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)


Um on the last evening of 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.

Eighty percent 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 of learning not because we thought they were going to direct us to a specific job.

We still got jobs.

We were living our lives, expansively with life's ups and downs.

And we'd not did not feel that we had wasted a single minute.

And as I spoke with the 20 to 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 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 knife purpose in the next five minutes? Can you be a little bit louder because they're 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 your next purp, your life purpose in the next five minutes.

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.

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

And 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.

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 all right everybody on the count of five, shout out your first name, one, two, three, four, five fabulous that was the first one only four to go that's who you are right now.

What do you do? What do you love to 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'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 five.

What do you do? One? Two, three, four, 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, okay, who do you do it for let's? See it one more 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.


Now, what do 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 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 1 2, 3, 4 5., terrific now we're going to put this all together kind of in a sentence? 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? How do they change as a result? 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.

Now, why is that formulation so powerful? Because of all those five things that you need to know to know what your life purpose is only two are about yourself.

The others 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 and 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 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, sometime 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're paid to do isn't, how you define yourself.

So when people ask you this question, so what do you do? And also you got this monologue going on 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 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 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 the 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.



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?

How much do TED Talk speakers get paid? ›

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 is TED Talk so effective? ›

What Makes TED Talks So Effective? TED talks stand out from other forms of presentations as an effective medium to convey accurate easy-to-understand information to a target audience. The organizers of these events and talks aren't in it for the money – they work passionately to spread ideas.

Can anyone do a TED Talk? ›

Who is qualified to give a TED Talk? Anyone with a great idea. The reason so many people enjoy these talks is because of the ideas, not the celebrity of the speakers.

What is the most common purpose in life? ›

Around the world, “family” ranks as the top choice when selecting one's purpose in life. It's the foundation from which people come from… and where many people return. If you feel that friends and family are priceless treasures that can never be replaced, this purpose is definitely for you.

What are the four purpose of life? ›

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

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 a sense of purpose? ›

Definitions of sense of purpose. the quality of having a definite purpose. synonyms: purposefulness. Antonyms: aimlessness, purposelessness. the quality of lacking any definite purpose.

What does main purpose mean? ›

meanings of main and purpose

larger, more important, or having more influence than others of the ... See more at main. purpose. /ˈpɜː.pəs/us.

What is the term for purpose in life? ›

Some common synonyms of purpose are aim, design, end, goal, intention, intent, objective, and object. While all these words mean "what one intends to accomplish or attain," purpose suggests a more settled determination.

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 does the Bible say is our purpose in life? ›

Our purpose on earth is to love God, then show the same love he offers us to others so they can come to know him. God wants us to lead others to him through our love for them!

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 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 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.

Do TED talk speakers memorize their talks? ›

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.

What is a typical speaker fee? ›

Now that we've discussed the importance of audience value to a speaking engagement, let's talk about how to monetize that value. Here are some baseline ranges according to your level of experience: Fewer than three talks: $500 – $2,500 per talk. 3 – 8 talks/proven expert/first-time author: $5,000 – $10,000 per talk.

How do you become a paid speaker? ›

How to become a paid speaker
  1. Become an expert. Although there are many types of paid speakers, most organizations hire paid speakers because they are seen as authorities on the topic they speak about. ...
  2. Develop your voice. ...
  3. Start small. ...
  4. Target your ideas. ...
  5. Use word of mouth. ...
  6. Grow your skills. ...
  7. Market yourself.
Jun 24, 2022

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.

What do you say at the beginning of a TED Talk? ›

TED's Introduction Tips

Start with a reason that the audience should care about your main idea. For a well-known main idea, start by clearly stating it. For a lesser-known main idea or an idea in a lesser-known field, start by explaining a related topic or idea that is well-known.

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!

How do people get chosen for a TED Talk? ›

At TED, we search year-round for presenters who will inform and inspire, surprise and delight. If you know someone who belongs on the TED stage, or if you belong there yourself, we want to hear from you!

Do TED Talks get money? ›

TED makes money through conference attendance fees, sponsorships, foundation support, licensing fees and book sales, and we spend it as soon as we get it — on video editing, web development and hosting for TED Talks and TED-Ed videos (ideas are free, but bandwidth is expensive…); support for community-driven ...

How do you get approved for a TED Talk? ›

How to Get on the TED Stage
  1. Start with TEDx. ...
  2. Get to Know Other Tedx Talks. ...
  3. Build Your Portfolio. ...
  4. Create Your Talk (and Your Pitch) ...
  5. Review Your Pitch (and Your Talk) ...
  6. Choose Your Stage(s) ...
  7. Pitch Your Concept. ...
  8. Leverage Your TEDx Talk.

What is a strong purpose in life? ›

Benefits of strong purpose include greater resilience, enhanced emotion regulation, and better relationships. But purpose affects more than just psychological well-being. Research shows that having a strong purpose improves physical health and engagement in healthy behaviors.

What gives my life meaning? ›

A meaningful life is commonly associated with or predicted by the following: Positive self-views (e.g., high self-esteem and self-confidence). Seeing oneself as distinct (i.e., different from others in a positive way). Sense of self-continuity, meaning a connection between the past and present.

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.

Why is 777 God's number? ›

Christianity. According to the American publication, the Orthodox Study Bible, 777 represents the threefold perfection of the Trinity.

What does 42 stand for? ›

In Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the number from which all meaning ("the meaning of life, the universe, and everything") can be derived.

What does 42 mean in the meaning of life? ›

42 is the answer to the “ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything,” a joke in Douglas Adams's 1979 novel, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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 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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