INSTINCT for Graduates

The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive and Face Your Unlimited Future


By T. D. Jakes

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Learn how your relationship with God will lead you to untold success in this gift book for graduates based on Instinct, T. D. Jakes’ #1 New York Times bestseller.

Graduation is an exciting accomplishment — and with God as your guiding light, you’ll be able to find incredible opportunities and tap into the hidden potential of your future. With this faith-based guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create a plan with clear direction for your life that makes the most of your potential
  • Make new friends, and maintain (or let go of) old relationships
  • Choose and live with roommates
  • Form an adult relationship with your parents — cut the cord, without tearing the relationship
  • Manage your finances and debt
  • Hunt for the right jobs, interview successfully, and begin an outstanding career
  • Navigate the ins and outs of dating, relating, and getting married

Equipped with the wisdom of Instinct, this book will help you discover your greatest gifts, succeed in every opportunity, and stride confidently into the future.


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CONGRATULATIONS! You're holding this book Instinct for Graduates and that could mean only one of two things: you've just graduated, completed a program, checked off a to-do and accomplished a life-long dream or you know someone who has recently graduated and you're extremely proud and want to share this little tool to help your grad continue to soar and chase unlimited dreams. Either way, congratulations are in order. Completing something you've set out to do deserves to be celebrated—and supporting someone who has achieved a goal is just as important. It's no doubt an exciting time for you and those who have supported you, and I'm happy to journey along with you at such a pivotal time.

What an awesome place to be—standing at the crossroads of obtaining a goal—one you've no doubt worked hard to attain—and looking ahead to something new—college, graduate school, a new job, a new business, a new start in life. Exciting times are ahead.

And, if you're like me and everyone else I know, you're probably experiencing a tinge of another emotion right now. Some may call it the fear of the unknown, the fear of change, or a touch of anxiety as you cross the street and begin anew. But, that's why I've written this book and other Instinct books. I believe wholeheartedly that God has already put exactly what you need inside of you to help you succeed. This thing called instinct is inside each of us—it is an inborn drive waiting to be unleashed. And when we tap into it and set it free, we gain the ability to add flair and confidence and knowledge to whatever we do. Tapping into our instinct allows each of us to bring the little extra "something something" that no one else has been wired to do quite like we do it. Connecting to our instinct can help us know when to move or which job to take or even who to choose as a lifelong partner. Instinct is important. And instinct is powerful.

So, I invite you to journey with me as I share some insights on Instinct—particularly for those of you standing in front of new opportunities. I see life as a journey and it reminds me of the new insights God gave me during a safari in South Africa. The safari was everything I had dreamed of and more. Right there on the tip of the continent, I got some new revelations on how to better live my life, run my businesses and share with God's people. On the trip of a life-time, I had a bird's eye view of God's amazing animal kingdom and how God has wired creation to work instinctively, and it changed the way I think and act.

I want to share these nuggets with you as you enter a new kingdom and claim new territory so that you can tap into your instinct and become all that God has designed you to be. It's a wild ride out there. I invite you to grab your bags and journey with me so we can discover what God has placed inside of you and unleash it to propel you into your unlimited future. I know you're ready for the challenge.

Let's go.


Be You: The Instinct to Embrace Your Uniqueness

AS YOU FUEL UP FOR YOUR NEXT LEG OF THIS journey—taking a moment to celebrate your accomplishment and checking your GPS to see what's next—consider not only celebrating your graduation but also celebrating the person you are and the person you've become. In short, take the time to get to know who you are; decide to love the person you are; and embrace all that is you. Discover what makes you really tick. When you're busy accomplishing a goal and checking off a dream on the bucket list, you sometimes lose sight of who you are. So graduate, what better time to stop, reflect and get you together before you head off to your next destination. You're going to need to know who you are in order to fulfill your destiny and utilize your God-given instinct.

Starting a new chapter in life makes it more important than ever to unleash your true self and embrace what God has put inside of you—it's how you learn to live by instinct. Living instinctively means aligning our lives with the inner wisdom of who we really are and what we were made to do. In order to get in line with ourselves and ultimately our purpose, we've got to know who we are at our core. Our creator has equipped each of us with a fundamental instinct that draws us to our purpose. Knowing who you are is directly related to being able to recognize instinct and to follow it.

So right now, determine that you will take this bold and life-changing step, pick up some courage and figure out who you are—and then liberate yourself to be the wonderful and unique person you are.

Take a deep breath—and a little break—before you start up again and tackle that next goal. Assess yourself. Don't worry, this is not another test—you've had enough of those for now. This is really a moment to be with yourself and reflect on your uniqueness—what makes you you, what makes you come alive and feel invigorated, what gets you going. This course is all about you and your only task is to become a student of yourself. This just might be your toughest subject yet. Mastering this course requires attention and dedication, but the fruit it yields will put you on the course to succeed in life. The course of self-awareness is designed to put you in touch with that little inner voice called instinct.

Those successful people who are in tune with their inborn drive know that God, the master designer, has equipped all people with a fundamental instinct that draws us to our divine purpose. These people who are engaged with their life's calling and purpose rely on something that cannot be taught. The long classes and longer nights of studying don't teach you instinct. It's something inside that propels you to do what others cannot do like you do it—instinct followers naturally enhance what they touch in a way that others can't explain. This sense of potential being realized is more fulfilling than any paycheck. It is the true feeling of fitting in, like a piece in a puzzle, to form a greater picture than you could ever imagine. It is the innate satisfaction that comes when you give the gift—in just the way only you can do it—to the world. It's like giving the biggest, best Christmas gift to a loved one—you feel good! You feel satisfied! You feel joy—and who wouldn't want to live life with that feeling?

