Dan Duckworth is a master changemaker and founder of The Crucible Life, a global community for changemakers who are learning to master the hidden forces that shape leadership, communities, and change. He’s the host of The Purpose Workshop and author of Stop Asking Why, a little book that answers life’s biggest question in a surprising way. Dan is serves on the board of directors and is a frequent content contributor to Leading Saints.


2:30 About Dan’s Changemakers community
4:15 Going from resisting the topic of purpose to embracing it: everyone is searching for meaning in their life

  • The leadership gurus’ search for the holy purpose statement
  • Our true purpose is to wander and learn to make meaning in every situation we find ourselves in
  • your psyche does not hold your purpose; instead you have to get outside of yourself and go create your purpose

11:45 The message we hear at church is “you are special” and it is interpreted as meaning we must each find our own special mission

  • Girls camp experience: these girls live in their psyches, trying to figure out who they are and what everything means
  • The Lego Movie example: all the talented people out there want to be The Special
  • When we tell ourselves it isn’t true, then we don’t have to feel the pain of not being special

16:15 People in his program have spent their lives searching for their purpose and are now recognizing that instead their purpose is to search for meaning by fulfilling the life they want to live, creating fulfillment
17:20 This is where God/history/fate has placed me and my job is to embrace that and learn how to be who I want to be in this situation
18:35 “Not all who wander are lost.”—J.R.R. Tolkien
20:30 Being commanded in all things vs. being instructed in the principles
23:40 Having a vision is different than having vision: “If God reveals the future, it’s because it’s a future he wants to see changed.”
26:10 The first action principle of wandering: Ask the basic question, “How do I live the life I mean to live in every situation?”

  • Leaning into discomfort: Example of talking with his son’s basketball coach and the recognition that followed
  • The question is not “What is the meaning of my life?”
  • The Harry Potter Moment: waiting for your assignment from God and failing to live a life of purpose until God gives you your assignment

35:40 Aristotle: If you want to know the purpose of something, you just have to look at the nature of it. You don’t have to ask its creator.

  • The one thing that God can’t create is what I am here to create
  • Example of his wife’s calling as Primary president and the desire to hold a party the first week back to church
  • “It’s time for you to start doing your calling because God called you to do it.”

39:50 The transformational leadership concept in this: When you are living the meaningful life you mean to live, others are drawn to you and your influence
41:15 If God would just tell us what to do, we would do it, but instead He is asking us to think and act with intention

  • Find something good to do and go do it, and God will assist as you go
  • Example of Nephi going back for the plates
  • Doctrine and Covenants 128:9 The bold doctrine that when we act with agency, we create revelation

45:40 At first Joseph Smith was dictating revelation directly and that was needed at the time, but later the details became less important than the process of living the way the Saints were instructed to live
48:45 Purpose-driven organizations are actually led by purpose-driven leaders

  • How do you invite the community to wander with you? Start living with purpose and the community will come with you

51:25 Why didn’t God just dictate everything? Because He is not going to violate the purpose which is for us to figure out the details

  • God’s plan is to keep the state of probation open for each of us as long as makes sense so that we can try and fail, and slowly become more like Him in the wandering
  • Creating different language for articulating the doctrine instead of the leadership language that is taking over

56:00 Helping individuals find purpose where they are instead of searching for a purpose
58:30 Go do something different to find joy in the situation you are in


The Purpose Workshop and Stop Asking Why (friends discount)
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