I came across a quote recently from George Bernard Shaw that I wanted to share.

The reason that I want to share this quote is that I think it leads to a powerful question that can help you decide what to do with your life.

The quote is this:

We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence…upon pain of liquidation.

(btw, I can’t find the context for the quote but I doubt that Shaw actually was advocating for the type of society represented in the quote.)

Now here’s what I want you to do.

Imagine that you live in this type of society, a society where you have to justify your existence every five years.

If not, you will be “liquidated”.

Picture a board composed of people that you respect and admire, maybe 5-7 people.

These could be people that you personally know (family, friends, co-workers) or they could be public figures that you admire.

Now answer this question:

How will I justify my existence for the next 5 years to these people that I respect and admire?

And once you have an answer to that question, ask yourself these two additional questions:

  • What do I need to do over the next 5 years to make my answer a reality?
  • What is the very first step that I need to take (i.e, what can I start doing today)?

Try this exercise and see what you come up with.

If you’ve been struggling to decide what to do with your life, this just might help you figure it out!

And once you have your answers to these questions, put them into practice!

Take the first step that you identified.

Then the next.

And the next.

And see if this helps you create the type of life you want!


About Ed Herzog

My goal is to help you live a purposeful and meaningful life – one where you make courageous decisions to stand in your power and honor who you are deep inside.  You can start today with the free guide:10 Powerful Questions for Discovering Your Life Purpose.

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