Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finding One's Purpose in Life

Since writing – in particular in its form as literature and as philosophy – often discusses questions that are of importance to every human being (such as “Who am I?” “What is the purpose of my life?”), I think we should devote this week’s discussions to this theme.

I have therefore selected some video clips about different aspects of this topic as well as a few personality tests that might help you find out more about yourself.

Please do ONE – or BOTH – of the following:

1.    Watch at least ONE of the following videos and write a comment to it that discusses first briefly the video’s main points and then describes your personal view of one or more of the questions the clip raises.
2.    Please take one of the personality tests (links below) and
a)    describe how well you think this test characterizes you and then
b)    share in a few sentences what you think your purpose in life – or your dream – is.

Please feel free to post links to other interesting and/or useful sites about this topic!

Here the links I have found inspiring:

Steve Jobs: Commencement Speech - Advice to Students in 3 stories

Randy Pausch: Last Lecture - Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Nick Vujicic's Speech, Part 1:
Nick Vujicic's Speech, Part 2:
Speech, Part 3:

Stephen Hawking: About Meaning of Life:

Deepak Chopra: Intro to Meditation and Finding Meaning in Life
(click on: "Live Meditation with Deepak Chopra")

Dalai Lama: Path to Happiness (YouTube)

Wayne Dyer: The Shift – movie in 7 parts (on YouTube)
-> please click on the other parts from there

Oprah Winfrey & Eckhart Tolle: Virtual Classroom, part 1:
A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Personality Tests:

Life's Purpose

Personality Types & Suitable Careers:

Pop-Culture Personality Test:

Finding Your Archetypes:


  1. I am going to comment on Steve job's speech. The speech is split into three main parts each conveyed by the three stories he tells to the graduates.

    His first story, which featured the idea of "connecting the dots" in life, depicts the problem of blindly following a path in life. Oddly enough, his lack of direction in college can be felt by most of us in the class I'm sure. This problem appeals to me because I have very little idea of what I will be able to do or even want to do with a degree in science. Even more troubling is the fact that this question doesn't have a clear answer; what ARE you going to do, and HOW are you going to figure it out?

    In his second story, he tells the graduates that as long as you can find what you love, your path will be clear. I am quite fond of this old, cliche saying because in those who have found a life doing what they love this is almost always true. But in reality, most situations for people are far less ideal, and there are many constraints on the path that an individual can follow. A life that you love may not be a life that is practical or sustainable in the place you live. There are many things people can love doing in university, but a lot of those studies feature few and competitive opportunities that an sustain an individual's life. Though to be fair, you really should find something you love to do as a priority because you will be instantly miserable if you spend your life doing something you hate.

    The third part of his story, the story of his near death experience with pancreas cancer told a tale of striving to live your life before you succumb to death. I pictured this story as an allegory for the irrepressible passing of time that we experience in our dimension. since time only moves in one direction for us, there is no benefit in resisting and holding of on our actions. A second spent doing nothing is a sec you cannot change. In reality, most of us are held back by our own thoughts and judgement rather than an irresistible force, and those who fail to recognize that are often trapped within their own confines of inaction.

    1. ^ John Chen

      I also took the pop culture personality test. I was labelled as a tinker, which is an interesting outcome. The tinker is someone who is introvert, aloof, and heavily logic based as opposed to being emotionally based. These traits can be eerily realistic at times. I find the description for behavior "with an indifference to social relationships and a limited range of emotional expression" to be especially fitting. As for my purpose in life, I've never really recognized anything besides living. I could think about what I would like to do or what may happen to me in the future, but to narrow that down to a purpose is quite difficult. I guess in the broadest description my purpose should be to contribute something positive to this world.

  2. I took the Personality Types & Suitable Careers quiz. I ended up getting scored with an ESTJ personality. Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. The quiz was around 70 questions long so it is very hard to correctly identify someone. Despite this, I believe my score was quite accurate. Under one of the career choices it had Engineering listed, which is what I am currently studying. I remember taking a quiz exactly like this a while back and I remember scoring a different result. It may be that my interests and personality has changed since then, or it may be that the quiz is faulty or not very accurate. Although, it was not too off, as in the careers suggested where still in the same basic area. For example, I was not suggested as a Philosopher and then later on a mathematician. I believe it's also fairly hard to answer some of the questions about yourself without being unbiased. It would be satisfactory if some of the questions were answered by someone who knew the user well. Also, some of the qualities are over exaggerated, as in when one question, say about leadership, is answered and it results in a leadership quality, then the final score would assume that the user is largely involved in leadership, even though it is just a little bit.

    As for my aspirations and purpose in life, when I was younger I was always interested in becoming a lawyer or a business manager, but as I progressed through high school and started taking science courses, I realized that is what I really liked. I really enjoyed math and physics in grade 12. It just made sense and some of the things we were learning, I had actually thought about in my free time, prior to taking the course. So as for my purpose, I believe it is to help improve functions for our country and also the world, whether it be on theories on paper or structures in real life.

  3. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
    -Steve Jobs
    This quote by Steve Jobs, in my opinion, sums up the underlying message he wanted the graduates of Stanford to acquire from his commencement speech. Told in three parts, each part being a different story from his life, Steve Jobs’ speech conveyed lessons he had learned throughout his life as life lessons the graduates could apply to their own lives.

