L is for Richard Leider: The Power Of Purpose

Richard has dedicated much of his life to helping people to find and follow their purpose. He has explored what gets people out of bed in the morning. You can discover more about his work here.


Over the years Richard has interviewed many people about the important things in life. His own journey started when he had the privilege of studying with Viktor Frankl.

He then moved on to interviewing elders, asking them: “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?” Their answers were:

I would take more time for reflection … I would take more risks to be myself and follow my values.

I would have liked to have discerned earlier in my life what was my ‘bottom-line’ – the things that would make my life matter.


He found that many people kept returning to the often mentioned two most important days in a person’s life. These are:

The day you are born.

The day you discover the reason you were born.

Richard co-operated with David Shapiro to write Repacking Your Bags. This explores what people really need to live a good life. Here is an introduction, which can be found on his site.

This classic book has shown readers how to develop their own unique vision of the good life – which Leider and Shapiro define as “living in the place you belong, with the people you love, doing the rightwork, on purpose” – and take practical steps to achieve it.

Inspired by a spirit of travel and adventure, it uses packing and repacking your bags as a metaphor for deciding what you really need in your journey through life..

Repacking your bags

In the video below Richard explains that the role of choice in purposeful aging is about the essence of life, choosing what you want your life to be about.

Richard believes that choice and vitality are inextricably linked. Returning to his major theme, he describes how the power of purpose is the elixir of life.

The video comes from the Change the Conversation conference in November 2010 sponsored by Lifesprk, formerly AgeWell.

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