Words of Wisdom from Dave Barry

Here’s another one that recently arrived in my inbox.

Enjoy, John


What you thought was wrong with you may be what’s right with you.

― Alarius


      In junior high school Dave Barry was a class clown and often found himself in trouble for cracking jokes during class. One day his teacher scolded him, “You’d better get to work, Dave Barry — you can’t joke your way through life!”

      Fortunately, Dave paid no attention to his teacher and went on to become the most successful humor writer in America. With many popular books to his credit, he writes the most widely syndicated humor column in American newspapers. He also garnered a Pulitzer Prize along the way.

       Dave Barry is joking his way through life, and doing quite well at it. If he had buckled under pressure from his teacher and done something that was safe but boring, millions of us would have missed out on some precious insights and belly laughs. And he would have been just one more confused person wondering what he is doing here, dying with his music still in him.

      You have gifts and talents unique to you, which no one can replicate. You are here to deliver your inimitable talents to the world. People will come along who judge or criticize you for not following the herd. If you listen to them, you will feel depressed and despondent. If you listen to your inner spirit instead, you will feel exhilarated and find meaning, purpose, and value in your life.

      No one knows what you should be doing more than you do.  Trust that knowing, and success will flow to you naturally and easily. And your heart will be full.

Are you living true to your inner talents and gifts?

How might you express them more, with trust and confidence?


I rejoice in the gifts and talents I am blessed with. I share them with assurance.


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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.


Your job, should you decide to be happy, is to find that which you deeply love and to do it wholeheartedly. I’m not necessarily talking about skills here. Skills are things we learn along the path of life and they may or may not coincide with that which we deeply love.

I’m talking about what you came here to do. That which you were born to do. James Redfield called it the birth vision. In essence, on a soul level, you decided on this before you were born. You could call it your mission. Barbara Sher calls it your gift or gifts.

How do you find your mission and your gifts? There are several ways. There are several clues. Take a look at what you loved doing as a child, as an adolescent and as an adult. When I say ‘loved doing’ I mean that which brought you joy. It will be something that came easily, that seemed natural to you. Now examine the fabric of your life and find the common threads that connect those things you loved earlier in life with what you love today. When you find these threads you’ll notice something quite special. When you are fulfilling your mission it will seem that the entire universe conspires to assist you. Things quite literally fall into place. Little or large, subtle or unavoidably obvious, coincidences guide you on your way. When you are doing that which you love you feel completely at ease and joyful. This joy is your natural state of being.

Often, that which you came here to do involves interacting with other people. Your first experiences of this are usually in your family, but it could be with a friend or friends. There will be a relationship that feels at ease. There is comfortableness. You’ll feel like you’ve known each other before. When you are together there will be moments of great joy.

Sometimes a group of people is drawn together to complete some task. Each of them, through their own unique circumstances, is guided to converge at a particular place at a particular time. Each individual will lend their particular gifts and skills to the task to ensure its fulfillment. There will be an ease, a sort of magic that carries the unfoldment along. This doesn’t mean there won’t be hard work involved. It means participants will feel inwardly compelled to do the work. Resistance falls away and work comes easily and joyfully.

I recently had a conversation with an American friend who migrated to New Zealand a few years ago. He was concerned that his recently planted blueberry orchard, clearly visible to motorists on a main country road, could be prone to theft of berries. We have seen blueberries stripped clean from a planting of former neighbors of ours in Peria Valley, inland from where we live today. This friend, we’ll call him Michael, spoke of one of the things that he had found so attractive about New Zealand when first visiting was the honesty boxes to be found at roadside fruit and vegetable stalls throughout the country. Michael had grown up in southern California when people could and did leave their houses unlocked. It didn’t even occur to Michael and others in his community to steal.

Today this had changed where Michael comes from and is changing in New Zealand. Michael saw an orchardist on New Zealand television recently who lost sales of $1500 in a year due to theft from his roadside stall. He installed a surveillance camera and that cut the rate of theft in half. He had images of people on film caught in the act of taking fruit without paying. The police said they couldn’t help; they had bigger crimes to deal with.

