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How Do I Know What Is My Mission in Life? (I)

How Do I Know What Is My Mission in Life? (I)



I've been told that each one of us has a specific, individual mission in life. How do I know what mine is?


King David writes, "The steps of man are directed by G‑d" (Psalms 37:23). The Baal Shem Tov, the eighteenth century founder of the Chassidic movement, explained this verse in the following manner: Although we go about our daily tasks at what seems to be our own initiative and will, our steps are "guided" for a spiritual and loftier purpose. We end up in a specific place so that we will have the opportunity to do a mitzvah (good deed or Torah precept), help someone in need, or to pass on a positive message.

In short: You don't have to worry about finding your mission. G‑d will direct your steps to the location where you mission lies; He'll orchestrate the circumstances to ensure that you have the position and tools to execute your mission. The challenge is to seize the moment and utilize every opportunity you have to do more good. When you find yourself in a specific place and situation, that itself is the greatest indication that there is something for you to accomplish there.

Another important hint: it is specifically the tasks that you find most difficult to carry out in which you need to place the most effort. Because true achievement only comes through challenge, there will be many more obstacles and challenges placed in your path when a particular assignment is the one that you, specifically, need to accomplish...

In conclusion, allow me to suggest some additional reading on this subject. You can start by browsing our knowledgebase's entry on What's my mission in life? I particularly recommend Diamonds and Fish, a very instructive parable, and There Now, a vacation meditation (video). You also might want to check out some articles and stories about the Baal Shem Tov.

Rabbi Shmuel Kogan of Brooklyn, NY, is a responder for's Ask the Rabbi feature.
Artwork by David Brook. David lives in Sydney, Australia, and has been selling his art since he was in high school. He is currently painting and doing web illustrations. To view or purchase David’s art, please visit
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Discussion (16)
February 21, 2014
Why am I so eager to know my mission in life and want to live a life in my mind's eye
November 11, 2013
Please keep it up
Rabbi, you are amazing, and I really love you. You helped me twice when I was in need of help for I felt insane, and you answered my questions in a way that no other rabbi I have asked ever answered them!
Glenview, Il
May 6, 2010
I learned my mission
I learned that God wants me here after 3 near death experiences. I know I have a purpose on this earth and I'm yet to find it out.
Goodyear, AZ
January 7, 2010
Thank you
Mystery Google sent me here, and this is just what I've been praying about!
Sterling, VA
December 17, 2009
whats my mission
odason nobunaga
billings, MT
July 3, 2009
to Annon:
Please have a look at Why Don't You Spell Out G-d's Name for the answer to your question.
Menachem Posner for
June 23, 2009
Why don't you put the "O" in God?
March 4, 2009
mission in life
It's too simplistic to hint that what you struggle with is your mission. What a setup for misery! What a waste! One would think that your mission rings true to you and feels natural and flows from you, not drains you. Every difficult thing doesnt make you better, else I should try to be a ruthless CEO, or an athlete.
October 31, 2008
mission in life
This was very inspiring for me. We tend to go through each day forgetting that G-d is guiding us. Sometimes when we go through difficult times we forget this.
Jacksonville, fl
October 31, 2008
How do I kno what my mission is?
I know an 80 year old lady who is still waiting for her mission. G-d tells us plainly what our mission is. He says what do I desire more than sacrifice? Then he tells us what that is. He wants us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, provide for the widows and orphans and give to the poor. He tells us to love our neighbors and to do all kinds of good works. If we do His will He will add joy to it, and I think that it is happiness that we are looking for when we ask what is my mission, we are feeling a little lost within the muck of self interest. G-d understands that we need to work in order to be fulfilled we have to love and work in order to gain the love that we are longing for. All of the things that G-d asks us to do are for our own personal joy in the end. That is the real miracle work of G-d. Obedience brings about happiness,joy and fulfillment.
shara dillon
Winfield, mo,usa
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