really cares except us. When you scratch the surface, you finally discover that it doesn’t really matter a whit who else you disappoint if you’re disappointing yourself. The only question that makes sense to ask is: Is your life working for you?” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“It is better to fail at your own dharma than to succeed at the dharma of someone else.” ~ Krisna, Bhagavad Gita
“At the end of life, most of us will find that we have felt most filled up by the challenges and successful struggles for mastery, creativity, and full expression of our dharma in the world. Fulfillment happens not in retreat from the world, but in advance – and profound engagement.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“People actually feel happiest and most fulfilled when meeting the challenge of their dharma in the world, when bringing highly concentrated effort to some compelling activity for which they have a true calling. For most of us this means our work in the world. And by work, of course, I do not mean only ‘job.'” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life
“Every man has a vocation to be someone: but he must understand clearly that in order to fulfill this vocation he can only be one person: himself.” ~ Thomas Merton
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