Ask Ben: How do I Figure Out My Path in Life?

There's been a variety of reader and listener questions lately, so I thought it would be fun to share a recent exchange I had with a top performer who asked a great question. 

Here's the original question:

"My name is Dillon, I am a young college student from Utah.  I am someone who is trying figure out what to do with their life.  I am newly married and want to do the best I can for the future of my family.  If you have any advice, I would love to hear it."


My Answer:

Intellectually, you will never understand your "path in life" or "purpose." Your mind is in a state of constant motion (like the ocean) and will never let you settle on a singular purpose. Today you may feel like you want to be an author, tomorrow an entrepreneur, the day after that an investment banker. This is entirely normal, and every top performer in the history of the modern world has struggled with this.

Instead, you must embrace the constantly changing nature of your mind. The way you do this is through a formal mediation practice where every day you sit down, focus on your breath and feel into your purpose. If you do this with enough consistency and intentionality, you'll feel pulled to certain subjects or fields of study. You won't be able to explain your attraction to these subjects. Instead, you'll feel an unexplainable visceral connection.

With that being said, we all have areas of strength where we can stand out, make a great living and uniquely express our purpose. I call it:

Your Business Destiny.

Here are five questions that I want you to answer in regards to your unique business destiny. These questions have helped me focus and narrow down the path I am supposed to follow. In the past year, I have walked 6-7 coaching clients through this, with fantastic results.

The goal is to create a one sentence business destiny plan that is unique to you.


Let's Get Busy - Your Business Destiny

These questions above work well for figuring out your career path or giving you more insight into the projects and entrepreneurial endeavors that come up.

These questions were developed by cognitive scientists, psychologists, top entrepreneurs, and neuroscientists.  They work because they help you focus on personal strengths, the environment you grew up in and the areas of life where you find passion and purpose.

Each person is going to have a unique business destiny and should not try to follow or copy anyone else.


The Questions:

  1. What sort of influences, subjects, topics and themes were consistent in your childhood and adolescence?
  2. What have you been doing for the last ten years?
  3. What compliments do strangers give you consistently? This is huge. If people who don’t know you mention it consistently then it’s something immediately noticeable in your demeanor, energy, appearance, spirit, consciousness, etc. Spend a lot of time with this one.
  4. What do you talk about with friends on a Friday or Saturday night effortlessly?
  5. What did you want to do at 14 years old?  


How to Do It:

The goal of this exercise is to create a one sentence business destiny plan that is extremely specific to you. It won't be perfect, and that's OK. 

Side Point: Like I mentioned earlier, due to the constantly changing nature of your mind your answers to the questions above will change depending on your level of consciousness and the current belief systems you hold. 

  1. Brainstorm - Answer each question with as many ideas that come to mind. Get messy and throw everything on the table.
  2. Wash, Rinse, Repeat - A day later, go back and answer the questions again on a new sheet of paper. Compare them to your first set of answers.
  3. Find the hidden ties that bind - Ask yourself, where do all these questions intersect?
  4. Wash, Rinse, Repeat - Repeat the questions over and over until you come up with an answer you are satisfied with. You should talk through your answers with your parents, friends, family, mastermind partners, coworkers, etc.


For Example, here’s the evolution of my many attempts: 

1st Attempt: Helping men and women find their own path, meaning, purpose and truth. To help them step out of social conditioning and start living life on their own terms. (huh?)

2nd Attempt: I am unleashing the potential of people and systems. (one could easily imagine this being read during the unveiling of the original Macintosh in 1984)

3rd Attempt: “Answering life’s hard questions with science” (what?)

4th Attempt: - not worth sharing - (complete garbage)

10th Attempt: Exploring Life's Hard Questions Using Science, Spirituality, and Philosophy (closer)

Using this framework, you can develop a filter in which you can judge all career paths, business opportunities, or projects which come your way. You will understand what types of work will make you happy and which ones will make you miserable.


Let's Recap

You have two action items:

  1. Start a daily formal meditation practice. 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning is a good place to start. 

  2. Complete the business destiny questions and refine your answers until you feel an unexplainable connection to your unique business destiny. 


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