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How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes | Adam Leipzig | TEDxMalibu


Translator: Yulia Kallistratova
Reviewer: Denise RQ On the last evening
of my 25th college reunion, there was a party in a tent with dancing, and music, and noise. So much noise that a lot of us
started to drift out of the tent so we could hear each other talk
and catch up with classmates that we had not seen
in more than 2 decades. As I talked with my friends
I made an astounding discovery: 80% of them were unhappy with their lives. “I feel as though I’ve wasted my life,
and I’m half way through it,” they said. “I don’t know what my life is all about.” I was privileged to go to Yale, and we were standing on a summer evening
in the middle of Yale’s old campus, and the people that I was speaking with
were privileged, and highly educated, and financially well off,
and in positions of power. And they had the first house,
and the second house, and they had the first spouse,
and the second spouse. (Laughter) And 80% of them
were unhappy with their lives. Who was happy, the 20%? Well, we had studied literature
and Renaissance rhetoric, and we were the theater people,
and the history geeks. We had studied classes
for the joy of learning, not because we thought they were going
to put direct us to a specific job. We still got jobs, we were living our lives expansively, with life’s ups and downs, and we did not feel
that we had wasted a single minute. And as I spoke
with the 20%, the happier 20%, 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. Does that sound hard? It’s not, it’s actually really simple. In fact it’s so simple, that you can learn
your life purpose now. You’re going to know your life
purpose now, in the next five minutes. Would you like to know your life purpose
in the next five minutes? (Audience) Yes. Can you be a little bit louder? Because they are making
a lot of noise in the tent, and there is just a silly little microphone
next to my cheek to hear you. Would you like to know your life purpose
in the next five minutes? (Audience) Yes! Thank you. Actually, it’s not
even going to take five minutes. So, can I share something else with you? If you’re like a lot of us, you have wondered and worried
about your life purpose for a long time, and there are books, and magazines,
and workshops, and seminars about it. In fact, Amazon lists 151,928 books that refer to how you can learn
your life purpose. (Laughter) Well, I know some people
who have spent their entire lives trying to learn their life purpose. Look, we can all agree that
the unexamined life is not worth living, but if all you’re doing
is examining, you’re not living. (Laughter) So, let’s figure out
the life purpose right now together: who you are, what you do,
who you do it for, what those people want and need,
and how they change as a result. Shall we do it?
(Audience) Yes. All right. Everybody, on the count of five,
shout out your first name. One, two, three, four, five: (Audience shouts) Fabulous. That was the first one, only four to go. That’s who you are. (Laughter) Now, what do you do? What do you love to do? Do you love to write, cook, design, create iOS apps, write code,
crunch numbers, talk, teach? What do you love to do? And if there is a lot of things
that come up for you focus it down by asking
yourselves this one question: what is the one thing that right now you feel supremely qualified
to teach other people? Think about that in one word. Hold it. Don’t release it yet.
On the count of five. What do you do? One, two, three, four, five: (Audience shouts) Great. That’s what you do. Now, think about who you do it for,
picture them in your mind, be ready to say it on the count of five. Hold it, don’t release it yet. One, two, three, four, five: (Audience murmurs) OK, who do you do it for,
let’s see it one more time. A little bit louder, please,
over the people in the tent. Who do you do it for? Together: (Audience shouts) Thank you. That is the spirit
that we need. OK, now. What do all those people want or need? What do they want or need that you have, that they’ve come to you
so you can give them this thing. What do they want or need?
In just one or two words. Hold it, don’t release it yet. And on the count of five:
one, two, three, four, five… (Audience shouts) Fantastic. Now, this is the best one. How do they change? How do they change or transform
as a result of what you give them? On the count of five, how do they change or transform
as a result of what you give them? One, two, three, four, five: (Audience shouts) Terrific. Now we’re going to put this
all together kind of in a sentence, OK? Everyone together,
louder than the people in the tent: who are you? (Audience responds) What do you do? (Audience responds) Who do you do it for? (Audience responds) What do they want or need? (Audience responds) How do they change as a result? (Audience responds) Fantastic. You have all just done something that people who went to Yale
could not figure out for 25 years. Congratulations. Give yourselves
a hand. (Applause) Now, why is that formulation so powerful? Because of all of those five things
that you need to know to know what your life purpose is, only two are about yourself. The other three of them
are about other people: who they are, what they want or need, and how they change as a result. That formulation forces you
to be outward facing. And all the happier people
that I met outside the tent on that warm New Haven night they were outward facing,
they were not inward facing. They knew very clearly whom they served,
what those people needed, and how those people changed as a result. And you may have intuited this already that the most successful people
in any field always focus most on the people that they serve
than on how they are served themselves. Happier people make it a point
to make other people happy, and do things that make them
feel well taken care of and secure. If you make other people happy,
life teaches us, we will be taken care of, too. So since you all did so well, we have time
for just a little bit of extra credit. (Laughter) One of the most difficult things that happens when you meet
people for the first time is they ask you this question, “So, what do you do?” And, if you’re like some of us, that’s a really
challenging question sometimes. Particularly, if you’re in these moments
where you’re between things, or you’re feeling vulnerable,
or it isn’t defined. Or, what you seem to do
isn’t what you really do, or what you paid to do
isn’t how you define yourself. So, when people ask you
this question, “So, what do you do?” and also, you’ve got
this mental monologue going on, “Why is he asking me?
So, what do I do? Is it because…” It’s that transactional thing
where it’s like: “He wants to know if he should really
spend time talking to me?” (Laughter) Or, it’s that other thing,
so he can tell me what he does because he’s sure it’s, “Oh, really,
so much better than what I do?” (Laughter) Right? So, when somebody asks you
that question, here’s what you do: you just say the very last thing
you called out, how what you do changes
the people you do it for. So, for example, you might say,
“I give kids awesome dreams.” If your life purpose is:
“I write books for children, so they can fall asleep at night,
so they can have awesome dreams.” Or you might say: “I help people
look and feel their best,” if your life purpose is: “I design apparel for men and women
who need affordable choices, so they can look and feel their best.” Or you might say: “I help people
get great work into the world,” if your life purpose is: “I train entrepreneurs and creative people
to take decisive actions, so they can get
their greatest work into the world.” And then, that little snippet that you just said becomes your personal elevator pitch. And it will always start a conversation because the person
that you were just talking to has to ask you a question, “How do you give kids great dreams?” “How do you help people
look and feel their best?” “Can people really get
their greatest work into the world?” And then you get to tell them, and you get to share your life purpose. And you get to share
how they may come to learn theirs, too. (Applause)

