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What’s worse than a life without purpose? At best, such a life is unsatisfying, but at worst, it can drive you to existential despair and depression. Life should not simply be endured — it should be enjoyed and celebrated, and for that, you need purpose.
The tricky bit is that “purpose” can mean different things to different people. In this post, we’ll define it as “the reason you get up in the morning”. And we’ll say that you can find your purpose in one of three things: your mission, your career, or your hobby.
Here are several quizzes and tests that can help you discover your own purpose. For best results, you should take as many of them as you can and see where they all overlap. None of them are definitive on their own, but together they can point you in the right direction.
Finding Your Life’s Mission
Simply put, your mission is what you want to accomplish by the time you leave this world. The funny thing is, most of us may think we know what we want (e.g. make a lot of money, travel the world, run a successful business), but a few pointed questions can reveal that we were wrong all along.
Mark Manson’s 7 Questions — Mark Manson’s philosophy is that conflict is inevitable and life is about solving problems. According to him, finding one’s mission is synonymous with figuring out what’s “important” and figuring out how to spend as much of your time on that. His seven questions are simple, challenging, and insightful.
Tina Su’s 15 Questions — It’s a simple exercise that only requires pen and paper, and Tina Su’s questions get straight to the point. She doesn’t tell you want you should do. Rather, she gets you to explore those answers on your own. The exercise will probably only take you 10 minutes or so, but the more seriously you take it, the more useful the results will be.
Jess Heslop’s 30 Questions — Though similar in process to the two questionnaires above, Jess Heslop’s questions are aimed more towards finding your passion and not so much your mission, though the two can be the same. Again, this is an exploration exercise, but with 30 questions on deck, it’s sure to get you thinking about things you hadn’t considered before.
Personality Lab’s Life Goals Test — This involved test aims to assess your relationship and outlook on six different life goals: Financial Success, Social Recognition, Attractiveness, Affiliation, Community Involvement, and Self-Acceptance. Knowing which life goals matter most can help you decide in which areas you should commit your energy.
Finding Your Ideal Career
Finding purpose and identity in your career or occupation is very much a capitalistic mindset, and it’s not something we recommend for everybody, but finding the right job can be an amazing way to live out your personal mission on a day-to-day basis. Knowing that your job matters can make it easy to get up in the morning.
Simple Career Test — Simplistic questions, simplistic answers. This isn’t a be-all-end-all test, but it’s a good starting point when you have no idea what to do. It’ll give you a recommended career field based on your interests and personality (e.g. Human Relations) along with a few example occupations (e.g. psychiatrist, social worker, human resources).
Passion Profile Quiz — Here’s another quickie quiz. It’s only 10 questions so don’t expect it to provide any life-shattering answers. What can you expect? Based on your responses, you’ll be sorted into one of four categories: Firestarter, Tribe Member, Side Hustler, or Thriver. You’ll get a PDF that explains your category, your strengths, your challenges, and what you should look for going forward.
WTF Should I Do With My Life? — This awesome site is one of the best ways to find your passion in life. No questionnaire here. Instead, the site presents you with a randomized sequence of potential occupations, which you can keep rejecting until you find one that interests you. Each occupation is tied to an interview with someone from that field who explains what the job is like, why they love it, and what kinds of challenges they regularly face.
O*NET Interest Profiler — Looking for a more serious career path test? This is it. After answering 60 questions, you’ll learn more about your interest profile and potential job zones. The important thing for this is to answer without worrying about potential salary or whether you have the requisite skills. The main goal of O*NET is to find your best fit career so that you can pursue the training necessary to succeed in that field.
Holland Code Career Test — This is another serious career test that’ll take approximately 20 minutes to complete. The results come in three parts: first, your ideal career type based on your primary interest area; second, your scores across six interest areas; and third, potential careers that match your interest area results. The first two parts alone can be very helpful in discovering yourself.
Finding a Hobby You’ll Love
A lot of people believe you should turn your hobby into a job, that way it won’t feel like work. But the truth is that, for most people, the opposite happens: the hobby begins to feel like work and loses its luster.
As such, it might be better for you to land any job that pays the bills and instead find satisfaction and fulfillment in a non-paying hobby.
BoredomBusted’s Hobby List — Let this be your first destination. It’s literally just a list comprised of hundreds of hobby ideas, not even any descriptions for each hobby, but it’s a useful starting point. Once you have an idea of the kinds of hobbies you might want to pursue, take some of the quizzes below to see which of them are good matches for you.
If you want to be particularly geeky with your hobbies, check out our own list of the best geeky DIY hobbies you can pursue indoors.
CNN’s Hobby Quiz — A very simple (perhaps even borderline silly) quiz that asks you 15 multiple-choice questions. The answers will tell you which of seven hobby types you’d most enjoy: Creative, Discovery, Food, Home, Outdoor, Tech, Travel. Results include a few recommendations, such as these examples for the Discovery type: archaeological digs, botany, the stock market, meditation, etc.
Do You Feel Lost or Stuck?
When someone says they feel like their life lacks purpose, they usually hate their job and feel stuck in life. Is that how you feel? Then you should try taking the quizzes and tests above. What’s the worst that could happen? At the very least, you may come across a spark that revives that part of you that feels lost or stuck.
Have you gone through this before? We want to hear your tips on how you got out of it. Are you struggling with it right now? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
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