    His first story had to do with him dropping out of college because he didn’t know what it was that he wanted to do. At that point in his life, all he saw was the life savings of his parents going towards the education he didn’t even know he wanted, so he felt it was for the best if he dropped out and found something that truly interested him. This message can be interpreted in many ways, and I saw this as an example that you need to know what you want to do with your life, and do it because you want to, not because it makes others happy or seems acceptable. Referring to the quote I started with, it makes complete sense that you do something…anything that you will find satisfaction in doing, whether it means going to university to be a doctor or trade school to be a welder. Nobody should be able to tell you the purpose of your life, but yourself, and its only fair that you stay true to yourself. As Steve Jobs puts it, “you have to trust the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, or karma, because believing the dots will connect down the road will give you the courage to follow your heart.”

    In his second story, he talks about his creation of Apple and his struggles to do so, and in the end, being fired from the very company he created. This was the time to “connect the dots” he talks about. He says you can’t connect them looking ahead, but you can do so looking behind you and seeing how it all played out. For him, connecting these dots meant being able to realize that it was his love for what he did that gave him the ability create something so remarkable in the first place, so it would be that same love that would give him the strength to create something again and keep doing what he loves. If he had stayed in school and not followed his heart, he wouldn’t be doing what he was passionate about, and perhaps if he had hit a brick wall then, he wouldn’t have it in him to keep trying because that wasn’t what he wanted to do from the start.

    His last story, being the most touching, had to do with his close encounter with death and how that affected his perception on life. He started off by saying “remembering that your are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. Steve Jobs found himself in a situation where he was told he only had months to live, and even though the situation turned out in his favor with the cancer being treatable, he learned by experience that to truly experience life you have to live each day without holding back. This should be motivation enough to realize the value of time and how you spend it, and to always follow your heart and intuition, because as Steve Jobs puts it, “they somehow already know what you want to become.”

    Steve Jobs’ speech at the commencement ceremony of Stanford University presented the graduates with life-long lessons, told by a man who himself had lived them. He ended his speech by saying: Stay hungry, Stay foolish, leaving them their own imagination to give meaning to the four simple words. My interpretation of this quote lead me to believe that “Stay hungry” means to not be easily satisfied with what you have accomplished and just settle, but to always have the “hunger” in you to strive to accomplish more and become more, and “Stay foolish” means to not outsmart your common sense and accept the fact that there is more to learn every day, so you will never know it all or have done it all.

  4. I took the Pop-Culture Personality Test. The test had a total of four questions in which the user chooses one of two characters. I believe that the results were not as accurate as it could be because there were so few questions and so few choices. Most often, I found myself to be a bit of both characters; however, I could only choose one. With that being stated, my results were quite exaggerated. I was labelled to be the Monk, and the description stated that I often doubt the motives of others and therefore are very careful when making friends. Although it is true that I have a very tight and close group of "best friends", this is not because I am reluctant to make new friends because I find their motives suspicious. I found that the second part of the description was somewhat closer to what I had expected. I find myself to be more reserved and quiet person and the description states that the Monk often feels uncomfortable in social situations. Overall, I found the personality quiz quite interesting but it only does a mediocre job at assessing my personality.

    My purpose in life is to be happy. Everything that I am doing now is so that I will be happy either in the present or in the future. If I find something that I unsatisfied about, I tend to deal with it as soon as possible so that the times at which I am unhappy will be minimized and I can continue enjoying my life.

  5. I took the HumanMetrics Jung Typology Test, and I was quite shocked at the results.

    After completing the 72 yes/no questions, the website told me I was a INTJ type personality. I didn’t have a clue as to what that meant, so I checked the careers they recommended for people who share my personality type. It listed careers in Computer Science (my current studies), Management & Entrepreneurship (my previous studies), and Law (I had registered to write the LSAT at one point in my life). Wow! I couldn't believe it!

    I then started reading more about the INTJ type. Apparently it is relatively rare - about 1 to 4% of the population is associated with that type, and is broken down as follows:

    Introversion preferred to extroversion: Yup, that’s definitely correct.

    Intuition preferred to sensing: Correct! I definitely prefer a higher-level view of things, and would rather stay out of the details.

    Thinking preferred to feeling: This is one I wish wasn’t true, but I have to admit it is.

    Judgement preferred to perception: This is the only debatable one. After reading the descriptions of each, I think I probably fit into the perception category equally well.

    So it looks like the test was startlingly accurate. It’s hard to believe that they could deduce all of this information from only 72 questions!

    As for my purpose in life, well... I wish there was a survey for that. Maybe it’d be easier to answer if I pluralize purpose; my purposes in life. Who says there has to be only one? Now I can categorize a few of them:

    Biological: Have children and raise them well

    Social: Create and nurture bonds with other people

    Individual: Be proud of my work and actions

    Creative: Share unique thoughts and ideas with others

    Extended: Make a concrete difference in the world that will remain after I’m gone

    I think that if I can check each of these off before my ticker stop beating, I’ll die a happy man.

