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Jamie Lauren Zimmerman, MD Headshot

What I Learned From Wayne Dyer

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Last weekend, I spent several days with Dr. Wayne Dyer in Denver (as part of the HayHouse Writing From Your Soul seminar). Although at a writing conference, Wayne taught some wonderful lessons on how to live a fully enriched life. Here are several of the weekend's most powerful messages:

1. Find your excitement:

There is an invisible and infinite part of ourselves that knows our deepest purpose. Do what makes you feel amazing. And listen to the quiet whispers (or elbow nudges) of your heart. Your intuition and excitement will bring you in alignment with your purpose.

Many times, others try to tell us how to live and which career to choose. But, as Dr. Dyer says, "I didn't come into this world to live your (purpose)." So stay true to your unique interests and talents. There is only one of you in the entire world, and we will all lose out if you die with your music still inside you.

"Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -- Howard Thurman

2. Have a burning desire:

According to Napoleon Hill, there is one quality that separates the people who live an enriched life from those who stay don't: a burning desire. First, it's essential to choose a task in line with our purpose/bliss. Then make two lists, one that includes everything you're willing to do to bring your vision to do, and another list with everything you're unwilling to do. If you want to achieve your dreams, your "unwilling" list should be extremely short. For Wayne, it included only actions that harmed himself or others. Everything else was fair game. This type of dedication will require you to step beyond your comfort zone. But consider the rewards: By bringing your unique gifts into the world, you will find personal fulfillment and enhance the lives of others.

3. Believe in your vision:

All of the devices, writing, buildings, movies, and masterpieces we have today were once an imagined idea. As human beings, imagination and intention are our greatest gifts. Once you clarify your vision, "you have to live your life as if everything you want is a completed fact." As Wayne says, "thoughts are the currency for getting what you want." Never focus on things you want to avoid. Use the power of unwavering focus to create the life of your dreams. (A vision board is a great way to enhance this effort.)

4. Endeavor to be of service:

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth
"You owe me"
Look what happens with a love like that
It lights the whole sky? -- Hafiz

The ego's mantra is "what's in it for me?" The mantra of the higher self is, "how may I serve?" By shifting from self-service to serving others, we can move from fear to love. Dr. Dyer shared a story of his first meeting with a publisher when he was a young professor. When he entered the publisher's office, the man seemed quite forlorn. Rather than pitch his book, Wayne asked how the publisher was doing -- he learned the man's marriage was in shambles. Recognizing an opportunity to serve, Wayne performed a free, four-hour therapy session. They never discussed his book, but the publisher later offered him a contract. Focus on helping others -- and you will a live a life beyond your wildest dreams.

5. Remain detached from outcome:

We're often taught to set a goal, pursue it with single-pointed focus, and then judge our success (or failure) by the achievement of that goal. However, renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow said the most important quality in self-actualized individuals is detachment from outcome. Wayne reminds us that his external success -- fame and fortune alike -- were beyond his control. He advises us to focus on planting the right seeds but not evaluate ourselves by the fruits of our labor.

6. Love sells:

Wayne Dyer is often regarded as one of the world's best salesmen. He has raised more than $100 million for public television and many of his books are worldwide best-sellers. So, what the secret to his success?

"I never sell a book. I sell myself. And, the way to sell yourself is to be an instrument of love." -- Wayne Dyer

Wayne says he focuses on bringing love to each interaction -- with an audience, a book publisher, or strangers on the street. As he embodies this energy, people feel inspired to read his work. In order to do this, it is crucial to "walk your talk," to live your message. By doing this, Wayne continuously learns and finds material for new books (he recently finished number 40).

7. Be a "scurvy elephant":

"We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be." -- May Sarton

As a child, Wayne returned home, upset because he overheard his teacher calling him a "scurvy elephant." When he expressed concern to his foster mother, she called the teacher who said, "Oh, that Wayne -- he's always getting things wrong. I didn't call him a scurvy elephant; I said he was a disturbing element (in class)." Wayne has long made decisions others didn't understand. And it's a good thing. Otherwise, he never would have entered the spiritual/self-help genre before it was popular. So, listen to your inner calling, respectfully heed your call, transform into a "scurvy elephant"... and live a life beyond your wildest imagination.

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life that he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." -- Henry David Thoreau

For more by Jamie Lauren Zimmerman, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

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