page title icon Book Summary Review: The Life You Were Born to Live

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Dan Millman’s “The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose,” is a life guidebook. The book is a life-changing read–an exciting guide to help us discover our life path and follow our life purpose. People often find themselves lost and wondering what to do to follow the correct path to achieve their life goals and mission. The book offers the readers the necessary understanding about themselves to improve life and the relationships they make with others. Even though written three decades ago, the book remains quite relevant today (and was revised and updated in 2018). The book gently guides the reader towards realization and desire to change their life perspectives and what must be changed to achieve happiness and success. Millman presents to the readers a new approach to understanding life and the forces shaping our lives. The 450-plus page book is divided into five primary parts. 

The Life You Were Born to Live Review

Part 1: Life Purpose System

The book’s first part explains the Life-Purpose System from a mathematical viewpoint and how the concept works. The Life-Purpose System offers an insight into one’s life path and that of friends, co-workers, and family, and teaches how to adopt essential universal laws to harness the gifts and overcome life challenges that each path presents. Through the Life-Purpose System, a modern approach to using ancient wisdom for personal growth, Millman travels a path divulging meaning, purpose, and direction that any person can travel to find direction, purpose, and meaning in their life and overcome life challenges. The book features thirty-seven life paths regarding critical issues and special needs for every path. These paths can guide establishing one’s direction regarding money, health and sexuality, and an individual’s inborn talents. 

Through the Life-Path System, the book also offers guidelines for establishing careers that align with our innate energies, abilities, and talents hidden within the dynamics of our relationships and how to coexist with harmony within our life cycles. The Life-Purpose System explores the fundamental spiritual laws or the universal philosophies aligned to each life path, helping individuals to clarify their past, comprehend the present, and define and shape the future. Understanding and applying the Life-Purpose System can produce a quantum leap in one’s understanding of themselves and change their life course. 

Part 2: Issues and Energies of Life 

Millman details the Issues and Energies of life, incorporating ten fundamental life lessons or issues humans must deal with throughout their life journey. These are: 

  1. Creativity and Confidence
  2. Balance and Cooperation
  3. Expression and Sensitivity
  4. Discipline and Freedom
  5. Acceptance and Vision
  6. Trust and Openness
  7. Power and Abundance
  8. Wisdom
  9. Integrity 
  10. Inner gifts 

Each of these issues describes the inherent attributes that color human life. Unfortunately, humans wear masks, often distinct from the internal realities. Millman says that our inside feelings, including the subconsciously determined fears and desires, do not usually reveal on the surface. Most people have developed a social mask or persona distinct from or opposite to their inner feelings. The masks are responsible for common misunderstandings among people, making it challenging for humans to connect authentically. The human masks described by Millman significantly impact our relationships, health, and work.

The Life You Were Born to Live Review

Part 3: The Paths of Destiny

Millman explores the paths of destiny. This section borrows a leaf from the Life-Purpose System and the nature of the human mask. Millman examines the paths of each potential life purpose, including health, elemental traits, positive and negative life dynamics, relationships, finances, and work. Here, Millman also details people in each path, which readers should consider with a grain of salt since people mask their real intentions, traits, and personality and express themselves differently based on the prevailing circumstances. If you are actively working, these sections can help manifest your life purpose by focusing on critical issues and producing specific actions to transform core areas of life. Some of the author’s recommendations for a meaningful life purpose include expressing and clearing anger toward the authorities and then assuming one’s own authority. Millman also advocates for daily exercise with vigor and strength, maneuvering through insecurities to reach your destination, and utilizing your inner gifts and creativity to fulfill your destiny.

Part 4: The Laws of Spirit

This part details Millman’s 17 “Laws of Spirit.” Each of the human’s life purposes works with these laws. Among the notable laws is: the Law of Process, explaining the approach of taking life step-by-step. This approach converts any journey into a sequence of small steps, accomplished one by one, to attain any goal. The Law of Process is an approach to life that transcends time, makes us value patience, and is grounded on extensive and careful preparation. It exemplifies trust unfolding potentials. Numerous changes along the way characterize the road to a fulfilling life purpose. As such, we only need to attain one life goal and create another. The journey to a meaningful, fulfilling, and happy life never ends as long as patience and discipline are upheld. Another notable law is the Law of Presence. This law aligns our life purpose with the present. From Millman’s argument, it can be deduced that we can neither live in the past nor the future. “We have only this Moment,” the present moment, and our purpose should align with that reality. This chapter has several other laws, but these two stand out. 

The Life You Were Born to Live Review

Part 5: Applied Wisdom

Part 5 of Millman’s book deals with applied wisdom. These sections explain how we can make the Life-Purpose System work for us. The author advises the readers to live confidently, finding new meaning, direction, and purpose. 


The Life You Were Born to Live is recommended, 10/10, to individuals on the journey for overall life and self-understanding or those seeking to understand their spiritual path. The book is easy to read, understand, and apply. Millman’s book is an interesting read, but it may not be for hard-core scientists who require documentable proof for any system.

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