What Makes Me Tick

Dismantling Godzilla in Two Trips to Tahiti.

I've just put finishing touches on a two-year labor of love: a book manuscript with the working title, Two Trips to Tahiti: Understanding and Applying the Universal Laws of Purpose. It's a heavily researched (over 260 footnotes), extensive (over 150,000 words) effort that I know will bless and empower many people. I don't yet know when it will be published, but I wanted to share an excerpt from the preface that helps you understand some of my deeper motivations:

I've always had a natural curiosity for how things work. From the first moment I learned how to use a screwdriver, my sweaty little fingers feverishly disassembled anything I could get my hands on. Clocks, toys, you name it, I took it apart. When I got a plastic Godzilla for Christmas, complete with moveable mouth that bites and roars on command from a toggle on his spine, I enjoyed the roaring and biting for a few days. But I was soon overcome with the big question of how that toggle made the mouth move. So I dismantled Godzilla with more plastic-crunching force than King Kong, Ghidorah, and Rodan combined.

But over the years, my curiosities have narrowed. Long ago, I abandoned the Godzilla-toggle and clock questions for a more ambitious question: how we work. I am deeply interested in why we do the things we do. For me, the gears and toggles of human nature are much more fascinating than the plastic toy could ever be. The mechanisms of mind and motive, the toggles of thought - these are what captivate my curiosity today.

I am constantly thinking about the deeper questions of purpose: Why do we do the things we do? Why do we sometimes feel exhilarated, powerful, and full of purpose? Why do we sometimes feel stuck, hopeless, helpless? Over all of this is the bright red neon question, How can we change for the better? What are the most basic principles of purpose, and how can we best apply them toward the transformation of our lives, our families, our companies, our churches, our culture?

I've spent two decades wondering how people and organizations pursue purpose, and why they succeed and fail. This search has taken me into the pages of hundreds of books, into the halls of Ivy League universities, into relationships with some of the world's leading experts on change, into the executive suites of some of the world's greatest companies, and beyond.

And of course, this search has taken me deep into the pages of the Bible, where I see that we are "transformed by the renewing of our minds." I want to understand how God has "wired us" in order to fulfill my mission of "promoting greatness in people." I hope that in the months and years ahead, my labors, and those of Project 28, will help you find transformation in the Christian life.


about erik van alstine

Erik is a change expert and author of the personal finance discipleship system, Breaking Free: Financial Strategies that Transform Debt into Wealth. Breaking Free is like driver's ed in your financial life, a powerful video curriculum that offers experiential learning, assessment, and transformation! Take our free MoneyFinder Quiz to see just how much payoff Breaking Free can create for you!