January 23, 2018

Find your purpose in 5 minutes

find your purpose in 5 minutes

Find your purpose in 5 minutes with a pencil.

Do you remember Forrest Gump’s iconic quote, “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

He clearly had a smart mom.

I was writing a piece of text with a pencil the other day.

It soon became blunt and I had to use a sharpener to get it back into shape again.

In that moment it occurred to me that maybe our lives are like a pencil and sharpener too.

Let’s see if I can help you find your purpose in 5 minutes (and mine too).

Imagine that the pencil is the length of our life. When we get to the stub, our life is over.

A graphite pencil has approximately 45 000 words in it. If we get to the end with some eloquence and grace, we have approximately 70+ years.

Of course, the pencil can break.

That’s game over. Ditto for our lives.

A pencil can get lost and never found.

This means it can never fulfil its purpose which is to write our life story and make some kind of meaningful impact on humanity.

It is difficult to find your purpose in 5 minutes because things don’t always go according to plan.

It can get lost and found by someone else and be used.

Our lives don’t always turn out like we expect and through getting lost and taking wrong turns we still fulfil our purpose.

Just not in the way we planned it.

For as long as the pencil is used, it makes an impact.

Of course, with use, the pencil blunts. It needs constant sharpening.

Find your purpose in 5 minutes with a sharpener.

find your purpose and passion

The sharpener is our intent.

It shaves off the wood that is not needed to reveal the sharp graphite.

Each time our pencil is sharpened it reignites so that it becomes useful and fulfils its purpose.

If we don’t sharpen our pencil, it remains blunt and eventually becomes useless.

How do we then keep our pencils sharp and make sure that we are useful?

How do you find your purpose in 5 minutes? The first step is to understand that we are here for a purpose.

We need constant sharpening otherwise we forget our purpose. Sharpeners come in many shapes and forms:

  • positive attitude
  • meditation
  • journaling
  • exercise
  • mentors
  • friends
  • reading
  • acts of kindness
  • philosophy
  • religion
  • friends and family

The metaphor of a pencil and sharpener may not help you find your purpose in 5 minutes, but it might give you something to think about.


Every conscious interaction we have is there to sharpen our intent and remove what is not useful to achieving our purpose.

So, use your pencil. Take those 45 000 words and write a worthwhile story. A story that makes a mark and a difference to everyone who is touched by it.

Yes, I know, who the hell can find your purpose in 5 minutes? All I know is that you only have one life (unless you believe in reincarnation), make the most of it so that when you meet your maker, you can give it up with grace and not with regret.

You may not be able to find your purpose in 5 minutes – but whether it takes 5 days, 5 years or a lifetime of striving to find it, you need to give it a shot.

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