Living a Life of Purpose: John Dowd Jr. and Heroes, Mentors, and Friends

In my last blog post, I told you about a friend of mine, Gary Marino, who defied the odds and succeeded in accomplishing what he sees as his life’s purpose: educating Americans about obesity (especially childhood obesity), as well as how to prevent and overcome it. If you checked out the film I helped Gary make, Million Calorie March: The Movie, I hope you were inspired.

Today, I want to tell you about another person who took a risk to pursue his purpose. Like Gary, John Dowd Jr. is a good personal friend of mine. If you have Sirius XM radio, you might be familiar with John’s voice: You can hear him weekdays on Sirius’s “’70s on 7” station (where he’s known as “Jaybeau”) from noon to 6:00 p.m.

John is fond of saying that at age 50, he got what might be the best gift anyone could ever receive: He got fired. (Yes, you read that right!) Let me explain. After losing his job, John initially did what most of us would do: He agonized about what steps he should take next. A 25-year veteran of the broadcast and radio industries with numerous awards under his belt, John felt a strong pull to find another job as soon as possible. A little voice in his mind told him that the most important thing was to keep the money coming in, no matter how much personal fulfillment he might or might not get from his career.

John now calls that little voice “The Outside Me.” It’s the voice of fear, he says. It lives in the external world and measures success by external things like money, accomplishments, and “stuff.” Fortunately, John had another mental voice, “The Inside Me.” It encouraged him to let go of fear and do something really meaningful: work on the book he’d been wanting to write for years—a book that would help other people move toward spiritual enlightenment and create more positive lives for themselves.

At that point, John did something truly difficult: He took a leap of faith and listened to “The Inside Me.” He didn’t accept the next job that came along; he began working on his book. Soon, a series of so-called “coincidences” (what Carl Jung calls “synchronistic events”) began to take place. To John, they were clear signs that he was on the right path.

Today, John is the author of Heroes, Mentors, and Friends. In this book, John uses his own experiences to share lessons he has learned about finding and following inspiration from special people in our lives. But he didn’t stop there: He also hosts a weekly inspirational radio show (you can listen to episodes here) and sends out regular positive messages to his email club. (If you enjoy reading my blog posts, you’ll love John’s material too—you can sign up here.)

So, is John glad he listened to “The Inside Me”? You bet! Here’s what he has to say:

“The voice of ‘The Inside Me’ is our soul. It is the higher part of us. It is the Universe, Nature, God, whatever name you want to give it, speaking through us. Today I’m LIVING my life and no longer living as a spectator of it. ‘The Inside Me’ was right. What is your inside voice telling you today?”

Indeed! Take some quiet time to really listen to your inner voice. What do you think your purpose might be? How can you use your experiences, abilities, and passions to make the world a better place? Remember, we all have something unique and valuable to offer—and nobody is too small to make a difference!