Perhaps there is no better article to put on our blog to kick off the relaunch of our website, than this one written by author Jaime Richards. It was poignant when I first read it a few years ago, and it is even more poignant today, when the first question we get when we tell them about what Romantic Beast is all about is: How do you find a sweetheart?
I shall leave you to your quiet moment reading this article below and find the answer you've been looking for. -doris
Maybe this should be a Valentine’s Day column. And yet, for those yearning for romance, every day is look-for-love day.
As a high school teacher, as the father of two daughters, I’m mightily aware of the powerful pull of passion. Try teaching 17-year-olds about the balance of government power when the balance in their own lives has been shoved out of whack by ardor.
Not that it’s solely a teenage phenomenon. Singles, sixteen to sixty, are searching. And that’s the problem.
Until recently, I thought my love-finding theory was something only I believed. Boy was I wrong. Starting with this amazing (2nd century BC!) quote from the original yoga master, Patanjali, we’re taught that looking for love isn’t the answer. Finding a purpose is.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person – by far – than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
What does this have to do with relationships? A lot. “The Alchemist” was published only 22 years ago by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. It has sold over 65 million copies and is already considered one of the greatest novels ever written – a modern classic. The story’s main character, Santiago, is tempted to sacrifice the life he knows he was destined to live and “settle” for romantic love. He’s advised to resist this potent, overwhelming urge.
An excerpt: “No heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” It goes on to say that when you are working hard on your purpose and not looking for romantic love, that's when you’ll end up finding it. Or, more accurately, it will find you.
That’s exactly how I “found” my wife. Fed up with the frigid Midwestern winters, after having my hair freeze on a two-degree February Michigan evening, I promised myself that I’d finish college in California, the place of my dreams. I took a summer job in Malibu at a camp for blind and deaf children (my great purpose). The last thing on my mind was finding a wife. But guess who else was at Camp Bloomfield, pursuing her great purpose?
Then, recently, one of my students sent me the “Holstee Manifesto” (Holstee is a new company that manufactures products made from recycled material). Part of the manifesto says, “If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.”
Isn’t that what Patanjali taught? Isn’t that Paulo Coelho’s message? It’s definitely what I’m going to pass on to the people I teach and love when they’re sad because they haven’t found a sweetheart.
I’m going to tell them to focus on living well. “Work hard, learn, develop, improve, create, serve. Be the best ‘you’ you can be. Stop looking for a lover and start searching for a cause. When you find it, lose yourself in it. Improve the world. While you’re doing that, out of nowhere, love will magically appear.”
Jaime Richards founded the What It Takes Club, teaching, mentoring and guiding people to live the extraordinary life. To read more about Jaime’s wonderful work and his wonderful organization, please visit www.What-It-Takes.com.