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  • On the last evening above my 25th college reunion, there was a party in a tent.

  • There was 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 two 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 halfway through it,” they said, “I don't know what my life is all about.”

  • Now, 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

  • in positions of power, and they had the first house and the second house, and they had the first spouse and the second spouse.

  • 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 learning, not because we thought they were going to put, direct us to a specific job.

  • We still got jobs. We we're living our lives expensively 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 the 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.

  • Youre gonna know your life purpose now in the next 5 minutes.

  • Would you like to know youre life purpose now in the next 5 minutes? – Yes

  • Can you be a little bit louder because theyre making a lot of noise in the tent and there’s just this silly little microphone next to my cheek to hear you

  • Would you like to know youre life purpose in the next 5 minutes?

  • Yes! – Thank you. Actually, it’s not even gonna take 5 minutes.

  • So can I share something else with you? If youre 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.

  • Well, I know some people who have spent their entire lives trying to learn their life purpose

  • And we can all agree the unexamined life is not worth living, but if all you do is examining, youre not living

  • 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? –Yes

  • Alright. Everybody, on the count of 5, shot out your first name.

  • 1,2,3,4,5

  • Fabulous. That was the first one, only four to go. That’s who you are

  • Now, what do you do? What do you love to do?

  • You love to write, cook, design, create ios apps, write codes, crunch numbers, talk, teach

  • What do you love to do? And if there’s a lot of things that come up for you, focus it down by asking yourself 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 5

  • What do you do? 1,2,3,4,5

  • 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 5. Hold it, don’t release it yet.

  • 1,2,3,4,5

  • Okay, who do you do it for? Let’s say it a little bit louder please

  • Over the people in the tent. Who do you do it for? Together

  • Thank you. That is the spirit that we need. Okay now, what do those people want or need?

  • What do they want or need that theyve come to you so you can give them this thing?

  • What do they want or need? Just one of two words. Hold it. Don’t release it yet.

  • On the count of 5. 1,2,3,4,5

  • Fantastic. Now, this is the best one. How did they change?

  • How did they change or transform as a result of what you give them?

  • On the count of 5, how did they change or transform as a result of what you give them. 1,2,3,4,5

  • Terrific. Now, were gonna put this all together kind of in a sense, okay?

  • Everyone together. Louder than the people in the tent. Who are you?

  • What do you do? Who do you do it for?

  • What do they want or need?

  • What did they change as a result?

  • Fantastic. You have all jut done something that people who went to Yale could not figure out for 25 years.

  • Congratulations, give yourselves a hand

  • Now why is that formulation so powerful? Because of all those 5 things that you need to know

  • To know what your life purpose is, only 2 are about yourself.

  • The others, 3 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 change as a result

  • And you may have intuited this already, but 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

  • Since you all did so well, we have time for just a little bit of extra credit

  • 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 youre like some of us, that’s a really challenging question sometimes

  • Particularly if youre in these moments where youre between things or youre feeling vulnerable or isn’t defined

  • Or what you seem to do isn’t what you really do; or what youre paid to do isn’t how you define yourself

  • So when people ask you this questionso what do you do”, and also you got this monologue going like

  • Why is he asking me so what do I do? It’s because it’s that transactional thing where it’s like he wants to know if he should really spend time talking to me?

  • Or it’s that other thing so he can tell me what he does because he’s sure it’s all really so much better than what I do?

  • 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 bestif youre life purpose is “I design apparel for men and women who need affordable choices

  • So they can look and feel their best.” Or your 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 little snippet that you just said becomes your personal elevator pitch

  • And itll always start the conversation, because the person that you were just talking to have 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

On the last evening above my 25th college reunion, there was a party in a tent.

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

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