  6. In the video of Steve Jobb’s commencement speech, Steve Jobb’s speaks of his life experiences and the lessons he wants to pass on.

    Steve Jobb’s started off on an idea of “connecting the dots” and the realization that one cannot connect their dots forward but instead backwards, looking into the past. There are times in your life where you have to make rash decisions even if they don’t exactly fit the pieces of your puzzle immediately. Just like Steve Jobb’s dropped out of college, doing what feels right is crucial to one’s life and happiness.

    The happiest people are the people that are brave enough to do what they love despite what that may be. When it comes to something that you love and are truly passionate about, obstacles don’t seem to be as stationary. You will find yourself not giving up so easily. This can apply to love as well as other aspects of life. Steve Jobb’s at one point in his life found himself fired from Apple, the very company he started; however, it did not take long for him to get back on his feet. Why? Because he infact just continued doing what he loved. If something like that doesn’t stop someone, that’s saying something. Each and everyone of us can put ourselves in this position and find how we would relate and cope.

    Steve Jobb’s approach in his speech was to share his stories and hopefully to inspire the graduates of Stanford. Steve Jobb’s talked about life, but at the same time, he talked about death. The cliché line of “living each day as if it were your last”. Steve Jobb’s spoke of his experience with death in his life; although this was not the point, what he really wanted the audience to get out of it was to not take the valuable time they were given for granted. He not necessarily asked them to remember; however, to keep in mind that one day that day may be your last. He said it was something he lived by.

    Steve Jobb’s speech was incredibly touching and one for every single person to reflect on whether an elder, a graduate of Stanford or a UBC student.

  7. I picked a video that was not listed: a recording of Carl Sagan from his book “Pale Blue Dot”Sagan was a renowned astrophysicist known for his scientific papers, books and television series “Cosmos” among others publications. This video that I’ve picked is an extract from his book “Pale Blue Dot” which specifically contemplates a deeper meaning of the “Pale Blue Dot”photograph. As a person who has been deeply influential in my life, Carl Sagan’s monologue has essentially created a pillar for my moral foundation and allowed me to live my life with an enlightened outlook.

    From the photograph one can see the insignificance of Earth in the universe. This insignificance is the catalyst behind the thoughts of the whole video. It forces one to reconsider everything, the metaphysical position of Earth, the presence of humans, the role of the individual or even specific actions of a person. On the scale of the universe anything and everything anyone in history has ever done becomes simply irrelevant. However even within this “irrelevance” men have killed and fought all throughout history over religion, different ideologies, skin colour or even for self-glorification. The belief that one is more privileged than the next allows humans to create acts of supreme cruelty. However, another look at this tiny spec of light reveals the idiocies of humanity and as Sagan puts it, “[demonstrates] the folly of human conceits”. Our obscure presence in this universe makes matters like war and politics seem pointless and insignificant.

    The Earth, the only habitable planet known to us and thus, our home, is precious. Acts of cruelty such as war or even simple unkindness to others seem almost pointless when viewed from a grander scale. We must throw away our “imagined self-importance” and instead give way to compassion and love, for that is the only way to cherish this pale blue dot of ours, our home.



    1. Guess my html didn't work...


  8. I took the Personality Types and Suitable Careers test. My personality type was determined to be INFJ. This I believe to be very accurate. I am at ease when I’m alone, more so then when I’m in a social atmosphere. Honestly, the less I go out, the better I feel. The test suggested to me a career in science or counseling. This is pleasing as I’m working toward being a doctor right now, which seems almost a blend of the two. It’s real easy to help others when your profession involves working the medical field. It’s like getting paid to be doing something you love, if what you enjoy is helping others. One of the weaknesses of an INFJ is that they may not fully communicate what they’re feeling. It’s true of me, as I’m not very open about the more private aspects of my life. Moreover, on another website I went to, researching this personality type further, it said that INFJ’s may believe that they’re always right. Well, this is true, but only because we are always right! Joking aside, I do believe I have difficulty agreeing with another’s perspective if I feel very passionately about the topic. My stance on it will likely be final. Furthermore, I believe this test was extremely well written. The 72 questions really allowed for realistic results. I do not think I have been an INFJ all my life though. It’s likely my personality changed throughout high school. Life experiences can have an impact on how you view the world, especially when you’re a teenager.
    When it comes to my life’s purpose, I’d like to grow to be a role model, someone people can look up to. I’d like to be an inspiration, like fellow INFJ’s. As a doctor, I think I can achieve that. I’d like to be able to brighten the days of my patients. When we help people, and bring a smile to their face, positive energy is emitted, and that energy has the power to change the world. It’s through positive energy that famous peace movements have reached their fruition. Nonetheless, I do feel our goal in life extends beyond Earth, and I do think there is something after this world, though getting yourself to believe that can be very difficult.
    -Ramnik Pandher

  9. I am going to choose to comment on Steve Jobs video. He clearly divides his speech into 3 main stories, the first about his college experience, the second about his career experience, and lastly about life experience. I have heard Steve’s speech many times and read many, many quotes from it. I think the main reason this speech is so well known is because of the inspiration it gives. Living your life to the fullest is something everyone aspires to do, but is harder said than done. The main point I took away from this speech is to never give up. Steve Jobs recycled pop bottles for food money, Steve Jobs got fired from Apple and Steve Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. Through all of these obstacles and hardships he never gave up. He followed his heart, and strived to do what he loved. Because of this, he was greatly successful and is now a part of history. I think this speech was incredible and I enjoyed watching it.
    I took the pop culture personality quiz and am a paladin. I think this is quite an accurate representation of my personality. However, I disagree with certain points, such as “thinking people are out to get me, and paranoid”. For the most part it was accurate.
    As for my life’s purpose, I don’t believe I will know exactly what that is until it happens. I hope to make an impact on the world, or at least a few people in it. My passion is in international injustices and I am determined to help in a way that will make a difference. Overall, if I am happy and can live a life with no regrets, I will be satisfied.

