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)

Comments 100

  • "How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes"
    Step 1. Have a life purpose.
    Step 2:. ?
    Step 3: Profit!

  • This is amazing

  • Did this guy just wake up and deliver this speech with his pajamas?

  • Why am I shocked to know that Yale rich people do not know their "purpose" in life?

  • I think he should have called this “how to construct an elevator pitch” or something like that. The speech is a formula but to the wrong desired result.

  • Yale, privileged, jobs… i stopped watching. I'm trying to survive 😂

  • Hi. I'm David. I work on cars for a living, but how I impact more people, is that I teach that and associated information on YouTube so that people can know the truth about what chemicals do what for their cars, and how to fix them. I change their lives, because I sometimes answer the dreaded questions. What's wrong with my car? Can I afford this? And when they have sufficient skills and tools they can fix it themselves, or take it to someone that does, while they actually understand the process.

    I'm DE Nichols, and I love what I do. 🙂

  • I guess they had a 10 minute gap so they brought this guy on stage.

  • Crystal Martin, states: "You can only really answer these questions if you already know what you want to do. I couldn't answer past question number 1 because I don't know what I want to do. Kind of why I wanted to watch this video"

    One viewer responds:

    Dear Crystal Martin: It can take some courage to act on ideas. Perhaps you will decide to play some thought experiments, or, create some future-diary type stories. I do stuff like this: I google anything that I have some interest in. For example, today I was thinking about a pal in London who wants to move to Malaga, Spain. I was thinking, "I know nothing about Malaga"… actually, I needed to look it up on a map to see where in Spain it is. So, I did THAT. Then, I searched for "Flats for sale in Malaga" (condos for sale) because he wants to buy a place there. I spent some time looking at places for sale in malaga… and then I realized that doing that was a bit useless as I know nothing about 'the where factor' in Malaga. Also, my pal has so little money that none of this makes sense. He does not have enough to buy what looks good…. and, "is what looks good really any good?" So, then I thought, "If I go there, WHERE would I want to be?" and then I decided to look at pictures (Google images) and aerial photos from Google. I thought, "Damn, this place is dry and I'm going to need fresh water to drink!" And so I googled 'fresh water in malaga' and got all sorts of info about AQUIFERS…. ie., fresh water that is underground. I researched all THAT for thirty minutes and learned as much as I could about aquifers in coastal regions…. Whoa…."Coastal aquifers are in danger from sea level change".
    I find THIS highly interesting so I read more and I relate it all to where I currently live, near Boston, and ask: "Where can I find plentiful reserves of (underground) fresh water that is near to the ocean?". I know that I want to live up over the ocean on a rock ledge, ideally 100 feet up above the mean sea level, AND, I will need fresh water to drink, I'll need to water my garden". I do the research required to learn about WHERE this is in my area because THIS, if I can find it, will be and area where I will want to buy land in order to end up building a house that will for the next one-hundred years, sustain me and the family I want to have. So, I find the land I want to buy and now I have a goal set up. Yep!! "I want to buy this land and nothing will stop me". Now I am willing to anything to get the money to get the land I need to build the compound for the wonderful future I will have with this wonderful family in my head. Now I have a purposeful thing that I want to accomplish. I keep pushing and doors that I never even considered suddenly appear and some open as I learn to lean against them hard enough. I am so desiring this home above the sea with fresh food, my girl (aka wife) my babies, everything…. life starts open up for me and I start to get it all. Easy peasy. In no way did I expect this to happen! Nevertheless, I am not at all surprised that it all appeared out of thin air.
    Don't look for a job until you do this sort of an exercise. And then once you find this THING that interests you highly, go into all that you can on the subject. From there you will see that there are many jobs that will work to serve YOU as a way of learning more as you progress toward getting this THING that you want so badly. Do NOT look for a job opening' instead look for the best job for your training. Know WHY you want to be in this one company. Pretend that you have millions of dollars and you want to BUY a company. Why one over the other? Learn all you can and call them to set up an appointment to meet with them. You are shopping for the BEST FIT. You are NOT 'trying to get a job'. It's about research and attitude. Take ownership.

  • After watching it for like the 3rd time, I think I kinda get it know. It's just I don't think some answers should be in one or two words. Notice when he gives the examples, they have way more than one or two words.

  • Came here for the comments, I am not disappointed.

  • Why does he keep shouting?

  • I honestly couldn't answer any of those 5 questions except my name, and I hate my name. Well, I guess life sucks then you die.

  • Now I understand. I’m going to university but I don’t have to work as the thing I study. I’m going there for the sake of knowledge.

  • OMG this technique is so broken. Needs nerf.

