insights of Howard Thurman




One day I was shopping for a birthday card for a friend. This quotation by Howard Thurman was written on one of the cards:

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”

The quotation resonated with me as a person and as a life coach. Many times as victims others take our power. Sometimes we relinquish our power to make peace or to stay safe. Eventually we can lose the ability to go within to discover what we desire and need to be the genuine person we were born to be. The positive message is that each of us can learn how to regain our power. You can discover or rediscover how to listen to your inner voice. (I shall most likely address personal power and authority in a future blog post.)

The readers of my blog are from various generations. Some may know who Howard Thurman was. The name only sounds familiar to others. This chance encounter with a quotation on a card led me to research the person who wrote it. Howard Thurman was a philosopher, mystic and preacher. He was a spiritual source for Martin Luther King, Jr. (Read these articles for more information.  and .)

Thurman had the opportunity to meet Gandhi. This influenced his writings. Thurman wrote:

“Keep open the door of thy heart. It matters not how many doors are closed against thee.”

Once I began to heal and feel all emotions, I realized I wanted to keep my heart open. Although people had betrayed me and/or not believed me, I innately understood the importance of not closing myself off to both the joy and the pain of this world. An open heart has been a personal priority of mine. Hate will not win. Love triumphs.

Other thoughts from Thurman are:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”


“There are two questions that we have to ask ourselves. The 1st is “Where am I going?” and the 2nd is “Who will go with me?” If you ever get these questions in the wrong order, you are in trouble.”

I think his words are profound. As a certified life purpose coach and a fellow traveler on this earth, I believe Howard Thurman leads us to explore our inner desires as well as our individual life purpose.

What is your life purpose? What is your role on this earth? What is your passion?

Howard Thurman does not ask you to sacrifice yourself to benefit others. He wants you to do what makes you alive! How exciting! It is exciting for you and for the world! Following your passions and doing what makes you alive may benefit society more than leading a life of service that is unappealing to you.

For those of you with a meditative bent, his book, “Meditation of the Heart” may resonate with you. I took the time to listen to Howard Thurman’s “What Do You Want, Really?” on YouTube.

This last quotation I shall share from Howard Thurman leaves me smiling. I hope it does the same for you!

“There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.”

― Howard Thurman

I am available for you to explore and discover your focus on your life’s journey. It would be a privilege!

May each of you find a place of beauty as well as satisfying your individual life purpose!!