TED Conversations

Elizabeth Rivas

Struggling Student,

This conversation is closed.

What is your purpose in life and how and when did you come to realize it? In what ways are you now living towards your purpose?

After having lived for 21 years I would have assumed when I was younger that by this time in my life, surely I would have figured out my purpose. Of course, this is not the case. I have been thinking more and more about my life in terms of my true purpose. I may have a general idea where I want to go in life, for example, I am planning and studying hard so that I can successfully transfer to UCLA, my dream school. I also know that I enjoy working with children, learning about the biological sciences, writing poetry and fiction in my free time, and sharing my ideas. I was hoping I might be able to learn how members of this wonderful community called TED has come to learn their true purpose. Share with me with your lightbulb moments about the exact moment when you realized you found your calling? Or maybe share your not so lightbulb moment. Maybe it took you years and years to discover your calling in life. Either way, I am eager to hear from you and how you not only learned what it is you want to do with your life but how you are implementing those desires today


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 16 2013: There is some good advice on here. What I have learned in my short time is that I do not have one true predestined purpose. Your purpose is what you want it to be. Ideally we have many different purposes that we pursue at different times/places in our life. It is ok for it to seem discontinuous at times for we can usually clear up the path in hindsight. Absorb the positive around you and reject the negative. Project positivity and truth with every word and action. If you're feeling aimless, try doing simple things to help others with no thought of reward.

    Ultimately, WHAT we decide to do isn't as important as HOW. The happiest life is spent in the pursuit of one's greatest potential in all activities, occupations, relationships, and dreams. Don't leave stones unturned and explore to the fullest any aspects of life that interest you.
    • thumb
      Apr 17 2013: Definitely! Everyone who commented had something really great to say about purpose in life. It's been really nice to read encourageming words too. I'll keep that piece of advice in mind about doing simple things to help others if i'm feeling aimless. As long as I am helping others in a compassionate way without the aim to gain something in return I'm fulfilling one of my life's purposes. The rest will play out as my studying continues.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.