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The Purpose Pages

I was in prison from 2002-2012. These are my journals from that time.

All I Want in My Future is Peace.

Written in Jail 12/25/2002

I need peace!  I only want peace out of life!  I’m tired.  I don’t want anymore involvement with scandalous, scamming, corner-cutting lifestyles anymore.  I want to live sober in mind, spirit, and body.  I dream of being honest with myself, friends, and the family who continues to surround me. I want to be a loving, caring, humorous, respectable, tactfully-rambunctious, unique cool person.  I can imagine myself being this, and I like it.

Continue reading “All I Want in My Future is Peace.”

I Was Too Smart for Heroin.

Written in Jail 12/20/2002

When I was high on heroin one time, I called and left this voice mail on a friend’s answering machine.  In the morning, she delivered the typed transcript to me in an envelope.  I don’t know if she did it as a joke, or if she was subtly saying I needed help.  Either way, this is what I said when I was high:

Continue reading “I Was Too Smart for Heroin.”

DRUGS!

Written 12/19/02 in jail.

Drugs!  I love Drugs! I imagined drugs as a best friend for a long time.  I was never scared or intimidated by drugs.  Drugs were a natural – energy filled – powerhouse for me.  I saw drugs as an exciting, powerful, wonderful substance that could propel a simple human mind into a state of uninhibited spiritual and insightful realm of revelation.

THE STORY OF HOW THIS ADVENTURE BEGAN 

My drug-fueled adventures were intense and meaningful experiences.

Continue reading “DRUGS!”

Leadership Styles: What I uncovered hiking on Lookout Mountain.

What makes a leader?  Why be a leader?  And, How to be a leader?

I was visiting Colorado this past weekend.  While there, I pushed myself to explore new environments to find God far away from the comfortable home I’ve made in Minnesota.  When I do activities like this – activities that push me to my limits physically, emotionally, and spiritually –  I can’t help but daydream about my purpose in life and how I am going to fulfill it with the limited time I have alive on earth.

Continue reading “Leadership Styles: What I uncovered hiking on Lookout Mountain.”

How to Become a Better Person: Build an Adventure Within You, and a New Adventure Will Come.

What happened to me?  I used to be so… unhappy, unorganized, unfocused, and confused inside.

Somewhere along my life journey I changed.  I became honest, likable, responsible, driven, motivated, and productive?  Somehow, at some point, I changed from an entitled, ungrateful, manipulative human being into a man I am proud to be today.

So how does a person make that change?  Without losing yourself in the process, how do you become a better person?

Continue reading “How to Become a Better Person: Build an Adventure Within You, and a New Adventure Will Come.”

How I Survived my First Year of Marriage, and Conquered the Selfishness!

My wife and survived our first year of marriage by making it to our first anniversary last weekend!  At times, the journey wasn’t the most beautiful or graceful thing I’ve ever done.  My wife and I struggled at times, we fought at times, we loved at times, and we truly enjoyed the journey at times.   But at other times, we got loud, got stubborn, and even swore a few times.  At this first anniversary date, we’re both excited we made it, and also relieved that our first year of marriage, and all of the challenges that came with it, are finally done for us.  We made it, and because we learned how to fight together, and for each other, rather than against each other, we’re happier now than the first day we started.  This is what I looked like last weekend when I made it to my first anniversary with my wife:

Continue reading “How I Survived my First Year of Marriage, and Conquered the Selfishness!”

Making a Murderer: My own story through the Wisconsin justice system.

Making a Murdererhas been smeared all over my Facebook and Twitter feed recently.  The title of the movie, and the images I’ve seen, have inspired flashbacks of the rural Wisconsin courtroom I sat trial in for murder, the prison system that incarcerated me for much of my adult life, and the journey I took to redefine my purpose of life. 

Continue reading “Making a Murderer: My own story through the Wisconsin justice system.”

How to Find God – The Convictions that Changed my Life.

Only God can lead you to your Purpose in Life, and I found God in 3 major ways:

1) First, I became so unhappy and unfulfilled with my life, that I was desperate for change.  My life had become a unmanageable state of misery.  A good friend of mine had just died of a drug overdose, and I had been living a lie most of my life.  I suddenly realized all of the achievements in my life didn’t mean a thing as I hadn’t worked hard for any of them.  I had spent my whole life coasting by on natural talent, trying to act the role I thought everyone else wanted me to be, that I lost who I really was.   I felt so ugly, and unfulfilled, and I was desperate for a change.  I was finally ready to open the door, and when I did, God showed up and entered my life.   