And knowing who you are and were fashioned to be is the start of being in touch with your instinct. It's the beginning of a life-long, joy-filled and satisfying journey. Once we embrace this instinct of identity, we understand why we are so shaped and designed. We realize why we were rejected in some places, why we grew bored by other roles, and why over and over we're haunted by the possibility that there's some place, some plan, some design to which we should be aligned. The most fulfilled, confident people live their lives in the very midst of instinct. These individuals have answered the question, moved into the sweet spot, and been guided by God whose design is revealed in them. They are in their zone—and everyone around them can tell. When we have the courage to leave the familiar and step into the destiny to which our instincts keep drawing us, we can live the same way. And it starts with truly being in touch with who we are, what we like, and how we are wired.

Sometimes our parents, our teachers, even our friends and our own minds can make us think we are not enough or are too much. They try to influence us to act a certain way or be a certain way rather than who we are. Not all of their attempts to make us fit in a certain box are ill-willed. They more than likely want the best for us and see things from their perspective. If you're going to be successful, you are going to need to relinquish what others want you to be and become who you know you truly are and are designed to be. This includes letting go of your own negative thoughts and attempts to fit in a place you don't belong. If you are a circle, you cannot fit into a square. Learn who you are as a circle. Embrace your shape as a circle, be the best circle you can be and live as a circle. You were created to be you. At this point in your journey, it's a great time to release the shackles from your mind and commit to living your own life. Embracing you and all that is you.

Think of it this way, you are the most fascinating person you will ever know so allow the true you to come out—whether that is the softer side, the edgier side, the creative side, the more organized side, the driven side, the liberated side, the who-cares-what-people think side, and the it-may-seem-crazy-to-you-side but this-makes-me-feel-alive side.

Getting to know you, the one created by God to be you and only you, is like gardening. An astute gardener always takes time to prepare the ground before planting seeds. The gardener tills the ground, which means the gardener gets the soil ready to hold the seeds. It's important to have good, nutrient rich soil before planting the seeds to guarantee the plants have the best chance of surviving and producing strong, healthy crops.

In your self-awareness 101 course on you and only you, you will begin to till the ground and get the soil ready. In the turning over of the soil and the memories of times where you felt your best and most alive, you will get your ground ready for harvesting. Having the healthiest soil means seeds have a better chance of growing into healthy plants and fruitful crops. Good soil helps the plants break through the ground to do what they were designed to do—flourish and provide nourishment. Your seeds have already been planted by God; tilling the ground will make the soil ready to produce the good fruit God has deposited. By tilling your ground, you can discover the seeds that God planted even in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:13) and by getting the soil ready, you will see the plants burst through the surface of your conscious and bear fruit—fruit that will flourish and nourish your soul. Your seeds are waiting to burst forward with the special, tasty, plump, juicy fruit that says: I'm living the life I am supposed to live. I'm following my dreams and I have an unlimited future.

You Were Born For This…

The story of Moses provides a good example of what happens when God uses your unique identity to connect you to your purpose so you can yield a bounty of fruit. Moses' seed was planted at his conception and as he grew and tended to his soil, God provided the rain and the right conditions to make his fruit flourish. Moses was born during a turbulent time for the Israelites. In fact he was hidden in a basket by his mother and rescued by an Egyptian princess; this Israelite child, who wasn't supposed to live, was taken and raised in the king's palace. But somehow, deep down inside, Moses knew he was an Israelite and he had a connection to his people—even though he was raised elsewhere. At the root, at the heart, he was an Israelite. And, he was a liberator of his people—well before he parted the Red Sea. Exodus 2 records him getting angry at an Egyptian who hit an Israelite—Moses became so mad that he killed the Egyptian. (Talk about passion!) Then Moses tried to stop two Israelites from fighting—again his passion was for these people and he wanted them to live in harmony. Fast forward, 40 years of living in the wilderness, running from the Egyptians and probably from his calling, Moses encounters the burning bush and makes up several excuses why he can't liberate the Israelites (Exodus 3). But God had chosen Moses way back at birth and had implanted a special connection and love for these people. So who better to go and tell Pharaoh to let God's people go than Moses?

And that's exactly what God has in store for you—a special assignment, a special calling to do something God has placed inside of you. God had something specific and uniquely for you when God formed you in your mother's womb. Find out who you are so you can find out what you were created for. Your calling is directly connected to your identity and your uniqueness. Your instincts can guide you to what you love but may not have allowed yourself to admit. Invest in what is already inside of you—you will be amazed by what comes out.

What are you passionate about? What do you love to hate? There are clues all around you, my friend. Use pictures to jog your memories of times when you were your happiest; what were you doing? Think about times when you felt accomplished and satisfied; what had you done? What triggered the fulfillment? What do you love but may not have allowed yourself to admit? Dredge up your favorite memories of childhood and what gave you pleasure (or what got your blood boiling). What would you perhaps kill for? (Now don't run out and do that, but what would make you so mad that you'd want to defend it with all of your might?) Know that whatever once had the power to float your boat can still rock your world. And it holds the key to unlock your combination to an unlimited future. Your passions and your uniqueness hold the distinct, personalized combination to connect you to your future.


On Sale
Apr 7, 2015
Page Count
144 pages

T. D. Jakes

About the Author

Bishop T. D. Jakes is one of the world’s most widely recognized pastors and a New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books. Named byTime magazine as “America’s Best Preacher,” his message of healing and restoration is unparalleled, transcending cultural and denominational barriers. Jakes is the founder and senior pastor of The Potter’s House, which has a congregation of more than 30,000. His weekly television outreach, The Potter’s House, and his daily television program, The Potter’s Touch, have become favorites throughout America, Africa, Australia, Europe, and the Caribbean. Jakes lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Serita. Learn more about Bishop Jakes at and

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