IWIWIW: How to Discover Your Life’s Purpose in About 20 Minutes

I Wish I Wrote:

by Steve Pavlina, January 16th, 2005

Why I Wish I Wrote It:

I don’t like my job.  I thought that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I’m not even 4 years into it, and I’m ready for something new.  Unfortunately, everything I’ve done post high school was geared towards getting me here.  So now that I know it’s time to go somewhere else, I have no idea which direction to take. Articles like this are supposed to help:

Here’s what to do:

  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type (I prefer the latter because it’s faster).
  2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
  3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

I’ll admit I have not yet committed my 20 minutes to this exercise. Perhaps this is just me making more excuses, but my head has been so clouded lately that focusing has required more effort than it should, so my attempts to start the list have not gone well.  (I suspect this is also why it takes me a long time to fall sleep and why I suck at yoga.) I have, however, been keeping a list of jobs and/or organizations that stick out to me (such as the Boys and Girls Club, Culture for Kids in the Arts, children’s libraries, tutoring, and academic support), so I at least have a starting point.

I’m curious if anyone out there has tried this, or similar methods before?  Did they work?  Have you discovered your life’s purpose?


4 thoughts on “IWIWIW: How to Discover Your Life’s Purpose in About 20 Minutes

    • I’m the Education Coordinator with a live theatre company. I LOVE my job – on paper – but in reality, I do less and less “Education” work every day, which is why I’ve decided its time to move on.

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