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  11. I chose the second task as I was so curious about how a personality test would be able to tell me my 'purpose in life'. The test I did was T1Q. It asks 10 questions that you can actually answer with text instead of multiple choice format. So I was even more curious , how was it going to interpret my writings? But just after I clicked 'show the result' , I saw the methodology behind the test. They simply take you to a trip inside your mind by asking different questions and lead you to find what has always been there but you haven't found. For me, it made me realize how things I considered more important to me were really not, and how things I considered not so important to me were my life purposes.

    One of these realization was for me to understand that although I wanted to be rich in the future, it's not my ultimate life purpose because when the test asked the question 'imagine you have as much as money you want, what would you do?', I still had answers. Then I really believed my life purpose was hidden in the answer to that question.

    During my endeavors to find my life purpose within the many things I wrote for that question, I remembered a book I'd read before which was about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. At first it might seem completely unrelated to finding a life purpose, yet it has a strong connection. On the top of this hierarchy , Maslow put 'self actualization' , or in other words, to realize one's full potential. So, this gave me an idea what actually my life purpose could be. Among the many things I wrote for that question, I chose 'Do what people are afraid to do, take risks and be remembered even after you are gone' to be my life purpose. It's not too specific but at least now I know what I'm looking for in life, and I like this feeling.

  12. I chose to take the personality types and suitable careers test and the results were surprisingly accurate. It was surprisingly accurate because these personality tests usually give me the exact opposite results. The test not only showed my personality, but it also revealed to me some things that I did not know about myself. I think that many people would agree if I said that these tests give you the results that you want to get most of the time. I mean, some of these questions ask very specific things such as if you prefer staying home or going out to socialize. It is obvious that if you choose the second answer and other similar answers for other questions, it is easy to predict that you are an extravert who loves to be around people. Therefore, these tests may be accurate but also highly predictable at the same time. Why I found these results surprising was that it showed some side of me that I thought I would have scored higher on, instead, it showed to be a very low score on the test. Therefore, it does help me to reflect as to what kind of person I am versus the kind of person I want to be.

    As for my purpose in life, I am not totally sure at the moment. All I know is that I want to be remembered as a good friend, a cheerful person, and someone that is reliable and willing to listen. I believe that as long as I live each day to the fullest, then there should be no regrets in my life. As for my dreams, I wish to continue studying science in university, complete my degree in chemistry and pursue a career in forensic sciences. As a forensic scientist, it would be satisfying to be able to use modern technology to find out answers to many problems and use science to prove those things. In this way, many issues can be solved and this job can help many people.
    Therefore, I hope to continue being the person I am, live each day to the fullest and pursue my dream in the near future.

  13. Becca Tsai (Wan-Tien)

    The personality test says that I am 44% extraverted, 12%intuitive, 50% feeling and 22%judging (ENFJ). According to Joe Butt, I am a person with “tremendous charisma” with “phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship”. In general, I am a dream believer who sees themselves as helpers and enablers. The suggested careers for my type of personality include: counseling, psychology and social working.

    I completely agree with this personality test because interestingly enough, my future aspiration is to become something that relates to counseling or social working. Currently, I am on the track to become involved with becoming a human resource manager. Within the human resource department, employees in the area are to counsel troubled employees within the entire corporation. A reason to why I’d want to become involved with counseling is because I love to actively listen and socialize with other. It’s something that I’m relatively good at and its something I enjoy doing. “ENFJs are global learners” who have “tremendous entrepreneurial ability”. After pursuing my career as a human resource developer I would actually love to open a small coffee/bakery shop. Shockingly, I have to admit that this personality test is 95% accurate.

    -share in a few sentences what you think your purpose in life or your dream is-

    My purpose in life is to guide others through my experience. One of my many dreams is to witness myself, positively improving another person’s life successfully. This way I will know that I have definitely influenced the world some how.

    My dream is to be able to enter the business world department of human resource and open a bakery in the future.

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  15. After watching two videos, Steve Job’s commencement speech and the interview with Stephen Hawking about the meaning of life, I thought to myself what is the true meaning of life? Well, I found my answer after re-watching those two videos and I thought to myself: There is no definite or true meaning to life; it’s a trick question! So why did I think of such a thing? Isn’t there an answer to everything? I believe that if everything we could possibly imagine had a specific explanation or answer, we would be gods, not human. Let me take you through my thoughts.

