I understand that we each have our own set of talents, our own specific mission and our own “puzzle piece” of the world. We are all on this earth to add and contribute our parts.

But if that is what G‑d wants, why is it so hard to figure out how to accomplish our mission? Some people go through their entire lives just searching. Why is that?

It would be so much easier if G‑d would just point right or left.


The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, once sent Jewish activist Rabbi Zev Segal on a mission. It was a difficult assignment, and when he returned, he made sure to convey this to the Rebbe.

The Rebbe responded, “Since when did you make a contract with the Almighty for an easy life?”

Mystery Missions

The families we were born into; our talents, personalities and abilities; the circumstances of our lives—all are clues to help us figure out what our mission may be.

If I am musical or artistic or creative, if I can write or teach, then it’s likely that my mission involves using these abilities to help others. But if I’m struggling financially, it’s probably not my mission to build a Jewish institution (although I do, of course, have the obligation to give charity).

King David wrote (Psalms 37:23), “The steps of man are directed by G‑d; He desires his way.” Divine providence prods us in the direction we need to go in order to fulfill our missions.

Why the Secrecy?

The bottom line is that, for a couple of reasons, we never know exactly what our ultimate mission is:

  1. The struggle is itself part of the test. It’s real easy when you know exactly what you have to do, and you do it. But G‑d doesn’t want us to be angels. He doesn’t need us to be angels. He has those already. Part of our mission is doing our best even though we are moving in the dark, so to speak.
  2. Let’s say that I knew that my true mission in life is to teach little children. I would most certainly focus all my efforts in that direction. But, there are so many more obligations I am also meant to fulfill. What about charity, prayer and kindness? There is a strong possibility that I might neglect other mitzvah opportunities that I do not feel are really my mission or obligation.

    Sometimes, something seemingly inconsequential can have very important and far-reaching results. Since we do not know what our mission is, our approach to all positive things has to be, “Perhaps I was created just for this!” When an opportunity to do something good comes our way, we should never dismiss it as “insignificant.” Our reaction should be, “Who knows if I was created for this very moment!”

See How Do I Know What Is My Mission in Life? from our selection on A Person’s Mission in Life.