  • Think he’s missing one of the main points people come to this video, a lot of people don’t even know what makes them happy…

  • Well 1 was easy since it's ur label at birth 2 well what I really love to do is learn so that's why I took the time to watch this but not sure how I'm qualified at learning lol 3 who I do it for is myself and my daughter really and for some people that want to know what I learn 4 what do they want or need well as for me I need as much knowledge as I can get about anything that holds a ? And others well they just want to know because it's something they didn't already know 5 how do they change as a result well as for me I change by having self educated myself on something I didn't know about yesterday but I do today so I guess I'm smarter lol and others also know from me something they didn't know about before… Unfortunately I don't think this 5 minute theory worked properly with what I love to do… Or I could have said I'm a stay at home mum that would have been easier but that's what I do because it's what needs to be done when u have children however it's not something I love to do I just do it because I love my daughter !

  • Why does it take twice the time to explain? I just lost 2 lives purposes.

  • When he asks, "what do you 'really love' to do?", my answer was READ (books, magazines, racing forms, pretty much anything)! What can a person do with a love of reading and who can they do it for (other than themselves)? I seriously doubt God put me here to read more than anyone else has! If that is my purpose, I have no idea what the record is.

    What do I feel qualified to teach? That's an even better question! I call myself a writer because I feel like writing is the only way I can share what I read, and that's probably what a lot of you were thinking. But I don't feel qualified to teach writing!

  • What about those of us who feel that we’re not qualified to teach anyone anything? Makes our futures feel kinda bleak

  • Wtf is this if we knew the answer for the second one why would we come here

  • Just another pointless Vid from Ted Talks

  • Great.. this is one of the best simple great ted talk that impact life

  • I love sleeping is that passion or not .

  • This is like the American dream – you have to be asleep to believe it.

  • such tripe

  • Being rich and smart, I bet you are in those 20% Yale person. If you are without families and friends have nothing to care or contribute to, you can't find mutual formula for everyone.

  • Two thoughts: (a) listen on 1.5 speed and (b) think of this as a foundation for a job search elevator speech.

  • I figured it out in less than 5 minutes, I would like my money back. I was guaranteed 5 minutes

  • Superb adam🙏

  • What this man wants to say. ?

  • 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.

  • I've watched worse!
    Well done!🚨🚔🚘🚲🏍⚓🚓🚙🚗

  • As a young person who struggles to find their life purpose, this was very useful. Thank yoou!

  • I was expecting a 5 minute video not 10 minutes.

  • No. Just … no. I reject teleology.

  • I loved it. Thanks. I'm selfish that's why I'm here I need to think of the people I love.

  • he talks like he is talking to childern

  • Yeah I know

  • I always love videos like this – nobody ever asks a question? Just be quiet and worship

  • 'worst…ted talk…ever…" (Comic Book Guy/ The Simpsons)

  • 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.

  • Watching youtube videos I understood one important thing: get a good title for one and success is guaranteed.

  • Who else paused at 6.30 to stroll down the comments to see who else still haven't learned there purpose 😩

  • 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

  • I couldn'teven answer the first one 😢

  • 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.

  • only spiritual people can understand this bro

  • 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..

  • Growing Marijuana 😉

  • This man walks into a math class

    All Calculator in the room start sweating

  • This was one of the most impactful Ted Talks I've ever watched.

  • This makes a lot of sense.

  • Omg the clap at the end was so long

  • If you can't kill em with kindness baffle them with bulshit, well played sir, well played.

  • Well I'm screwed, I didn't go to university and I still couldn't answer the 2nd question…..

  • I think my favorite part of this video is that I still have no idea what my life purpose is after watching. What a waste

  • I'm not really sure the point of this? Those are 5 intriguing questions, but they take more thought than 5 minutes.

  • 6:26 ''Give yourself a hand'' gladly

  • 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.

  • Error, couldn't answer question 2.

  • 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…

  • Rubbish. none of this makes sense or is applicable for me. Maybe just him or like him.

  • I had no answers after question 1

  • 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.

  • He never knows the purpose of his life :))

  • Answered first question fine, after that didnt have a clue.

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

  • this video is 10 minutes…

  • Wow! this actually worked for me!

  • This can't help you; #2 asks what do you do – if you know what you do then you already know your lifes purpose

  • Your video is 5 minutes too long.

  • I fail at the second one. I don't know what I want to do

  • I understand so much better now.
    2)I sing
    3)My family
    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

  • The audience drifted off steadily from 3 to 5 because people don't really know.

  • Find out what you don't do well and then don't do that.

  • So these grads dont have a clue either? Good to know I saved myself the student loans.

  • 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.

  • After watching this video i forgot my life purpose

  • Wish i could double thumb down a video like this

  • I know what your life purpose is , wasting people's time.

  • Wow. This guy thinks he wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.

  • Well i have no answer for those 5 questions. I guess im screwed

  • 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)?

  • Man these ted talks are a joke…

  • 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 .

  • We all have one common purpose of life, it is to make it to the Haven

  • I hope this guy figures out his life’s purpose. 🤞

  • That is not very helpful. I would even say it is wrong.

  • 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.

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