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Elimination – The Secret Strategy to Finding Your Life Purpose

Are you waiting for the skies to part and for your life’s purpose to be revealed?

Wandering the streets like a lost tourist in hopes that your life’s purpose will run into you?

Waiting for inspiration to strike in a midnight dream, like a bolt of lightning?

You may be feeling unfulfilled in life because you have yet to find your life’s purpose.

You want to do work that inspires you every day, that makes you feel fulfilled and that makes you feel like you are doing what you were sent here to do.

The stable job you have may pay the bills but you find it grossly unfulfilling.  Your current job doesn’t feel like purpose.

When a visit to the fortune-teller, career counselor or your local therapist’s couch still won’t help, here’s a secret tactic to help you discover your life’s purpose sooner.

Finding your purpose requires experimentation.

The only way to discover your life’s mission or purpose is to try to find what you are passionate about in life.

Passion is also something that’s not going to strike you in a midnight’s dream or purr into your ear as you’re out having a drink at the local pub.

You can’t imagine passion, dream about passion or envision passion. Passion isn’t some feel-good feeling that will slowly wash over you.

To discover your passion, you have to experiment and try out different professions, jobs, skills and abilities. You must actively experiment doing different things in order to find your passion and ultimately your purpose in life.

This process requires you to pursue various interests. In order to successfully experiment, you must take new classes, learn new skills, change jobs that don’t suit you, start doing volunteer work, freelance your services for free, and doing things that are continuously outside of your comfort zone.

The idea is to try to delve into and explore every one of your interests in depth. Not just stand on the sidelines and imagine what a particular job or skill might feel like.

How the process of elimination will result in your purpose.

The secret tactic to discover your purpose in this process is elimination.

The more jobs and skills you’re able to try out in your life, the more self-knowledge you’ll have about yourself. You’ll know what it is you’re passionate about doing and what you absolutely hate.

The key is to discover as many of the jobs and activities that you’re not good at and have no interest in whatsoever.

This active tactic of elimination is a powerful process that will help you narrow down what you’re passionate about and move you closer to your life’s purpose.

The more action you take, the sooner you will find your purpose.

For this elimination tactic to be successful and for you to land at your life’s purpose sooner, eliminate more careers, jobs, and skills that you have no interest in.

For example, if you realize that you can’t stand accounting and finance, which is what you studied in university, you can eliminate all jobs in those fields. If you studied computer science and despise programming, you can rule out programming related jobs. If you studied marketing but despise market research, you can eliminate that job skill from future job searches.

In each job or career you have, you will find job duties you take a liking to and others that you never want to do again. The only way to determine which skills and job duties you’re passionate about is to try out a  lot of them. Keep taking on added responsibilities and seeking new job duties so that you can evaluate for yourself if something is a good fit or not.

You don’t have to make drastic moves either. If you’re working and have to support a family, don’t quit a job to become a musician. You can start your music career in the evenings and weekends. Don’t quit the day job so you can become a writer. You can write for a couple hours every morning before work. Don’t sell your house to start a business when you can start the groundwork for building up a business while you’re still employed.

The more jobs, skills and careers you try out, the sooner you will be able to find out what you’re passionate about.

As you eliminate activities which don’t interest you and narrow down your list of passions, you’ll inch up even closer towards finding your life’s purpose.

*Vishnu writes a blog for world-changers at Please sign up for weekly tips on work, life and living a life filled with clarity.

25 Responses to Elimination – The Secret Strategy to Finding Your Life Purpose

  1. I agree with the quote, “The more action you take, the sooner you will find your purpose,” but it’s an awfully big world out there — trying to find your purpose through the process of elimination seems like it could take a lifetime.

    How about using a more direct route?

    Maybe we should be trying to find ways to earn a living by doing what we enjoy and do for free anyway. Love travelling and taking pictures? Try becoming a travel photograher. Enjoy writing? Become a blogger, of course!

    Like lovers, I believe there are many “life purposes” to which we might be compatible. We should start looking from within before we start eliminating from without.



  2. This is a fresh way of looking at discovering your life’s purpose, Vishnu. I think I have inadvertently tried out this process, before I arrived at where I am right now.  :)

  3. I certainly can relate to the comment, “You want to do work that inspires you every day, that makes you feel
    fulfilled and that makes you feel like you are doing what you were sent
    here to do.”

    I left a job that was a steady paycheck but, not fulfilling. I decided to begin my own business and start doing work that really matters to others and myself. It has been rough getting started. Some aspects are right on progress whereas others are struggling. I don’t regret my decision one bit to pursue what really matters to me.

    Thanks for this article as I am hoping it inspires many others to waken themselves up and begin to make waves in this world that inspire others!

  4. Vishnu says:

     Good point and another great strategy to find our life purpose!

    In the process of trying to figure out what we enjoy, we’ll probably find things we don’t as well:) And sometimes we don’t know, thus the suggestion to take the risk and try out a bunch of different things.

