I recently watched a TED Talk by Adam Leipzig where he related an experience from his 25th Yale University reunion. As he talked with this privileged group of highly educated, powerful, and well-off people he made a startling discovery.
What was this startling discovery?
What Adam discovered was that eighty percent of them were unhappy with their lives. These men and women were halfway through their lives and they felt that they had wasted them. They were very successful, but not happy with their lives or their careers.
Actually, this isn’t all that startling and seems to agree with other surveys on how people feel about their careers.
What was startling, was Adam’s conversations with the other twenty percent. The twenty percent that were happy with their lives and their careers. What Adam discovered in his conversations with them is that they knew their life purpose.
They could answer these five questions about their life purpose:
1. Who are you? People who are happy with their lives know who they are. They understand themselves, know their core values, and they know what is most important in life. Do you know your core values and what is most important in your life?.
2. What do you do? People who are happy with their lives understand their God given skills and talents and use them to make a difference in the lives of others. What are your God given skills and talents and how are you using them to help others? If you have more than one skill or talent, what are you are best at? Which one do you feel that you can use to help the most people?
3. Who do you do it for? Who are the people that you help with your skills and talents. Who are the people that you would love to help with your skills and talents? Think about who the people are that you do what you do for. Who are they?
4. What do these people want and need? What do the people that you help want or need from you? How do you meet their needs? What is the one thing that you provide them with that is unique to you?
5. How are they changed as a result of what we do? This is the most important question. How are people changed by what you do? How does what you do transform their lives?
It is important for you to notice that only two of these five questions are about you. The other three are about other people. The happiest twenty percent of people are outward focused. They focus on how people are changed as a result of their purpose. In fact, Adam points out that the most successful people in any field are focused on serving others.
What are you doing to transform the lives of others?
Take some time today watch this 10 minute video and to work through the answers to these five questions. Focus on what you can do for others, and how they will be changed as a result of what you do.
You can read more about living your life purpose here.
If you want to work through the process of finding and living your purpose on your own, you should read Life On Purpose: Six Passages To An Inspired Life. This book will provide you with a proven, repeatable, six-step process to determining your life purpose.