Many of us can spend our whole lives searching for our true life’s purpose. In fact, I think it’s a common pursuit of a huge majority of the population.
I stumbled upon a nice TEDx talk by Adam Leipzig where he promises his audience to help them find their purpose in five minutes. How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes | Adam Leipzig | TEDxMalibu.
In case you don’t have 10 minutes to watch the talk I will quickly sum up how he proposes to help the entire audience find their life’s purpose. What Adam asks the audience to do is answer these five questions, so if you want to follow along and jot down your answers then go for it.
1. Who are you? (state your name) This is an easy one.
2. What do you do? (He asks you to state. What is the one thing that you feel supremely qualified to teach others?)
3. Who do you do this for? (In other words, who are you helping with what you can teach?)
4. What do the people you teach want or need? (His presumption is that everyone is teaching someone something. Which is not a bad presumption for those that are already living and doing their life’s purpose)
5. What do (they) the people you teach get out of it? (What has changed as a result of you teaching your thing?)
These are all excellent questions in their own right. Although they are obvious questions, they are not necessarily easy to answer. I know through my own coaching practice I’ve found that you can shift your coachee’s mindset significantly when you ask straightforward yet thought-provoking questions that are designed to get at the heart of a matter or a discussion.
What he pointed out was that too many people are focusing on themselves (only 2 questions of the five are intrinsically focused) and what the remaining 3 questions do is ask us to look outward and to focus on others (extrinsically focused). As you probably have noticed that when you focus on helping other’s get what they want then you too get what you want.
What tipped Adam off to pursue this topic was when he attended his 25th college reunion. He didn’t just go to any college. He attended Yale Universty. He was speaking to his former classmates and was surprised to find that nearly 80% were unhappy with their lives and careers. The other 20% were happy. This strange finding lead him to go digging a bit deeper only to find out the following:
His fellow classmates that had pursued classes and degrees for the sake of learning, not necessarily for making a living were very happy and satisfied with their lives and careers. Those that had followed the traditional paths of studying what they thought would lead them to the most lucrative and successful careers had felt like they had waisted a huge part of their lives and felt regret that they weren’t feeling passionate about their careers and thus very happy with their overall life.
I give Adam kudos for looking deeper into this conundrum and for believing that if perhaps some of the most privileged and sharpest minds in the world weren’t feeling awesome about their lives and careers then what about the rest of the worlds citizen’s?
And Adam points out that there’s plenty of advice and tools available at just over 151,500 books on Amazon exploring the topic of helping people to find their Life’s Purpose.
If you’ve found your purpose and if you think these questions are helpful then let us know in the comment boxes below and maybe you can help the rest of us find out what we’re purposely designed to do before we grow up. 🙂