    But of course, if we like doing something – we should do more of that! Or as you suggest Trevor, a combination of those things. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Vishnu says:

     Haha good point Corinne! Most of us have probably been doing that our whole lives but trying to do it more consciously is the idea. A job that we now hate becomes a lesson on the type of work we should stay away from. In the process, I believe we move closer to what we truly want to be doing in our lives.

  6. Vishnu says:

     Hi Chris – I’m glad you made that big shift and doing what really matters to you. I’m certain you spent a lifetime or at least a few years figuring out what didn’t work and what you didn’t want to do before starting up Rhino University, blog and business. Even as you progress on your business, you’ll know what products and services you enjoy providing and which you don’t. And will continue to inspire others in the process:)

    Appreciate your comments!

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  8. Klara says:

    I took a year to explore self employment with my partner’s support, and I’m an artist with a practical head so haven’t dared do what I really wanted; I spent the year coming up with business ideas only to suck at them when i tried, and come back to my original dream with clarity that it was right, despite it not being practical. Doing enough of the wrong things made me want to stamp my feet and scream, “But I should be ____!” I try to be peaceful about the year I’ve ‘wasted’, and embrace that I had to spend the time trying the wrong things first.

  9. Bobby Galvan says:

    I think many people have a skewed outlook on passions.  If you are experimenting with

  10. Bobby Galvan says:

    Many people are too specific when it comes to passions.  It is much more about why you are doing something than it is the physical activity of doing it.

    Take a passionate programmer.  I doubt he is obsessed with staring at a computer screen for hours.  What would this person have done a century ago when programming hardly existed?  If he truly enjoys creating tools for others, he would probably be an engineer.

    I despised writing prompted papers for school, but I love writing for myself.

    I wouldn’t eliminate marketing as a passion until I work for a company I truly believe in.

    If you understand why you enjoy what you do, you can create an entirely new line of work.  No matter how much you eliminate you won’t find something that has yet to be pioneered.

  11. Vishnu says:

     Bobby, looks like your comment got cut off? Tell me more:)

  12. Vishnu says:

     Klara sorry to hear that it’s taking some time to find the right thing. But I would say that year probably helped you figure out what you hated, helped you get some insight into new industries and businesses and brought you closer to what you want to do. Even if you’re not there yet, you probably know a whole bunch of things you don’t want to do. And when you come in tune with your purpose, I have a feeling your journey would have been well worth it:) Thanks for your comment.

  13. Vishnu says:

     Good points Bobby! Looking for the underlying traits and reasons for why we enjoy doing something can help us move towards finding that passionate work. If we strive to look at why we enjoy doing something, we can try to use those skills in other things we do. Looking at the commonalities and skills underlying each pursuit we do is a great idea to do work we are passionate about finding an entirely new line of work. At the same, examining why we don’t like something (using elimination as I describe above) allows us to analyze why we don’t enjoy doing something and what jobs to stay away from. Appreciate the comments and looking forward to checking out your blog.

  14. Bh2586 says:

    This headline can be read to have a pretty gross meaning!

  15. Hhhmmm…finding your passion can get a little obsessive, can’t it? Sometimes it can feel like flitting from thing to thing, trying to find that ‘one thing’ that makes us feel alive.

    I guess if one thing isn’t it, and multiple things isn’t it, then what is?

    Sometimes it can be as simple as ‘what am I good at?’ and ‘Do I want to do this every day?’

    From experience, there are a lot of things I am passionate about, but would I want to do them all day, every day? Definitely not. But my day job – I’m pretty good at that. I can stick with it and find from other interests.

    Thank you for the post, Vishnu. Insightful as always.

    – Razwana 

  16. Janet says:

    Great post, Vishnu! This is exactly how I adjust on my life path… I’m better able to figure out what it is I DON’T want than the things I do. And its a pretty great strategy for me!

  17. Vishnu says:

     Hey Razwana – good point. We may have more than one passion or purpose. By doing a lot of things, we can definitely get rid of activities and skills that we’re no good but also find the magic that makes us shine! There are probably things from your day job which you’re good at that is the foundation of your next venture!

    Thanks for commenting!

  18. Pingback: How to “Eliminiate” Your Way to Finding Your Life Purpose

  19. Galen Pearl says:

    What an interesting approach–instead of being drawn towards something, we let everything else fall away, so that we are left with what is truly ours.  I suppose I’ve done that in a way.  I let a lot of things go that create stress or tension or resentment. Then see what’s left.  

  20. Vidya Sury says:

    :-) So well said, Vishnu. Elimination is an effective strategy. Reminds me of Micheal Angelo’s David – apparently David was sculpted from a block of marble no one else wanted. According to Michelangelo, the image he wanted to create was in this block and all he had to do was chip off what was NOT the image to reveal the masterpiece.  Thank you for a wonderful read!

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  22. Jorge Blanco says:

    I think this is a good strategy for finding your life purpose, however, I’m not too comfortable with trying out several jobs because that takes a lot of time and that also means you’ll be unstable financially. Hence, it’s best to try out different tasks and activities instead of jobs. That way, you discover your purpose and still have a stable source of income.

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