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How to Know Your Life Purpose in Five Minutes

09 Dec

How to Know Your Life Purpose in Five Minutes

Posted By: 
Kaitlyn Guay

The TED Talk by Adam Leipzig is called: How to Know Your Life Purpose in Five Minutes.

It seems obscenely optimistic. If it were so easy to discover our life purpose so swiftly, why would there be over 151,000 books on Amazon specifically geared toward helping people find their life purpose? Adam Leipzig tells us that the key to discovering our life purpose is simply knowing the answer to five questions, three of which that have nothing to do with us.

He shares a story of a class reunion with his classmates from Yale. This was a collective of those who had been privileged with a stellar education, expansive real-world connections, and all the best opportunities one could wish for, going out into the world after college. And yet, out of everyone he spoke to that night, Adam realized that eighty percent of his classmates were unsure and unhappy with their life course.

“And as I spoke with the twenty percent, the happier twenty percent, I discovered that each of them knew something about their life purpose, because they knew five things: who they were, what they did, who they did it for, what those people wanted or needed, and what they got out of it-- how they changed as a result.”

Let’s put those questions into context.


1. Who am I

2. What do I do

3. Who do I do it for

4. What do those people need/want

5. What do they get out of it/How do they change as a result


Do you know the answers to these questions? Let your intuition come through. Often the first answer we whisper to ourselves is the right one. (If you’re stuck on question two, Adam recommends considering what you would feel most qualified to teach others.)  

“Now why is that formulation so powerful? Because of all those five things that you need to know to know what your life purpose is, only two are about yourself.”

Whoa. Game changer. That takes a lot of pressure off of you, doesn’t it. After all, if it’s not all about you, it is far easier to assess the right path. We often inherently know how to help others. What muddles our actions is usually not knowing how to best help ourselves.

“The most successful people-- in any field-- always focus most on the people that they serve, rather than on how they are served themselves.”

What do you think? What gift do you have to share with the world?