Continue reading “How to Find God – The Convictions that Changed my Life.”

How to Become a Christian – Find Friends Who Will Help Lead You Out Of Your Prison.

At one point in my life, I was totally lost, hurt, and devastated. I can’t believe how far I had traveled away from my purpose in life, and how far back I had to journey to find it again.  

In 2002, when my friend died of an accidental heroin overdose after leaving my college apartment, I collapsed into a severe state of shock and depression.  I lost track of what was real for months after that.   I had always thought a little bit of partying was cool.  I thought drugs and alcohol were innocent fun.  I thought as long as I was succeeding in college, life could be just one big party centered around fulfilling my desires to have a good time.  I actually began believing that drugs were a gift from God, because how could they be bad, when I was feeling so absolutely high all the time.

But then when my friend died, I was left in such an empty, alone, and lost place.  I felt like a shell of myself, and I didn’t even know who I was anymore. Everything I had believed in was wrong, and I didn’t know how to get to the next stage of my life.  I felt like such a liar and failure, and where was I supposed to go next?   I knew I didn’t want to go backward, but I didn’t know where the path forward began either.

I was in jail going through trial for my friends accidental death, when a church sign-up sheet slid under the metal door of our churches cell block.  I was desperate for anything that could change my life at the moment.  I figured I had nothing left to lose.  I was looking for any answers as to why I was such a mess, and if God could help me overcome the struggles I was in, I was all for it, so I wrote my name on the sheet.

Later that evening, the jailer came and escorted a group of us to the recreation room where the church service would be held.  It had been years since I was in a church service, but I tried to avoid comparing this experience to some of the bad church experiences I had growing up, and I took a seat in the back row, and waited for the  volunteers to arrive.

 The door to the cell block opened, and in walked an eclectic group of unique souls I never would have thought would have been “Christians” or “Church People.”   These people looked cool, and acted like the type of people I would have hung out with on the street.  They were going places, and doing things that sounded exciting to me.  Except there was one major difference between them, and  me:  When you looked in their eyes, they had visions of hope, excitement, and were full of exciting ideas they wanted to do with their lives.  When they looked at me, I was an absolute mess and just wanted a second chance at life.   

As they led the church service, I sat in awe watching them wearing an orange jumpsuit.  I had felt so lost and depressed, and I didn’t know how to get out of it.  Suddenly for the first time in months, I felt hope and inspired because finally had a new vision of who I wanted to become once I got my life back.  As church service ended that day, I remember thinking to myself while looking at those Christians,

 “Whatever those people have found, that made them act that way, that’s what I want to build my next life around.”

These same volunteers would come to the jail a few times a week for the next year I was there. The better I got to know them, the more I understood their secret recipe for being such incredible people.

I remember asking them, “How did you become such inspirational people?  And how can I do it?”

And they’d respond, “We just follow God in our lives, and he does the rest. We find God through the bible, and we try to measure up to the standard Jesus set with his life.  If you see greatness in us, it’s really only because you can see Jesus in us, and it’s his greatness you see.  Accept Christ into your life,  and he will guide you on the same journey that we are in now.”

It took me 4 months of questioning them about Jesus, but I finally decided, I have nothing to lose, and I accepted Jesus into my life because I didn’t want to feel  lost anymore.  Once Jesus became my guide, and I had a strong support group of friends around me to hold me accountable, I began to climb out of  the horrible depression I was in, and I began the most fulfilling journey of self-discovery, hope, joy, peace where I was able to find myself.

 So how do you become a Christian?

Step 1) Find a tribe of Christians who inspire you, and immerse yourself in their community.   

Step 2) Accept Jesus into your life; learn more about him through his teachings in the bible; and then follow him with all of your heart.  Listen to him, and discipline yourself to find him, and I believe it’s the only way to maximize your potential in this life.

Step 3) Once you’ve begun to find yourself, when the next generation of lost ones enter your world, do your best to lead them to the same answers of self-discovery, hope, joy, and purpose of life that you found when you were lost and hurting.  

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