100 Replies to “How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes | Adam Leipzig | TEDxMalibu”

  • There are a lot of us who have no idea what we like/love doing because we've spent our entire life just surviving. This video is too surface.

  • This cooment will probably get lost in the others. In order to give yourself a reward you must first have a goal or DREAM to strive for. If you find yourself without a support team of what you are going towards you may seek out others with the same mind set or achieve small driven goals towards your untilmate goal and others will notice. No dream is too big as long as you can truly see yourself moving forwards towards that goal. My goal was to become a youtuber amongst other things and I am currently a small youtuber but hope to someday be able to motivate many to strive towards their dreams as well.

  • I really don't know why some comments said that didn't help. ??? I found that incredibly insightful. deepak chopra also said a similar thing in: the seven spiritual laws for parents.
    I spend a lot of time on introspection and a spiritual life. this type of a talk is 2nd nature to me. Oprah Winfrey said, "if you don't know your purpose, find out. Because, until you do, your wasting ur time."

    My answers to this talk came really easy. I may not know how to incorporate them all, but know my spirit, and the answers came easy.
    honestly, on this type of talk, if the talk were too intellectual, you loose the power of it. Truth is simplistic and direct.
    i thot it was a great talk, and will view it again, and probably again. i am hungry for truth, purpose, and JOY. And, i will tell some people in know to watch too.

  • He was just conveying the message that the sole purpose of life is to live for others,to think above ourselves and then only you can lead a virtuous life.Ex-mahatma gandhi,mother teresa.
    This message is conveyed in all holy books i.e. in bible,quran,gita,etc.
    Moral-work for others without thinking of any reward in return,and eventually you will be liberated

  • Dear Adam Leipzig

    It is weird, because I just read the description, that says that You're a movie producer. I would've thought that You'd be a spiritual teacher. You are so calm in front of the audience and give a peaceful vibration.

