Discover Your Life’s Purpose In Around 20 Minutes

Discover Your Life’s Purpose In Around 20 Minutes

Another work week has drawn to a close. If you’re less than thrilled by how you spent the last 40 hours, here’s a quick exercise to help illuminate what you should be doing with your time.

Photo by Nogwater.

Blogger Steve Pavlina says that you can discover your life’s purpose in as little as twenty minutes. To do so, complete the following four steps:

1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type.
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.

Steve writes that “usually it takes 15-20 minutes to clear your head of all the clutter and the social conditioning about what you think your purpose in life is” and that you should expect to generate some repeats or similar answers. All this is fine so long as you keep on writing, even if your answers begin to resemble variations on “I don’t have a purpose” or “Life is meaningless”.

Also, it’s not enough to react emotionally to an answer. You need to keep going until the emotion brings forth tears. If you feel the urge to quit, take a two minute break and then resume. According to the post, around 80-90 percent of those who try this method will reach their answer in less than an hour.

Understandably many people will doubt its efficacy, but if you’re still searching for your purpose and have the time and inclination to try this out, let us know how you fare in the comments.

How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About Twenty Minutes [Steve Pavlina]


  • worth noting that this is perhaps one of the less extreme things Steve has done and documented on his blog.

    Perhaps the most extreme in my opinion was eating everything as a juice for about a month. Didn’t appear to end terribly well.

  • Anything that even gets us to.think abt our lifes purppose is good. Thousands of years has made us humans very good at fulfilling our material needs: food, shelter, comfort. Modern tech just refines that a bit further. But we are still not focussed on much more than barter. The economic model of the caveman. Sure, ours looks a lot more sophis. But still barter. When the barter is over, what is life for? Maybe sometime soon we cn focus our wisdom, or whatever is left of it, on that question.

  • Are you sure this works? Because after 15 answers I put down “Sail away into the sunset with Scarlett Johannson on that cool ship from The Island,” and I wept solid for an hour.

  • it seems like an interesting idea but what if you:

    a) have a lousy imagination (results = 0)
    b) no tear ducts (false negatives)
    c) burst into tears all the time (false positive)

    i’m just saying…has anyone lab tested this?

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