Jurgen Wolff has asked me to imagine my life as a heroic odyssey. He has detailed a few neuro-linguistic programming techniques. And now he is explaining Rational-Emotive Therapy, "based on challenging the beliefs that underlie disempowering reactions". You won't be entirely surprised to read that Jurgen used to live in California.

Now based in London, he presents a workshop called "Create Your Future", which should help me find out what it is I really want to achieve on this Earth and then help me set about achieving it. And frankly, I reckon that puts every previous Mission in perspective. No disrespect to my colleagues who also write in this slot, but their poxy Missions - wrestling alligators, being human cannonballs - are pretty small potatoes in comparison.

I'm in a classroom in a north London college, and 12 other people are sitting with me in a semi-circle. (Eleven of them are women. Maybe men are more sure of their role in society: or maybe they're just as lost as women are, but they're too busy watching football to do anything about it.) First, Jurgen makes us think back to our younger days: what were our ambitions when we were children and adolescents? Then we examine what the most and least fulfilling parts of our lives are now. Along the way, Jurgen recites some inspirational case studies. The moral of these stories seems to be that the first step to realising your goals is to suffer a near-fatal illness or to watch your house burn to the ground. Sadly, we're not all lucky enough to have this sort of motivator, but there are other ways of discovering your destiny.

Jurgen's speciality is to give the subconscious a good shake-up. He suggests the pounds 20 Million Fantasy and the One Year Left to Live Fantasy. Basically, if there were limitless means and no consequences, what would you do? Scale down your answers and you'll identify what you'd like to do now. It works: it firms up my hopes and aspirations, although the suicidal narcotic binge is one fantasy I probably shouldn't act on just yet.

The weekend workshop comprises 20 or 30 exercises, from brainstorming to drawing up timetables to making yourself more alert. One way to do this is to sniff a tube of cotton wool drenched in peppermint-scented oil. "It's best not to do it in public," advises Jurgen. "It could be misinterpreted." As a professional cynic, I'm keener on these practical tips than I am on closing my eyes and receiving messages from my dreams, but some workshoppers have no such inhibitions. During a lesson in self- hypnotic mood control, I'm jolted out of my trance by a smack on the side of the head: the woman to my left, an Anita Roddick lookalike wearing a serene grin and no shoes, has just flung out her arms in a burst of euphoria.

The only problem with the course is that I won't know whether it has succeeded until I've applied its teachings to my life. So did I accomplish my Mission? I'll tell you in a year's time. Or at least I will if you can get past the electronic gates of my Hollywood mansion

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