    Anyways… thank You for doing this speech. A dear friend of mine who'd also done a TEDx talk,referred this video to me. At first I saw the title and I left it just sitting there on my old phone. Some time later I got a new phone and I transferred this video over, but still didn't watch it.

    A few days later I was, as I had been doing for a very long time already, thinking about my life purpose doing headways over and over again. Until this message of my dear friend popped up in my mind.

    And that's the point where I thank You for being here for Us. Thank You for this simple message. Really from the bottom of my heart:
    Thank You. 🙂

    May You have a wonderful life.

  • I'm good at coasting through life wondering why I have no interest, skills, drive and self esteem while being depressed. Everytime i feel like I've found an interest or goal. I instantly loose all drive in a week or less.

  • Not very convincing talk. Didn’t worked for me.
    Should have given more insights and exemples before asking his 5 questions. Would have had a better effect on me.

  • actually Adam makes a lot of sense, not your job but rather LIFE's purpose…what you were put here to do as a human being to make this world a better place…it's a lot deeper than career or job…it's who you are…who you are in front of Creator…your mission your work your happiness..

  • notice how few people in the audience were able to answer out loud the last 3 of the 5 questions.
    less than 20%?

    So what % if audience got what he was saying or "giving"?

  • Act the way you'd like to be, and soon you'll be the way you act.

    It's not what happens to you that is important, but how you react to it that matters.

    Watch your thoughts, for they become words, watch your words, for they become actions, watch your actions, for they become habits, watch your habits, for they become your character, watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

  • no, no its not easy. its incredibly difficult. life is suffering and all we can do reduce the suffering. so get out there and reduce your suffering.
    what you do matters. you're a candle and everyone has a wick. light them up with goodness that rises up in darkness.

  • I think there is no life purpose, just make a list of what makes you happy and mostly do that , work any job that provides you what money you need to coincide with your happiness items.

  • I don't have an answer for number 2. Maybe it should be, what do you love to do? Me…EAT FOOD. Is that my purpose? If yes, then I'm very good at it!

  • Can't imagine 19 million people watched this one…useless…a show…and yes indeed, this one should run for Office…he would win…

  • Basically he is saying don't look at work as a job, look at it as helping others. A simple mindset can change the world. I work in a restaurant, so instead of me thinking I'm there just doing a job, I'm actually providing Value to the community I live in. If I didn't, it would fail and go out of business. Free markets are the ONLY real ones that provide value that people want.

  • 1:I'm a living unit made of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.
    40%stardust.
    2:I watch youtube and eat.
    3:I was hungry.
    4:What people?
    5:What people?

  • I understand so much better now.
    1)Brandon
    2)I sing
    3)My family
    4)Joy
    5)They get happy

    I want to bring joy to others through singing.
    I used to think my purpose had to do with gaming but it was very selfish because i only cared about my own joy playing videogames. So I thought I could start streaming but realized i wasnt into it at all. That's why I had to quit playing games all day, because it's easy to do things that bring happiness only to yourself like: watching youtube or netflix all day, playing video games, doing drugs and scrolling through social media to entertain yourself. Those things are okay in moderation but too much of it will leave you helpless and useless. You'll wake up someday and think "my god I'm useless, I have no skill and nothing to give to people". And you can't run away from it forever, I recommend Jordan Peterson's video about the Man-child you'll see why you have to make some sacrifice eventually.

    So you should do what you love, but make sure it's something you can create instead of consume because that's how you share with others. Maybe someday you can turn it into a job
    Maybe someday I'll be a singer

  • Loved it. I watched it again and paused it. Very though provoking has helped me ge clearer of what is important to me and what I can offer in my work

  • Know thyself – I love people
    What they did – I am a nurse
    Who they did it or for – caring for new mothers & infants
    What they needed/wanted – guidance & physical/emotional care
    What they got out of it/how they changed as a result. (Integrate a new life into their family/joy/less stress).

    In service to others.

