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What to Do in Life: The Ultimate Life Purpose Question

June 29, 2010

According to the latest statistics, you’ve got 79.4 years to live on this planet. Whatever your age today, you can do the math to see how much time you have left. And like the winner of the lottery, you’re faced with an important investment decision about what to do in life. Specifically—How will you spend the rest of your time? To answer this question we each must determine what the purpose of life is.

It’s easy to avoid overtly thinking about these kinds of philosophical questions by filling up our lives with a long string of activities. Perhaps, like millions of others, your typical day goes something like this: You brave the daily commute, do whatever you do to make a living, run a couple of errands at lunchtime, take the kids to soccer after work, pay the bills, watch another episode of your favorite TV series, and then hit the sack in order to get up and do it again tomorrow. Maybe your list looks a bit different, but you get my point. While I’m not suggesting that any of these are bad things to do, these activities can fill up our days and create jam-packed schedules that leave little time for reflection. And of course, these activity-trap filled days soon stretch into years of busyness. And our daily busyness keeps us from slowing down enough to seriously ask, “How do I find my purpose in life?” And then, there you are at 79.4 years of age saying, “Hey, what a minute, I’ve got some really important things I want to do.”

Here’s what you should do with your life (I know, this sounds ridiculously presumptive, but hang on.): Learn to listen for your Calling to uncover your life purpose. Identify your unique gifts and talents and use them in a way that makes the world a better place and brings you deep joy at the same time. Go ahead and pursue your heartfelt dreams until your life is passion. And while all of this is much easier said than done for many of us, it is quite doable for everyone. When it comes to what you do with your 79.4 years, my overall investment advice is simple: Spend it wisely.