How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes | Adam Leipzig | TEDxMalibu (2023)


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Adam Leipzig has overseen more than 25 movies as a producer, executive and distributor. and has produced more than 300 stage plays and live events, and he was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


Transcriber: 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.


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.


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.


(Laughter), Well, I, know some people who have spent their entire lives, trying to learn their life purpose.


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.


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.


Do you do it? For? Together: (Audience, shouts), Thank you.

That is the spirit that we need.

OK, now.


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.


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.


This is the best one.


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.


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.


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.


Happier people make it a point to make other people happy, and do things that make them feel well taken care of and secure.


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.


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.


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.



You get to share how they may come to learn.

Theirs, too., (Applause).


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

Our goal is to inform and educate global audiences in an accessible way. Scientists, researchers, technologists, business leaders, artists, designers and other world experts take the TED stage to present “Ideas Worth Spreading”: valuable new knowledge and innovative research in their fields.

How do I know what my life purpose is? ›

How to find purpose in life: 12 tips
  1. Develop a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset is linked to having a sense of purpose. ...
  2. Create a personal vision statement. ...
  3. Give back. ...
  4. Practice gratitude. ...
  5. Turn your pain into purpose. ...
  6. Explore your passions. ...
  7. Be part of a community. ...
  8. Spend time with people who inspire you.

What is the purpose of the TED talk? ›

Our goal is to inform and educate global audiences in an accessible way. Scientists, researchers, technologists, business leaders, artists, designers and other world experts take the TED stage to present “Ideas Worth Spreading”: valuable new knowledge and innovative research in their fields.

What is an example of life purpose? ›

But what are some examples of a purpose in life? There are a lot of commonly known purposes in life, like providing for your family, living a successful life, making positive connections with others, and traveling the world.

Why is purpose important in life? ›

It helps you prioritize your life – allowing you to walk away from certain people or activities that don't serve your purpose. It's a main driver to stay motivated when things get tough, so you can set and meet short- and long-term goals.

How do you answer what you want to do in life? ›

How To Answer The 'What Is Your Goal In Life? ' Interview Question?
  1. List your professional goals in life. Employers aim to know your short-term and long-term career goals and what you wish to achieve in the role. ...
  2. Focus on the job position. ...
  3. Maintain a realistic approach. ...
  4. Stay relevant and specific. ...
  5. Make an impact.
Apr 17, 2023

What are the four purpose of life? ›

The purpose of life for Hindus is to achieve four aims, called Purusharthas . These are dharma, kama, artha and moksha.

What is a common sense of purpose? ›

What is a sense of purpose? Having a sense of purpose is related to having the intention to accomplish something that is meaningful to you and makes a positive difference to others.

Does everyone have a purpose in life? ›

Everyone has a purpose, and while some people know their purpose right away, others take some time to figure it out. Also, while we tend to think of important people with significant purposes, our purpose might be negligible to the world but meaningful to us.

What is purpose in life vs meaning in life? ›

Meaning is the emotional significance of what we do; the importance we ascribe to something. It's why we do what we do. Meaning doesn't just exist on its own, it's something we create and feel, and it's closely linked to motivation. Purpose is the cumulative effect of meaningful goals.

Why TED Talks are so powerful? ›

Professional lighting and editing. TED talks use top-quality lighting and filming equipment, and use professional editing post-production to give the viewer multiple angles for visual interest and dramatic effect. The talks are shot more like movies than conference presentations and are entertaining to watch. 4.

Why are TED Talks 18 minutes? ›

A TED Talk is 18 minutes long—a length that was chosen by TED organizers based both on neuroscience and strategy. They understood that 18 minutes was long enough for a speaker to flesh out an idea, but short enough that a listener could take in, digest, and understand all of the important information.

What is TED Talks in simple words? ›

A TED talk is a recorded public-speaking presentation that was originally given at the main TED (technology, entertainment and design) annual event or one of its many satellite events around the world. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks, often called "TED talks."

What are the 3 things you need in life? ›

The Three Things We All Need for a Happy Life
  • Someone to love.
  • Something to do.
  • Something to look forward to.

What is life best answer? ›

Life is the aspect of existence that processes, acts, reacts, evaluates, and evolves through growth (reproduction and metabolism).

What are the 5 purposes of God's life? ›

Purpose #2: You Were Formed for God's Family (Christian Fellowship) Purpose #3: You Were Created to Become Like Christ (Discipleship) Purpose #4: You Were Shaped for Serving God (Christian Ministry) Purpose #5: You Were Made for a Mission (Christian Mission)

What is God's purpose for humans? ›

Humans were created with the intent of abundant living. Fruitfulness and growth, multiplication and expansion, as well as structure and organization, are all part of God's plan. These also include stewardship of society and care for the natural world.

What does the Bible say about vision and purpose? ›

God Has a Good Plan

The words of Jeremiah 29:11 bring a confident peace in knowing our good Father has a good plan for our lives. He promises us that we have hope and a future. Knowing this gives us a great understanding of what our future with Christ holds, and it is always good.

What is a strong sense of purpose? ›

Having a sense of purpose gives us clear reasons for what we want to do. This can be a goal in life that makes us want to study, work, or train well. There's a close link with intrinsic motivation. People with a sense of purpose work hard because of a true interest in their goal, rather than because they have to.

What are the three senses of purpose? ›

Purpose is used in three distinct senses: competence, as in “the function that our product serves”; culture, as in “the intent with which we run our business”; and cause, as in “the social good we aspire to.”

How do you create a common sense of purpose? ›

How to build a sense of purpose in the workplace
  1. Regularly discuss performance objectives and goals. Career goals are often only covered during performance reviews. ...
  2. Measure personal growth. ...
  3. Encourage employee development. ...
  4. Support internal career development. ...
  5. Provide support and employee care benefits.

Can I live life without a purpose? ›

Lack of purpose can affect all aspects of your life, and can cause you to ruminate on anxious thoughts that cause you distress. Having a purpose in life is important for your mental wellbeing and can help you live a more fulfilled and content life.

What does it mean when life has no purpose? ›

Existential nihilism is the philosophical theory that life has no objective meaning or purpose. The inherent meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism, where one can potentially create their own subjective 'meaning' or 'purpose'.

How do I know what I want? ›

5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine What You REALLY Want
  1. Ask Yourself: Why Do I Want this Outcome? “Why” is the most important question we may ever ask. ...
  2. Ask Yourself: What Do I Gain by Getting It? ...
  3. Ask Yourself: What Do I Lose by Getting It? ...
  4. Ask Yourself: What If I Did Nothing? ...
  5. Ask Yourself: What If I Succeed?

What is 42 in the meaning of life? ›

Forty-two is the ASCII code for the symbol * also known as the asterisk. This symbol is often thought to translate to anything or everything. In this instance, 42 = everything, the meaning of life.

Is it OK to not know what you want in life? ›

So, it is okay not to know what you want to do with your life. In fact, perhaps it's even preferable for a time. Deciding to live on your own terms, following your own intuition and living as honestly as possible is the most important decision of all. It's also important to briefly look back every now and then.

How to make your life happy? ›

How to be happier
  1. Manage your stress levels. If you have a lot of stress in your life, find ways to reduce it, such as learning a few time-management techniques. ...
  2. Enjoy yourself. ...
  3. Boost your self-esteem. ...
  4. Have a healthy lifestyle. ...
  5. Talk and share. ...
  6. Build your resilience.

What leads to happiness in life? ›

According to many researchers, strong social relationships are the most important contributor to enduring happiness for most people. Those who are happiest generally devote a great amount of time to their family and friends. They nurture and enjoy those relationships.

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