Self-Discovery Activity – Find Your Life’s Purpose in 8 Simple Steps

Wondering what to do with your life? Want to find your life’s purpose? Want to do what you are passionate about? This post will help you do just that!

In 8 simple steps, I will guide you through a self-discovery activity to help you find your life’s purpose! I will be doing the activity with you, so that my answers can serve as a reference to this activity.

This post coincides with the section of realizing my Self in the psychiatric ward (You can find it on Amazon here.) that pertains to finding your life’s purpose.

And you may be wondering, “how does this guy know anything about purpose?” I go into far greater detail in my book (link above), but you can also read a little bit about myself and learn about how I found my purpose in life here. Now without further ado, the self-discovery activity!

Step 1: Activities that Excite You

The first step toward finding your purpose is figuring out what excites you. Pursuing a career that makes you happy starts with understanding yourself and what excites you.

Time to brainstorm! List absolutely every activity that excites you. Set a timer and brainstorm for 10 minutes (without judgment or consideration of any that come to mind. For example, do not stop yourself from writing something because you think “no, that’s dumb.” Just write it. Do not think. Just sit, be silent, and write whatever comes to mind.)

Here is my list:

  1. Soccer
  2. Lifting weights
  3. Leading a group toward an objective (regardless of what it is)
  4. Meditating
  5. Hiking
  6. Teaching
  7. Coaching
  8. Writing
  9. Playing piano
  10. Engineering / Building something tangible
  11. Coding something useful
  12. Solving problems
  13. Collecting data/information
  14. Learning / Discovering new things
  15. Taking care of Nature or animals
  16. Cooking / Baking

Step 2: Aligning Yourself with Selfless Service

Narrow down the previous list, only including activities done to help others or add value to their life.

If nothing comes to mind, think about how you would like to help others. How do you want to add value to the lives of others? It can be through teaching, art, service, being an activist, being a leader, and so on.

Try to stick to the things that came naturally to you, the things that did not feel like work. For example, a lot of people needed me to do lifting or building, but those things definitely felt like labor, so I would remove that from my list.

Here is what my filtered list looks like:

  1. Leading a group toward an objective (regardless of what it is)
  2. Teaching
  3. Coaching
  4. Writing
  5. Playing piano
  6. Coding something useful
  7. Solving problems
  8. Taking care of Nature or animals
  9. Cooking / Baking

Step 3: Your Top 5 Values

Write down your top 5 Values in no particular order. Here is a list of the most common values to help you decide which are most important to you:

Here are my top 5 values:

  1. Peace
  2. Truth
  3. Empathy
  4. Authenticity
  5. Personal growth

With these in mind, narrow-down your list again, this time removing anything that resonates with fewer than three of your values (i.e., if it only connects with none, one, or two of your values, remove it).

Using these values, here is my further-refined list:

  1. Leading a group toward an objective (regardless of what it is)
  2. Teaching
  3. Coaching
  4. Writing

Step 4: What Grinds Your Gears?

What upsets you the most? With this answer, you are going to narrow-down your list once again. This time, remove anything that is completely unrelated to the one thing that deeply upsets you the most.

  1. When misinformation is spread or people act out of ignorance
  2. When no attention is paid to beauty, aesthetics, or appearance whatsoever
  3. Being burned out from work and being too exhausted to continue
  4. A lack of cohesion and cooperation between those you are working with
  5. Not performing to the best of your abilities, physically; letting your team down
  6. Injustice
  7. To see the world heading in a negative direction; seeing how little other people care about the world
  8. When people take advantage of your kindness
  9. A dull, monotonous, lackluster, and boring world

What upsets me the most is choice 7. Here is my list now:

  1. Leading a group toward an objective (regardless of what it is)
  2. Teaching
  3. Coaching
  4. Writing

Step 5: Your Role Model

Who do you look up to the most? What is it about this person that you admire? What ideal are/were they seeking that resonates with you the most?

For me, I look up to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the most. I admire his faith in what humanity is capable of when we all connect to Truth (and that he was bold and authentic, yet loving and patient in his approach the entire time). He was seeking universal peace and harmony (albeit through different means, but with the same end in mind), which strongly resonates with me. With that in mind, here is my list:

  1. Teaching
  2. Coaching
  3. Writing

I removed being a leader, because I do not mind taking the role of a team player if it means the objective of universal peace and harmony is achieved.

Step 6: Potential Careers

Time for another brainstorming session! Take a few minutes to write down all potential careers related to your list as it is now. Be more specific this time. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Teaching math
  2. Teaching science
  3. Teaching computer science
  4. Teaching about life
  5. Life coaching
  6. Health coaching
  7. Sports/Competitive coaching
  8. Writing for entertainment
  9. Writing to teach

Then, remove anything that does not resonate with at least 3 of your top values. Here is my filtered list of potential careers:

  1. Teaching about life
  2. Life coaching
  3. Health coaching
  4. Sports/Competitive coaching
  5. Writing to teach

For example, teaching math did not resonate with Peace, Empathy, Truth, or Personal Growth, so I removed it.

Step 7: Brief Meditation

Before moving on to the next step, meditate for however long you feel like meditating, but at least for five minutes. Just sit and be. Close your eyes and turn inward. Feel the energy flowing through your body. Here is another post I wrote about meditation containing some tips and guidelines to help you turn inward. Then, move onto the next step.

Step 8: Visualization & Listening to Your Heart

Visualize each potential career and see what resonates with you the most. Stay present with your heart as you do this. And if you do not really know what a certain career does, there is no harm in educating yourself. Check out some videos on YouTube of “a day in the life of X” or “what do X do.” You can also find an online community, such as a subreddit, for this particular career.

Imagine yourself doing each. Stay present with your body and heart as you do this. What does it feel like? Can you get a feel for it? Does it feel right? Ask yourself this and listen to your heart. Any tension or discomfort that arises is a red flag. What is your heart telling you to pursue the most? Ask yourself and be intensely present. Ask your heart, then listen.

This activity should help you narrow down your choices, at the very least. At the very best, this activity can help you find your life’s purpose. I genuinely hope you get the most out of this activity.


In a word, your purpose is selfless. The bigger picture of your purpose in life is finding how you fit in the great dance of life, how you fit into the world around you. And you will find your niche through compassion and selfless service.

Know that by pursuing a selfless purpose, because of karma, you will receive everything you need in return. I go into much greater detail in my book (Purchase it on Amazon here).

And that concludes this self-discovery activity! If you find yourself with several options and unsure what to pursue, ask yourself what is making your decision difficult. Something that might help you is considering who you would be helping with each option. How would you be helping these people. Visualizing yourself helping these people in that particular way and seeing the gratitude on their face for your help can help you determine what resonates with you the most.

For example, I love cooking for someone, but what really brings me the most joy is lifting others up, empowering people to take control of their life and create the life of their dreams. What form of service brings you the most joy?

And if you find yourself without any options, take a break for today, and try the activity again. There is a strong chance that you did not feel most comfortable during the two brainstorming sessions. Feeling uncomfortable inhibits creativity.

If you found yourself unsure about what upsets you the most, or your top 5 values, then it would be helpful to revisit those sections as well.

If all else fails, this what I coach people with. You can book a free discovery call here, so that I can help you find your life’s purpose

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