So the orchardist took an investigative television crew with him to the door of a woman he had captured on film. She answered immediately when he knocked on her door. He explained who he was and that he had a surveillance film showing her taking fruit from his stall without paying. She appeared totally unruffled and simply asked how much she owed him. He told her it was $18. She paid him immediately.

What is it that allows a woman and her family to steal without remorse? Michael says he wouldn’t commit a crime because he knows it would make him feel bad. Most of us are the same. Our conscience prevents us from doing ‘wrong’ and even if we did do something like, for example, eating too much chocolate at one sitting, our response would be to feel physically and/or emotionally ill.

Peace Pilgrim says we can only be harmed by our own wrong actions or reactions. We can’t be harmed by a thief or a rapist or a cruel friend or an abusive partner. We can only be harmed by our own wrong actions or reactions.

So what can we do in a world where some act in a harmful way, seemingly without remorse or guilty conscience because they are supported by their families and friends in the perpetuation of harmful acts? This applies as much to governments as it does to small scale thieving families in the Far North of New Zealand.

Don’t allow their actions to disturb your state of mind. Find the good, positive things you feel compelled to do and follow them wholeheartedly. Build up the good in relationships with family and others. Forgive those who have wronged you in the past and forgive yourself for the times you have wronged others.

Discover your gifts – quite literally uncover them – because they are there. Use them, develop them and feel the joy this brings. Share your gifts with others and, in doing so, encourage them to do likewise. Shine your light outwards and, in doing so, you give others permission to do the same.

It is so easy to make the world a better place now and for our children’s children.

Find what you love, apply yourself wholeheartedly, share it and encourage others to do the same.

As for the thieves: let them be. Love them. Know that they too will awaken in due course. Know that they, like you, are each on their unique path of self realization. Be the example. Wake up. Do what you love best. Be joyful. This simple act sends ripples around the world and brings every individual that much closer to their awakening. It’s that simple.

World peace is not only possible, it is inevitable. 

I wish you great joy and ever-unfolding wisdom.


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John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.


Much of my work—in writing, in public speaking, in workshops and even on the radio—is about encouraging people to fulfil their unique missions in life. Michael Jackson left behind an amazing legacy of music. Heal the World is still one of my favourite songs. It continues to fire me up when I listen to it. Michael Jackson fulfilled his mission. Have you fulfilled yours?


I love the words from the back of Richard Bach’s beautiful little book, Illusions, ‘Here’s a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.’


Each of us is here for a reason and a season. With rare exceptions, we don’t know when the season is up. So there is no better time than now to reflect on whether you have completed the work you came here to do. Have you fulfilled your divine mission?


Are you living the life you deeply long for? Are you being the change you want to see in the world? In living by society’s conventions have you closed off some unique dream you might have or can you finally shed that conditioning and truly live the life you deeply long for? Does it really matter what anyone else thinks?


Have you resolved any longstanding negativity you may feel towards any other person or towards yourself? These feelings ultimately only harm you and rob you of perfect health and unlimited creative energy.


Have you fulfilled every wish you have deeply held or at least have you released any wish that is no longer relevant, without a trace of regret?


Have you contacted the loved ones—mother or father, son or daughter, sister or brother or old friend—you have taken for granted and told them how much you love them?


Have life’s knocks and tragedies closed off your heart or can you, as Oriah Mountain Dreamer so eloquently wrote, ‘..stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the moon, “Yes.”’


There are those who know and do not do. Be one who knows and does. In doing so you free up the unlimited energy of inner peace and you shine ever more brightly. And remember, such actions are in no way selfish. Your example and your shining allow and inspire others to do the same. That’s why we’re here. Go for it. Fulfil your mission and live your legacy. ‘Heal the world we live in. Save it for our children.’





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