    In the video of Steve Job’s commencement speech, he told three stories: the first was about life, the second was about rejection, and the third was about death. In his first story, he told the story about when he was adopted, his dropping out of college, and creating the first Macintosh computer ever. His second story was about why he was fired from Apple, what he did when he was rejected from his own company and reuniting with his company. The third story tells us about how he faced death and how he cheated it the first time. I learned so much about Steve Jobs’ life after watching this video, and made me think about how chose to approach his life and his successful career. Since he never finished college, you would initially think that he couldn’t provide anything special to the world; the fact is he did bring something very special into the world. He brought with him an idea that cannot be proven wrong even to this day. The idea is this: If you want to make change, then you must devote to that cause, or else you cannot entirely deliver the message that will create such a change. Steve Jobs devoted his life to creating a user-friendly piece of technology that has served the world well in the years after the creation of this idea. There are no bounds or limits you can explore, but you can go backwards if you don’t go forwards.

    In Stephen Hawking’s interview about the meaning of life, I couldn’t help but think about the pain he goes through every day as he devotes himself to the study of theoretical physics. In his interview, he briefly discusses how God and the laws of science are related as an answer to the question “Do you believe in god?” He cannot tell us whether the universe was created from nothing or something that we do not know, but he can tell us is that ever since God created the universe, the laws of science became concrete and defined for the universe. Since then, Stephen Hawking describes, God could not have and cannot change the laws of science in this universe. He says, “In a way, God lacks freedom.” He never actually answered the question directly in the interview, especially since it can be a very sensitive subject to a scientist. He was also asked another question during the interview: “So, why haven’t you decided to end it all?” Stephen said that everyone should have the right to end their life if they please, but he believes it would be a very critical mistake. He also said that everyone can bring something into this world no matter who you are, what you are, or what has happened to you. This is very true, even though many of the people on earth don’t realize it. Does this “something” that you bring into the world have to be specific? NO, and if it was, the world wouldn’t have a population of 8 billion people today! Anyone can do anything, but they have to attempt it first.

    So, what do these philosophical statements say about the meaning of life? Well, with all the mixed messages being sent to the minds of people, there can be no clear definition of the meaning of life. Even without a clear definition of life in the world, the only one that counts is your own definition of life, and it doesn’t matter if others agree with it or not. It’s your life, and no one else should be in control of it. It’s your life, so go live! It’s your life, so you can stop reading this text whenever you want!

  16. I chose to watch the Dalai Lama's speech on his opinions and investigation of the human capacity for happiness. He divides the concept of happiness into two categories: physical and mental happiness. The Dalai Lama explains that physical external factors only impact true happiness temporarily and are only as influential as the mind allows them to be. He says, "the mental state, if it is calm - even if some negative things happen, bad news or tragic things - it may not disturb much." This demonstrates how much power the Dalai Lama places in the mental aspect of attaining happiness.

    I agree with the Lama in the idea that mental calmness and intrinsic values are far superior to extrinsic values and wealth. If an individual is satisfied in their own life, with their own relationships and their goals and accomplishments, then external properties and material goods are far less influential on their overall happiness.

    However, the Lama goes on to comment that "we are generally negligent about taking care of the mind - and too focused on taking care of external materials and matters." I agree that the majority of Western society concentrates on prosperity through wealth rather than seeking deeper meaning for life and happiness. It is a problem that will never be fixed as long as humanity stays fixed in a competitive material world.

  17. I took the Jung Typology Test and was labeled as ISTJ (introverted sensing thinking judging). Some of the hallmarks of this personality type are a strong sense of right and wrong, dedication to detail, some inability to read the emotions of other, as well as other introverted characteristics such as feeling more comfortable in small groups and not feeling the need to socialize all the time. This personality type and the description of it fit me extremely well. I feel much more comfortable in smaller groups of very good friends or reading a book than in a large crowd or a party situation. I pay very close attention to detail and I am usually the first one to notice a mistake on a paper or a defect in an object. The truth and doing the right thing are very important to me. I am also a rule follower; this is a connection to a strong sense of right and wrong.

    One of the careers suggested by this test was a physician or surgeon, this fits very well as my dream is to become a veterinarian, possibly a specialized surgeon. I think in this profession my attention to detail and strong sense of right and wrong would benefit me just as how I do not know what to do when someone is upset might be a detriment. However I can learn these people skills in order to achieve my goal and benefit suffering animals.

    Natasha Tripp

  18. I took the Pop-Culture Personality Test which was four questions long. After taking the personality test and reading what I was labelled as, I think believe that the test is pretty accurate. The description of the monk fully suits my personality and the way that I live my life. The description says that monks keep a few close allies and can be in contact with many more. I think that this is true in my life because I have a small group of close friends but I am also a social person and I try to meet people. The description of monks also states that they are afraid of social activities and are shy when forced into them. This is true for me as well. Even though I am a social person, it is still hard for me to stand up in front of a class or whatnot and speak. I try to avoid public speaking. All in all, I believe that the test was dead on with the description.

    What I think my purpose in life is to help people. Last year, I was able to volunteer in New Orleans with my high school, helping a family rebuild their home after it got ruined by Hurricane Katrina. After the trip, I had a brand new prospective in life and I knew that I wanted to continue to help people. I am always looking for different opportunities that will enable me to help people in need whether it is donating money or my time.

