How This Author Turned His Life Around – and How You Can Too

Bookstr got to speak with James Purpura, getting the inside scoop on the book, his life, and how to make personal development work for you.

Non-Fiction Wellness

When somebody is at the lowest point in their life, it’s hard to imagine they could envision themselves years down the line, changing lives, happily married, and making millions. So it was for James Purpura, CEO and co-founder of Powerful-U, and author of Perception, alongside his wife, Steph. Perception, and the film of the same name that goes alongside it, is all about changing your view on the world, your life, your experiences – and using all of that to move forward a better and happier person. Bookstr got to speak with James, getting the inside scoop on the book, his life, and how to make personal development work for you. You can catch the full video from Bookstr Talks, down below. 

In Perception, Purpura discusses what he calls the lowest point in his life; his being incarcerated. Feeling dejected, and unsure of what to do next, and borderline depressed, James started reading, thinking deeply, and wondering how he had gotten to this point. From there, everything changed. James and his wife rebuilt their lives from “nothing”, and say that at the time there was little information about the importance of understanding perception and emotion, which were vital components in their own journey. They wrote their book as a way to educate people on what it takes to “consciously create your existence”, which they saw as their way to give back to anybody else who finds themselves at their own all-time low. 



The methods for self-improvement, outlined in Perception, focus on emotional memory, and healing scars left behind from past traumas. Purpura explains that accepting your past, and acknowledging the role you have in controlling how you respond to the past, can change your life for the better. Both Steph and James feel that your perception dictates everything. You can only see what you believe to be possible. Many people say “I’ll believe it when I see it” – but James says the opposite is true, you won’t see it until you believe it, which creates a weird paradigm. This paradigm rests at the centre of their message. Their book’s title reads Seeing is Not Believing, a concept that the logical mind tries to deny. Understanding this concept is the advice Purpura offers to anyone at the beginning of their development, staring down the long road of change.

The first key to changing your life is to understand you’re wrong about just about everything [laughs]. Your perception is not based in reality. Learn to question your beliefs, assumptions, to see that which is around you through a new set of eyes or lenses.


image via blog talk radio


For many, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the worldwide shutdown it prompted, has been a period of self development. There has never been a more apt time for the methods the Purpuras have tried, and have built their lives around sharing.

In James’ estimation, much like the saying in business – “ a business that barely makes it ”, if your life was barely making it, now is the perfect time to rethink everything. He adds that you shouldn’t be in a hurry to gain back what you had which wasn’t worth having in the first place. Shortly after he had been sent to jail, his dad sent a letter, saying he should take the time to work on himself. In lockdown, we should consider the same: not letting this time go to waste. “Now is the time to question the version of reality based on materialism that we are sold, when the longest running study of happiness says the only thing that dictates happiness is human connection.” While we may have lost physical connection for some time, many bonds have only gotten stronger by virtue of our internet connection. 



Not only in print, Perception is a whole experience, and one you can have for yourself over at Powerful-U. What’s particularly refreshing about James and Steph’s ethos and business, is how focused it is on making sure others get the same benefits they did. When asked if they expected to receive such a huge response – both personally and economically – James says they only hoped that each person who interacted with the content they were building would have some level of a transformative experience. “Whether that was 1 or a million, the work would be worth it.”

We had the pleasure of speaking with James over on our Facebook, which you can catch in full below:


featured image via purpura