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By Rizwan Virk

In his fascinating book, Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success,Rizwan Virk looks at the origin of intuitive clues from two different perspectives, the spiritual and the scientific. In this excerpt he looks at the spiritual perspective, which says many of the intuitive clues we get in life are set up for us in advance and are there to remind us of the life we were meant to live…

In some Buddhist traditions, the process of incarnating requires crossing the “River of Forgetfulness,” where we forget all about our past lives and the intent, mission, and karma we are here to fulfill in this life.

Similarly, in Chinese mythology, the goddess Meng Po is the Lady of Forgetfulness, and she brews up a Tea of Forgetfulness for us, that we drink just before incarnating. This helps us forget our past lives so that we can have a “fresh start.” Unfortunately, it also causes us to forget our memories of the “in-between” place as well, including our mission for this life.

Sometimes we are given a direct glimpse of what our life’s work is. Winston Churchill was said to have told a friend when he was just a boy that one day he was going to be called on to save the British Empire.

For most of us, we don’t get a direct vision or message of what we were meant to do in life. In fact, we might not be sure, but we usually have hunches and guesses. We get little glimpses of things that draw our attention: interests, activities and people that bring us joy. These are the little clues that are placed for us along the way, like breadcrumbs leading us on a cosmic treasure hunt, back to the place and person we were meant to be in this life.

Recognizing the Clues and Following the Map

One thing I learned at MIT was that most of what we call science is really a series of models about how the universe works. The underlying “True Nature of Reality” is far too complex to put into words or mathematical equations, so we use these models as long as they are useful.

In one model, clues come not from the unconscious as much as from the pre-conscious, from the place before you were born, the place in-between life and death. We set ourselves up to meet certain people and make certain decisions, and to ensure that we don’t forget, we set up these clues.    Both Dr. Michael Newton, in his seminal book, Journey of Souls, and Dr. Brian Weiss, author of Many Lives, Many Masters, regressed patients back to the time before they were born and their subjects reported being told of certain “clues” or “triggers” that they were taught to look for in their upcoming lives to recognize the people they were meant to be with and paths they were meant to follow.

This is a fascinating model of how clues work and what our Treasure Map is trying to guide us toward. In another model, the more religious model, there are spiritual guides and guardian angels who are constantly watching us and sending us messages, or the  clues are actually messages from God. In the Islamic model, there is even a formal term, Istikhara, for asking for guidance from God.

I find that while all of these models have their pluses and minuses, they are also essentially saying the same thing. Whatever your beliefs, I encourage you not just to keep an open mind about where your personal clues may come from, but to go with whatever model seems best to you.

Rizwan Virk is a successful entrepreneur, film producer, venture capitalist, and bestselling author of Zen Entrepreneurship: Walking the Path of the Career Warrior. His software products have been used by the largest enterprises in the world, and his video games have been downloaded millions of times, including Tap Fish and Penny Dreadful: Demimonde.  He studied at MIT and Stanford, and is currently Executive Director of Play Labs @ MIT, a startup accelerator. Riz lives in Mountain View, CA and Cambridge, MA.