Emmanuel Jal


My Life Is Art

11 Pillars for a Positive and Purposeful Life

Drawing on lessons from his remarkable life, former child soldier turned activist, author, entrepreneur, and international recording artist Emmanuel Jal provides his eleven pillars for overcoming adversity and living a life of purpose

“Who owns your mind?” Beginning with this provocative question, Emmanuel Jal invites readers to claim ownership over the narratives that define their lives in order to become a force for good in the world.

As a child growing up in South Sudan, Jal witnessed atrocities perpetrated against his family and community. These actions drove him to become a child soldier in a vicious civil war. Hunger, isolation, and the ever-present specter of death in battle attended his every moment. Yet his greatest challenge did not come from outside; it arose from within, from the corrosive nature of hopelessness, trauma, and narratives of victimization.

Rather than succumb to these forces of negativity, Jal turned his life’s challenges into opportunities by utilizing a comprehensive framework he developed around eleven pillars of support. These pillars can be utilized individually or as a unit to help build a durable internal structure that allows anyone to overcome adversity, regain joy and gratitude, and live a life of purpose that enriches the greater community.