Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson


I used to donate a lot of time giving advice to people on “ask the experts” sort of websites. There are two questions that always seem to be repeated. The first is “what is my purpose in life” and the other is “how do I increase my self esteem?” The ironic twist to these questions is that they both have the same answer, regardless of age or circumstance of the person asking. The amazing thing is that after giving the same answer hundreds of times, I have never had anyone write me back and say “you were wrong!”

The reason that we are here, primarily and fundamentally, is to help each other. We are hardwired to help each other and to cooperate. We are all connected by some great creational energy, whether you call it the “big bang” or “God” or “universal consciousness.” We all come from the same vast pool of energy and are made manifest by actions others. We all have to admit that it took the actions of two or more people to conceive and birth each of us, so we can’t ignore the fact that we are not isolated beings. Our perception of our world and ourselves is largely dependant on the training and programming we have received from others. I am not aware of anyone who was conceived and grew up in a vacuum, deserted island or isolation. If there is one, I would definitely like to meet that person, to talk to someone with a “clean slate.”

           Some of us have bought into the misconception that we are all in this for our own selfish interests and have no concern for the welfare of others. In other words, we are only concerned without our own problems. We jump into a deep pool of self-pity and fear and never seem to climb out. We believe that we are individuals, separate and alone, victims of circumstance or fate. We are losing the rat race because there are always bigger and faster rats no matter where we look. The key word here is misconception, for none of this is real, it is an illusion which modern society wants us to believe so we can be controlled. We need to accept the fact that is not the way life is planned or conceived.

            The only way to find happiness is to stop focusing on what we don’t have or don’t like. We have to focus on others, and stop focusing on ourselves. We can always find people who have more, as we can always find people who have less. When we pitch in, share ourselves with others, a miraculous thing happens, we start to operate as we are originally designed and we are happy. We are happy because we are living our purpose and our purpose gives us life. When we focus on serving others with our talents, without thought of reward, we return to our original blueprint and everything falls into place.

           Every time a teenager complains about their social status, or a young adult complains about their circumstances, or a confused soul complains about their confusion, I always have the same answer, “go help someone less fortunate than yourself.”  We can go sit with an elderly person warehoused in a retirement facility, volunteer at an orphanage or food kitchen, or help out at a homeless shelter. Alternatively we can teach the illiterate how to read, foreigners how to speak our language, or children how to be responsible.

         True happiness comes from self-love. True self-love comes from respecting yourself. Respecting yourself comes from helping and serving others without expectation of reward. The service is reward enough. If everyone with self-esteem problems, lack of self worth or victim issues would go out and do a service for someone less fortunate than himself or herself, the prophesized end of the world would happen in an instant, and this world would become a heaven. I think that it is safe to say that materialism has failed to make anyone happier or the world a safer place. If anything, the opposite is true. The chase for wealth is like eating air. We need substance to our lives, substance that service richly provides.

         If you are afraid, lonely, confused or victimized, exercise your compassion and help someone who has less than yourself. It is easy to find them. Do this for thirty days. If you are not feeling better about your life, nor feeling as your life has purpose, please let me know. I haven’t had anyone call me yet.

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