An Interview with Dan Millman

by Veronica M. Hay

Dan Millman is the author of The Life You Were Born To Live
A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose.

Nearly a decade ago, Dan found a powerful, objective method to determine the core issues, hurdles, and innate talents in anyone's life, giving them a road map of the mountain they were here to climb. The response inspired Dan to write
The Life You Were Born To Live, sharing a method formerly veiled in secrecy and passed down in a largely oral tradition.


The Life You Were Born To Live reveals to the reading public, for the first time, the same method and material which he has thus far taught only to selected helping professionals - material which has helped to clarify their lives and improve their relationships. Going beyond other books about personality types, The Life You Were Born To Live also outlines key laws and principles for each life path to bring our lives into alignment and balance. Dan Millman is a past world champion athlete whose experiences and travels around the world have generated an approach to life he calls "the way of the peaceful warrior". He has taught at several major universities and has trained physicians, therapists, educators, and other helping professionals in the field of personal growth.


Veronica: I must say Dan that when I received your new book, I was very surprised. I was expecting another novel like The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior and Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior or something similar to No Ordinary Moments. This new work is somewhat of a departure into metaphysical terrain for a man who is a past world champion athlete. How did you come upon this Life-Purpose System and what inspired you to write a book about it?

Dan: The answer to that question is a long and winding journey that took me around the world over a period of almost two decades. First, I began to explore larger principles of physical movement through gymnastics. Some years later, I experienced a breakthrough and began to see more how those principles of movement relate to the principles of living. I found what I came to call universal or spiritual laws that apply to the larger arena of daily life. Since then, I have been less involved with winning or losing specific skill competitions in athletics, and more aligned to a more cooperative stance toward life - how we can, working together, achieve a greater awareness and quality of life.

Even though The Life You Were Born To Live seems a departure from the holistic material in my previous books, I see it as just another facet of the work I am here to do. It is based on the principle that awareness heals: as we become aware of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, we tend to make more appropriate choices, more resourceful choices, in our relationships, careers, and other aspects of our lives. That is why I wrote The Life You Were Born To Live - to help more people do just that.

Veronica: There are some very fortunate individuals who seem to know very early in life what their purpose or destiny is, but I think that the majority of us sense there is certainly more to life than what we are experiencing, that there is a meaning, a direction, a purpose, but that purpose still eludes us. How will reading your book help us find it?

Dan: Addressing the first part of your question, there are some people who seem to know their purpose in life early on, in the sense that they have a specific calling, service, or career in mind, but they seem exceptions to the rule. Most of us can use some assistance, to help us clarify our lives. When we discuss life purpose, we can talk about the universal purpose we all share: we are all here for illumination - to realize our oneness, to come to grips with our essential unity. In that sense, we are all climbing the same mountain, toward the same transcendental summit? Call it enlightenment, wisdom, love, happiness, or all of those things. But in the system I present in my new book, I propose that we are climbing that mountain by one of 37 different life paths, and even if I never mentioned the term life purpose, my book helps people to get some focus rather than being scattered all over the map so to speak, get a grasp on the core issues of their life, particularly sensitive areas for them that aren't as central for many other people.

For example, anyone who looks at my book will see that I deal with archetypes or central issues for the numbers 1 through 9 and 0 which represents inner gifts. Call them numeric archetypes if you will. Just like Carl Jung began to touch into archetypes or universal images that we carry in what he calls Universal Unconscious shared by the whole of humanity. The system in my book stems originally from the Pythagorean school of ancient Greece, numeric archetypes, energies or issues shared by every culture of the world.

Veronica: How does it work? What is the process for finding one's birth number?

Dan: The process is very simple; anyone who can add up 5 or 6 single digit numbers can do it. Anyone who can balance a cheque book can do it. Even if they can't balance a cheque book, they can still find their birth number.

It is simply a matter of writing out numerically one's entire birth date, then putting a plus sign between every single digit. For example my birthdate, February 22, 1946 would be 2 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 9 + 4 + 6. You add that up and you get a number between 12 and 48. Then you add up those two digits separately. In the example above, my sum is 26, so I should add 2 + 6 which equals 8. So my birth number would be written 26/8.

People can get so wrapped up in numbers. The numbers are not the important thing. They just serve as a doorway, a key. Once you have the numbers, then you can look beyond them to the issues they represent and start dealing directly with those issues in each person's life. Since there are 37 life paths, that means millions of people are working each life path, if you divide 37 into the population of the planet. But no two people are working their life issues in exactly the same way. Numbers can be very offensive to people because numbers are precise and people are not. No one likes to be defined or summarized by a number and I do not presume to do that. The number is simply an objective way to find a focus.

The Life You Were Born to Live is about the key issues of our life. It addresses central questions: are we happy, are we serving, are we loving and if not, what do we need to do right now? Based on the feedback I have received, the book does help people to understand their life, clarify their present, and also empower or illuminate their future. They can see where they are headed more clearly. If we don't have a clear map of our life, no matter what kind of positive attitude we have, no matter how diligent and persistent we are or how good a character we have, if we don't have a clear map, we are not likely to reach our destination - or in this case our destiny. What I have attempted to do is provide a clearer map so people can see what they are working on in the theater of their life, what they are working on through their relationships, through their careers and struggles, and issues with money and health - what's beneath the surface of their lives, the bigger picture they might not yet have seen.


Veronica: You describe 5 key spiritual laws for each of the life paths outlined in your book. How could we work with these laws?

Dan: These laws comprise for me, the most significant aspect of my book. I define a spiritual law as a principle more consistent than an aphorism and more universal than a wise saying; a spiritual law applies across every domain - physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. I present the seventeen laws most relevant and useful to our daily lives. They can exert the leverage to change the course of our destiny.

Any law is useful for anyone; however, in the book I give the 5 laws most useful for overcoming the particular hurdles on each life path. Different laws or different combination of laws can be applied to each life path, so it gives a certain focus. If people try to work 17 laws, that's a lot to work with, but 5 laws are most useful because they provide focus.

The laws of spirit are one thing that makes this book different from other books on Numerology or Astrology. They give us a practical means of change.

Veronica: Your Life-Purpose System also furnishes keys to understanding relationships. Would this give us greater insight into why we have chosen to be with particular individuals and how we may better relate to each other?

Dan: I believe we choose to be together on subconscious levels, to learn about ourselves. Even if someone is in a relationship that doesn't work out, that can be a tremendous learning experience as well.

Just as our individual lives have a certain purpose or key issues, relationships also have a purpose and key issues - key energies that are different. Any parent who has several children knows that they feel different energy with each of their children. They love all their children, but different things come up in different relationships - not just due to the order of the children's birth, or whether they are girls or boys, although that is part of it, of course.

The Life You Were Born To Live shows a very simple method to hone in on the energy and the issues that come up in each particular relationship. I go into what that looks like in the positive, as well as what negative aspects can arise, 3 key questions to ask of that relationship, and 3 spiritual laws that can help that relationship work in the best possible way.

Veronica: Thank you Dan. I really enjoyed your book. Reading about my birth number did clarify many things for me and the section on the spiritual laws once again confirmed what I already know but don't always put into practice. I now use the book as a reference guide for friends, family, and co-workers. It has helped me to understand the people in my world better. I highly recommend it to all our readers.




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