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 find my life's purpose? ›

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.
Oct 19, 2021

What are some examples of life purposes? ›

5 life purpose examples
  • Traveling around the world and exploring different cultures.
  • Supporting your community.
  • Fighting for a social cause like climate change.
  • Being a positive, supportive person for your loved ones.
  • Building a business that makes a difference in people's lives around the world.
Jun 2, 2022

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.

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.

What is God's purpose in my life? ›

The purpose of God's plan is to provide us with eternal happiness. The more you understand His plan, the more you realize you can't make it back to God on your own. He made it possible for every sin and every mistake you make during this test of life to disappear and be forgotten through Jesus Christ.

How do I find my purpose in life questions? ›

Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Find Your Purpose
  1. The Things That You Love. What makes you truly happy? ...
  2. The Things That You Are Good At. What are your talents? ...
  3. What The World Needs. How can you help others? ...
  4. What Can You Get Paid For? What are the activities that will earn you money? ...
  5. Now What?

What is a simple life purpose? ›

In simplest terms, a life purpose is your reason (or reasons) for getting up in the morning. True purpose can guide your decisions. It will influence your behavior and help you prioritize goals to make room for what really matters. Purpose can offer a sense of direction… and create meaning.

What are the four purpose of life? ›

The Upanishads mention four purusharth, aims, of human life: dharma, artha, kama, moksha.

What is your plan for your life? ›

A life plan is a guide that helps move you toward your goals. It should be flexible enough to adapt when something isn't working. If you struggle to meet your goals, work with your accountability partner to adjust your life plan and set more realistic 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.

What are the top 10 TED Talks? ›

Sharon Timms
  • 1) Elizabeth Gilbert – Your Elusive Creative Genius. ...
  • 2) Amy Cuddy: Body Language. ...
  • 3) Tom Thum: The Orchestra In My Mouth. ...
  • 4) Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness. ...
  • 5) Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability. ...
  • 6) Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness & Spaghetti Sauce.

How do you start a TED Talk? ›

Draw in your audience members with something they care about. - If it's a topic the general TED audience thinks about a lot, start with a clear statement of what the idea is. - If it's a field they never think about, start off by invoking something they do think about a lot and relate that concept to your idea.

What is the true meaning of life? ›

Experiencing reality by interacting authentically with the environment and with others. Giving something back to the world through creativity and self-expression, and, Changing our attitude when faced with a situation or circumstance that we cannot change.

What is the purpose of life Bible verse? ›

Psalm 57:2 says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” This is key in understanding God's purpose for your life. God has numbered your days and will fulfill every purpose He has for you. However, our choices and actions also really matter.

What is a common 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 things God wants us to do? ›

Instead, Micah listed out the three principles of what God asks of His people: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with Him.

How do you ask God to reveal your purpose? ›

God, reveal to me how these desires planted in my heart can grow into an expression of the purpose You have for me to make a difference in the world. Lord, lead me to initiate or find activities that can bring me clarity and validation of what I am being called to become and fulfill for Your glory.

What is God's original purpose? ›

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.

What are the 5 questions you need to answer to your purpose in life? ›

“What do I want to do with my life?” “What am I passionate about?” “What do I not suck at?” Part of the problem is the concept of “life purpose” itself. The idea that we were each born for some higher purpose and it's now our cosmic mission to find it.

How do I step into my purpose? ›

It is possible to do what you love and live in flow — you just need the right motivation and mindset, and to take the right action.
  1. Understand what life should feel like. ...
  2. Tap into your calling within. ...
  3. Trust yourself and forget what others think. ...
  4. Feel the fear and take the first step anyway. ...
  5. Rethink your to-do list.
Jul 18, 2019

What are the three main questions of life? ›

Your Best Life: Tolstoy's Three Questions for Life
  • When is the right time for every action?
  • Who are the right people to listen to?
  • What is the most important thing to do? [5]

What is the key to live a simple life? ›

Living a simple life is about paring back, so that you have space to breathe. It's about doing with less, because you realize that having more and doing more doesn't lead to happiness. It's about finding joys in the simple things, and being content with solitude, quiet, contemplation and savoring the moment.

What is the purpose life quote? ›

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

What are God's 5 purposes? ›

In The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren reveals the meaning of life from a Christian perspective—five purposes that you were created by God to fulfill: worship, unselfish fellowship, spiritual maturity, your ministry, and your mission.