  19. I have chosen to talk about the Last Lecture, as it is the idea of the speaker, Randy Pausch of what he would to say if it was his final lecture. The speech was his pursuit for his childhood dreams and how he was able achieve some, but not the others. The dreams that he was not able to accomplish, such as joining the NFL, left him with important lessons from his coach, and how hurdles had helped to separate those who want something, and from those who did not. Although the speaker was talking about his childhood dreams, the talk was truly about on how to live one's life. The purpose of the speech was not meant for the audience, but it was for his children to learn from his lessons, and for his children to know him after his pancreatic cancer took him away.

    "Millions of kids having fun while learning something hard."
    -Randy Pausch
    There are no clear questions that arise from this video, but my personal view on this speech is truly inspiring, as of what he has done and his perspective on how to live one's life. His view on the purpose of life was to have fun and to live it to its fullest, and it seems obvious or commonplace to think like that. But it is often difficult for myself to find enjoyment in what I do or when I am too focus on something that I often sometimes forget to simply have fun. The quote above caught my eye and is personally relevant to me, as I often have thought about this myself. Although I was thinking of how to make others enjoy what they were learning was difficult, it was personal quest, as I wish to learn as much as I can about the world, as well enjoying it to its fullest.

    - Eddy Cheong

  20. I watched the Steve Jobs video (again) and took the Pop Culture personality quiz. I found the quiz to be very different from the average personality test. Because it only asked a few questions, I didn't expect it to be very accurate. According to the (very short) test, I am a wizard. Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The commencement speech Steve Jobs gave was very inspiring. I particularity loved the part about his calligraphy class, and the development of font types in the current day operation systems.

    A dream of mine is to further advance technology. I'm the guy that loves the idea of futuristic concepts and ideas. This is one of the reasons why I want to be a computer engineer; waiting for others to invent new things isn't so bad, but if I can contribute to the progress that's even better. I can't wait till flying cars hit the market.

    Chris Tong

  21. I took the pop-culture personality test, which resulted in me being a ‘tinker’. It is very eerie how accurate this personality test was, with only four questions. The tinker is described as an introvert, forever trapped in their minds with endless thoughts and ideas. They are portrayed as kind and easygoing, yet can debate their point of very strongly. They are thinkers more than feelers, and are critical more than complementary. Furthermore, tinkers are consistently wary, predicting failure, of relationships, ideas, and themselves. I can relate very well to many of these traits, although many are negative. I have been noted as a dreamer, someone who is out of touch with reality, as well as, being focused on small details rather than a purpose. I feel as though I am easygoing, enough, and rarely like to argue my opinion in fear of making a fool of myself. This leads to agreeing with the results that I am afraid of losing, of embarrassment, and of failure. Finally, I do seem to keep close friends rather than branching out and meeting new people, yet I do have hope for my introversion to improve.
    I believe my purpose in life is to experience everything and be kind to everyone. Although my personality test assumed a tinker would pursue a solitary career, separate from the world, this is exactly what I do not want. I dream of being constantly surrounded by loving people who all share their stories and gain from each other’s knowledge. I would like to expand my mind by travelling, seeing different cultures and beliefs, as well as helping in everyway I can. I would like to leave an impact on the world by aiding those who need it, especially wildlife who are neglected in this economically centered world, this is why I dream of a career in wildlife rehabilitation. And as many people have said above, happiness is also vital to a wonderful life.

  22. I did the humanmetrics personality test and got Artisan performer. Artisan performers are known to be very dynamic and known to be the life of the party. They live life in the present and try not to think too far ahead.

    I believe I am a watered-down version of this personality type. While I am very lively and I do enjoy bring happiness to others with my bubbly personality, being the center of attention is not my ultimate aspiration as implied by this personality type. In addition to being energetic and vibrate, I really enjoy the downtime of being alone actually. I honestly even more prefer the tranquility of being on my own and doing things my own way. I enjoy a mixture of social time with others and the pleasure of me-time. For me, it would be too tiring if I constantly needed to be surrounded by others. I’m really glad at how independent I am that I am able to bring joy and happiness to myself at the most basic level (while alone). Then I think I’ll have the energy to try to bring happiness to others. However there is one aspect of the artisan performer personality type that totally defines me, I’m incurably optimistic. While having the motto “always look on the bright side” is great, I’m totally guilty of the aspect where I avoid my worries and troubles by not thinking about them. I’m working hard right now to try to be more mindful of all the tasks I have to do instead of leisurely pushing them away until I cannot avoid them any longer.

    That’s why when I was answering the questions of the personality test which asked if I had a clean desk per se, I felt really guilty answering “no”. I was actually thinking about the purpose of life recently, even before this blog entry. I felt that my life was a mess and I had absolutely no balance. I felt as if I was always chasing after the bus and barely scraping on. It was tiring living like this but it was all caused by my bad habits. I never think to the future. I never plan ahead. And I have to admit, I am pretty lazy as well.