  • Didn’t help me at all, I’m still no further along finding out what my purpose is. What has happened is another 10 minutes of my bloody life has been wasted on this search. Cheers mate

  • This is all fine and dandy, but what is your "life purpose" if you have a more mundane job (e.g., supermarket clerk, cleaner, retail assistant)?

  • so that means only 20% of people like capitalism . sadly most of the 80% that don't are cowards too scared to vote against it .

  • I like the idea of a purpose but find the question at odds with purpose. Your purpose is to be fully present and engaged in the moment. You are what you do is one view, and if you are present in the moment and understand what the moment is demanding you are full in your purpose. Your discontent is proportional to the distance between the gap between you and the present. This is basically Eckhart Tolle and many many others. My purpose is to be peace with what you need to be doing at this moment. We humans have been struggling with the affliction of defining purpose since we have been writing. Making the best decisions and thought on moment at a time will build a mountain of purpose.

  • My name is Jessica. I write and dance. I do it for anyone it reaches. I do it to give them new experiences. It makes them grow.

  • All this what he said is bullshet. I make a bet, he doesn't have a clue about his purposes of life.
    All the best to all

  • Most people don't like their jobs because even if you are doing something that you like …you don't want to do the same thing for 50 years every day. That is why most people are unhappy in their lives.

  • Real purpose can only come from a Creator. Those who reject the idea of a Creator MUST invent something that will give them the illusion of having purpose then deceive themselves into thinking it's real. Or keep so busy they have no time to think about it.

  • The way he frames and presents this, it is really more about how to figure out your job's purpose (and all the examples he gives at the end are related to occupation). Fact is, most of us do not (or should not) derive our life's purpose from our "job". Most of us dont even like our jobs, let alone all that other business. When I did the exercise, I was answering more generally about being (or trying to be) a caring, compassionate person. This leads to answer #5 being that my kids/family/friends may get some happiness out of the care and love they are shown. How disappointed to learn he was on a very narrow wavelength.

    I actually did it again based on my work (and yes I am passionate about it, most days)…but this just doesnt ever ring true or fully defines me or my purpose.

    Some TED talks are so inspiring and informative….some others, not so much. But it at least helps us to understand that when one sees a title like "learn purpose in 5 minutes"…its probably an empty promise 🙂

  • I'm not sure about life's purpose, but I did learn that I am now, after watching this, uniquely and "supremely qualified to teach" others not to waste even 5 minutes with this particular TED talk 🙂

  • If this video didn't help you find the purpose of your life in 5 minutes, you missed the fact that the video is 10:33

  • I haven't watch the talk, but one thing immediately struck me: Why is it almost 11 minutes long, when the title says that only 5 minutes are needed to know my life purpose? WTF? Seems to me, like this guy is trying to bullsh*t me and everyone else as well.

  • This guy is a clown
    Your name is not your truth
    Death will end all lies
    Everyone is looking for mercy
    You will only find it with Allah

  • 1. None of your business. 2. Music. 3. Myself. 4. Enlightenment. 5. Satisfaction. Extra credit #6. Make sense out of the countless mystical/religious/esp experiences happening to me since the age of 2.

  • If you find your best self, you will find your purpose. If you do not know what that is rather than spend each day trying to figure it out and getting nowhere, get up, get out, and try something new and outside of your comfort zone. If you don’t know what you like or what you were good at, it is because you have not experienced enough. Do you things you wouldn’t normally consider and you never know you might be really good at it and enjoy it. Then use it to serve others or to teach others and then in turn you might learn something from them. I have realize that most people enjoy talking about what they love and sharing it. So while you are learning to be your best self, you can also help other people learn to be their best self and they can also teach you something new you might enjoy.

  • Hi my name's Ethan I'm 14 years old and I'm selfish and all I want to do is play video games all day and watch anime and eat and drink and I earn 40€ per month for doing only the dishes I am spoiled rotten because my parents love me to much to say no to me and I love them for that but I hate my self please help me change for the better

  • I think the purpose of life is to follow this inner voice that makes you feel unhappy, unsatisfied and stuck in the wrong way. The voice that actually makes you ask this question of the higher purpose in the first place. It tells you what you actually/rather want to do. The voice that let you dream of a diffrent life, because this voice know and let you feel, the current is kinda wrong. So the purpose is to follow this voice against all resistance.

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