How do you fulfill God's purpose? ›

God's divine purpose for you is about why you do what you do
  1. Key #1: Ask Him.
  2. Key #2: Listen to Him.
  3. Key #3: Obey Him.
  4. Key #4: Surrender to Him.
  5. Key #5: Live for Him.
Apr 4, 2019

How do I change my life the first step? ›

Here are the steps you take to get started:
  1. Stop Making Excuses. Excuses are what hold you back, and they are almost always the only thing between you and your goal. ...
  2. Set Goals. ...
  3. Create A Routine. ...
  4. Hold Yourself Accountable. ...
  5. Track Your Progress. ...
  6. Failure Is Integral To Success. ...
  7. Exercise.
Oct 27, 2016

How do I plan myself? ›

How to Write a Personal Development Plan
  1. Set yourself goals.
  2. Prioritise those goals.
  3. Set yourself deadlines for when you want to achieve them.
  4. Recognise threats and opportunities.
  5. Develop your skills or increase your knowledge.
  6. Use your support network.
  7. Measure your progress.
Jan 5, 2023

What is the 18 minute rule for TED? ›

We ask that you keep talks within a time limit of 18 minutes to uphold TED's celebrated format of concise and enlightening talks. This short talk model works, since it only demands the audience's attention for a short period of time. In fact, some of our greatest TED Talks have been as short as 5 minutes long!

What is the TED Talk formula? ›

However, the elements that make up the “TED Formula” are adaptive beyond the stage-to-audience-format. There are three main things you'll notice in a TED talk: speakers are hands free, there are no barriers between them and the audience, and they seem to be natural in how they interact with those who are listening.

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 makes a good life? ›

It turns out that people who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, they're physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected. And the experience of loneliness turns out to be toxic.

What is the number 1 TED Talk of all time? ›

Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love.

What is the most watched TED Talk of all time? ›

TED Conference

In first place comes Sir Ken Robinson's 2006 talk, "Do Schools Kill Creativity?", with almost 75 million views.

How do I end a TED Talk? ›

You can certainly get away with saying, “In conclusion …” However, you can do better. For example, you could also say, “We come to the end of our journey today and to the beginning of your future …” or “Now it is time for you to make a decision …”

Do you memorize a TED Talk? ›

TED Talks are Often Scripted and Memorized

In the process of practicing, most of the speech becomes memorized. In the moment of performance, the memorization doesn't hinder the speakers authenticity. It simply allows them to deliver the speech they intended to deliver.

Do TED Talks speakers get paid? ›

What do you pay speakers? TED does not pay speakers. We do, of course, cover travel costs and provide excellent hotel accommodation -- as well as a covetable pass to all five days of TED. Most speakers stay for the whole conference, soaking up the talks and connecting with other attendees.

Why it's so hard to find your life's purpose? ›

There's always movement or evolution towards some kind of outcome or fulfillment—whether it's a tree that produces fruit or clouds that form to produce rain. But we humans become so enraptured by our daily activity, engagements, goals, and so forth, that our awareness of our own unique life purpose is easily dimmed.

How do I find my path in life? ›

14 Ways to Get on a New Path When You're Feeling Lost
  1. #1 Try Out New Hobbies.
  2. #2 Talk To Your Loved Ones.
  3. #3 Journal.
  4. #4 Work Out.
  5. #5 Relax.
  6. #6 Set Goals.
  7. #7 Read Books.
  8. #8 Get Dressed Up.
May 31, 2017

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 age do most people find their purpose? ›

When the scores were plotted by age, 60 was when participants were most likely to say their life had purpose and meaning. The feeling that life has meaning tends to become stronger as we grow older, reaching a peak around age 60, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

What do I do if I have no purpose in life? ›

What to do when you have no purpose
  1. Reflect on what excites you and fills you with passion.
  2. Practice spiritual wellness and take care of your well-being.
  3. Ensure that your career has a purpose and that you believe in your work.
  4. Learn new things by reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching documentaries.
May 17, 2022

What is the number 1 life path? ›

If your Life Path Number is 1 as per numerology, you are a purposeful and a goal-oriented person who has a lot of determination and dedication to reach your goal. Such is the power of your zest to achieve something in life with hard work and resolution. You put your heart and soul into accomplishing your goals.

How do you find your true calling in life? ›

How to find your calling
  1. Listen to your internal compass.
  2. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
  3. Pay attention to your body and how you feel when trying new things.
  4. Try learning new things on your own.
  5. Take note of your dreams and things that seem like coincidences.
  6. Express yourself however feels right.
Jun 15, 2022

How do I find myself again? ›

7 Tips to Find Yourself When You're Feeling Lost
  1. Remember what you love to do and go do it! ...
  2. Go on an adventure. ...
  3. Reconnect with your dreams and dream BIG. ...
  4. Expand your comfort zone regularly. ...
  5. Get quiet and listen. ...
  6. Remember you have the power to be, have, and do anything you desire. ...
  7. Ask for help.
Jun 8, 2015

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 truly matters in life? ›

Friendships, relationships, time, memories, and experiences are what truly matters in life. It's those people and things that can never be replaced, even if you try. Purpose is another important aspect of life because, without purpose, you'd feel empty and void of everything.

What are 3 things everyone wants? ›

3 Things All Humans Want at Work (and in Life)
  • Survive. "Survive is our need for food, water, and shelter," says Andreatta. ...
  • Belong. "Belong is our need to be accepted for who we are, to be cared for by others, and be involved in a meaningful community," says Andreatta. ...
  • Become.
Jan 21, 2020

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