    So I came up with the idea of my purpose in life. I just want to strive for progress, not perfection; every day I want to become a little bit better than I was yesterday. This could be more diligent and working on schoolwork earlier. This could be cleaning my room once it gets slightly messy instead of waiting until it’s a compete mess. This could be becoming more forgiving and less stubborn. This could be thinking more of other. I think if I can work to improve myself just a tiny bit from yesterday, things like happiness, balance, or even love will just naturally come our way. Even if happiness doesn’t come right away, from being a better person, our positive attitude and actions will be noticed and eventually rewarded. We can make ourselves happy and others at the same time.

  23. The “Personality Types & Suitable Careers” test through its amazing set of seventy two questions, managed to label me as one with an ISTJ Personality type. Personally, I always question the authenticity of tests such as these. To me, these seem to be as much of a sham as Psychic and Palm readings. This would be quite a strong statement to make with my current level of non existing knowledge on how these tests work, but based on the generality of the results and the randomness of the questions it does seem to be a true statement. Looking at the results, I happen to be a slightly expressed introvert, and a slightly expressed sensing personality. To me, this coupled with random strength of preferences percentages and an assortment of careers seem to be nothing more than a confident booster. The test results seem to be a random shots in the dark, with wishful thinking convincing the users that the test is authentic. I do not think the test in anyway characterizes me.

    Personally, my dream in life is to end up as a civil engineer after my 4-5 years at UBC. And for now, my main purpose in life is to reach this goal.

    I watched the Dalai Lama, A Path to Happiness video. Dalai Lama explains his opinions on how to attain Happiness to physical comfort and mental comfort. The Dalai Lama considers mental comfort to be far superior to physical comfort. Personally, I completely agree with Dalai Lama’s statement. But over the years, most people have forgotten about this mental happiness and work to seek physical happiness. The question this video clip raises is whether or not we have the time required to seek mental happiness, and has this fast paced society convinced us to prioritize physical happiness? To be honest, most people probably haven’t given this question a thought. I feel it’s better to not give this question a thought, and rather live life by the moment.

    Arnold Palha

  24. I did the personality types test and, like Rob, I'm surprised as to how accurate this test seems. For the 72 yes or no questions. Some of the questions I didn't know how to answer. Still, some of the questions pegged me down for exactly as I see myself.

    My results, specifically, were ENFJ, which means I'm a loud, emotional, intuitive and planning kind of person. I supposedly would make a great teacher (a career I have thought of) and I the same type as Popes, politicians, and Opera. Not sure I identify with them, but they certainly are idealists!
    I'm not going to let this dictate my future, as these 72 questions are not flawless. At the same time, it's interesting to think of myself in these terms, where at least being aware of these categories will help me understand what I would excel at, and what I would struggle with.

    My dream is to use the time that I have to enjoy every second of it. Luckily, I think people are the most important pieces of our landscape and I want to make a difference, even if only to a handful of lives.

  25. I took the Personality Test from the Personality Types & Suitable Careers site. After 72 questions, my result shows that I have an ENTJ personality type. E stands for Extraverted, where I received 22%, N stands for Intuitive where I received 38%, T stands for Thinking, where I received 1% and J stands for Judging where I received 44%. Basically, a person with an ENTJ personality is organized about the logical principles and has controlled with their life. Also, the person would have planned out their goal and would try anyway to reach for it. I agree with the personality test because I am a person who had planned out their future goals and apply logical thinking to all the situations I face.

    Life isn’t just living with no regrets and not wasting any minute or second, but it is also to drive yourself to reach for the top and push yourself to the limit. Which is similar to my ENTJ personality, so focus on the task to be achieved and then receive the bigger prize at the end.

    Jane Chow

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  27. 1. Watch at least ONE of the following videos and write a comment to it that discusses first briefly the video’s main points and then describes your personal view of one or more of the questions the clip raises.

    I watched the Steve Jobs Commencement Speech video and I felt that it really spoke to me views on life. The speech briefly went over Steve Jobs' life in 3 simple short stories. The first one being about the choices his parents made and how they affected his pathway in life, leading him to create Apple. The second being how him getting fired from the company he created turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to his life. Finally, the third being his story about how he faced life as if he was facing death, and how he learned he had pancreatic cancer, yet defeated it. Steve Jobs' speech was a very inspirational one, with a touch of humour, that appealed to the audience listening, the graduates.

    The speech ended off with a very strong quote that I personally think of often. That quote was, "Stay hungry, stay foolish." This quote summed up his speech very well, as most of it was meant for the graduates to learn to take risks. Risks are what got Steve Jobs' to where he was in the world, one of the most inspirational and innovative CEOs in the business world. I saw this video on the day that Steve Jobs passed away, and watching this video again reignited my spark to be passionate with what I'm doing in my life. I truly believe that settling, instead of pursuing, is not the best option. Many of us have been so lucky to have received vast amounts of opportunities to do anything our hearts desire, and it seems completely foolish to waste them. To be thirsty for what you want is the same as bringing passion to what you're doing. That kind of passion always leans toward success, and in my eyes, to be successful is to be happy.

    A video I'd like to share is the one of Conan O'Brien's farewell speech from his short stint on the Tonight Show. This is another one of those speeches that I feel will always stick with me. There is something about the emotion pouring out of his words that make his message hit home in my heart. It's definitely worth watching at least once, if not a few times.

  28. 2. I took the pop culture personality test, mainly because I like pop culture. The result says I was a "tinker" archetype. Basically, what this archetype describes is someone who is constantly deep in thought, has deep convictions and is very introverted. I agree with with this appraisal and find it surprisingly accurate. I daydream often and many people describe me as quite. As well, the quiz stated that "tinkers" have a penchant for math and puzzles. This suits me perfectly.

    My dream is to one day become a teacher. I think it is important to promote education and I would like to become part of that initiative. As well, I think another aspect of my dreams and aspirations is to one day start a family.

    - Cole Whittleton

  29. Change in literature can be denoted as a positive or negative drift in society. Throughout humanity the way people express literature has evolved. This heap of evolution has several effects on how society interacts through the use of words. For a person to think of a these changes, to truly explain changes in humanity, a bias cannot be implicated. People need to realize the good and the bad in the growth of reading and writing over the years. I believe the development in reading and writing over the years has developed and also fallen. As years have passed on people now have so many methods for expression; poetry, short stories, biographies, autobiographies, speeches. Society has now learned to express and interpret literature at a young age. However, today’s society tends to overlook the antiques of literature. Literature from the past has a primal complexity to it with a lot of value and meaning to it. A problem with the way our society interprets and understands literature is that people do not turn to old literature and are not appreciative of true literature; the start of understanding. Growth of literature is innate, even if it is for the right or wrong reasons.

    In the growth of humanity, different ways of expression continue to grow vastly. In the 21st century, modern methods of expression include poetry, graffiti, music, movies, and art. These forms of expression all have a meaning and significance to the creator. It brings about the background and the true feelings of the artist. For example, the origin of graffiti was an act of rebellion towards the pressure the government, politics, and society applied on the youth. The point of graffiti was to deface buildings to show what the younger population felt towards society’s pressures. It has now evolved into forms of expression showing peoples beliefs on worldwide issues. These forms of expression place emphasis on political and societal issues that people need to learn about. There are those who claim that too much expression is starting to have a negative impact on society. If these methods of communication are suppressed young adults will not be aware of what if wrong in the world.

    -Tanjot Gill

  30. On the Personality Types and Suitable Careers quiz, I got ISTJ. I believe that this quiz is not very accurate as many of the questions did not immediately describe my actions or any situations that I have ever been in. As a result of that, in many of the questions that I answered many of them were harder to choose, and therefore required me to pause and think—what the quiz instructed against. On a broad scope however, I believe that the quiz was accurate since I am as a person, quite introverted and do sense and think, however I believe that the final letter, J, judging is not accurate at all for me. I am a person who does not judge - - I believe that I am more of a perceiving type of person. Ever since I was a child, I observed and watched people around me, especially my brother out of both fear and admiration.

    My dream and goal in life is to be able to contribute to society in such a way that I will be remembered. Although that seems selfish in some respects, that is what I want; I am always striving to better myself and those around me. I wish to do so both with my career and my day to day life. For my career, I wish to become an engineer in order to design and create interesting and useful tools for human advancement, and for my life, I wish to model myself after my grandmother—the equivalent of Gandhi.

  31. Dear All,

    It was very interesting for me to see your responses in this section. Thank you very much for sharing - and for being so honest! I very much appreciate your contributions!


  32. I watched the Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech from 2005. I have heard about this speech before, and read the textual version of this speech. In his speech, Jobs talks about his life and the paths that he took to where he was at the time. In contrast to my expectations, Steve Jobs did not have a beautiful, Hollywood life. Even at birth he was in an uncomfortable situation of moving from hands to hands of different families because his mother did not want him at first. However, despite the hardships, Steve Jobs made a point about how his experiences, both the difficult and easy ones, shaped his career. The main point he emphasizes in his speech and what he urges the students to strive for, is to do what they want to do.

    It sounds so simple, yet it is true. Personally, I had conflict with this issue with deciding my path at UBC. Initially I wanted to work in a fashion industry, but it was disapproved by my parents. They told me fashion is not a career path, but merely an interest. I know my parents wanted a better future for me; a future with financial stability. However, I did not believe that a 'better' life came from financial stability. I respect my parent's point of view and I believe what they told me was not completely erroneous. When I was unhappy about studying towards Science just like my parents wanted me to, I knew I had to change something. And this is just what Steve Jobs did after he dropped out of college.

    Instead of blindingly working towards a path that ensures security, but not happiness, I decided how I can please myself as well as my parents. That is when I started doing research on my own free time, and talking to my network of people who have been in my shoes before. I decided to go into business because it is one area where I can work directly with people in various industries. As a first year student, I am not sure where this path will take me in the future. But as of now, I am happy with the decision I have made and my parents support me as well.

    "When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."

    The part of the speech that really reached out to my heart is the quote above. It may sound so obvious and simple, but it is also very true. Although I am just a freshmen in University, I have had days when my answer was 'no' for too many days in a row as well. This speech made me realize that the only person responsible for my own happiness is ultimately, no other than myself. Steve Jobs' perspective in happiness and motivation really goes out to show his positive character, and proves to be one of the most influential and successful people in modern history.