Laws of Life Contest

No longer being offered
Maximum Award: 
High school seniors

Is there a special purpose for your life? Why are you in this world? If tackling questions like this appeal to you consider entering the Laws of Life Contest. The contest allows high school seniors to either write an essay between 500 and 1,000 words or create a video of two minutes or less in length.

The prompt for both is:
In his book, The Essential Worldwide Laws of Life, Sir John Templeton outlines a basic approach to finding purpose in one’s life.
There is a simple way you can discover your special purpose in life. Draw up a list of all the qualities you value in yourself and that other people admire in you. If you’re a humorous person, you have the ability to uplift and entertain. If clear thinking is your strong suit and you’re skilled at developing ideas, accept this as a gift that can benefit those around you in many ways. Since we sometime think of ourselves as lacking in good qualities, it is important to dig a little to unearth those skills and talents that may lie hidden.

Next, examine the ways in which you interact with other people and make a list of those ways that work the best. Does it excite you to teach someone a skill that will help him? Do you enjoy simply listening while someone shares a problem with you? Are you happiest when organizing a group for a project, or perhaps when encouraging someone who feels hopeless about herself and her life?

Finally, imagine what your world would be like under the best of all possible circumstances. Would it be clean, peaceful, and productive? Form a mental picture of the world that you’d like you and your loved ones to live in, and write down that vision in as much specific detail as possible.

Your mission in life is to have a “why” to live for, to use your best qualities in the service of the kind of world in which you would like to live. That is your purpose. This is what life expects of you. And when you live according to your purpose, setting goals that support that purpose, you may find the pieces of your life drawn together into a strong internal whole. Then, no matter how difficult life’s experiences may prove to be, you will be able to endure and even prevail.
Using the steps described above, consider your purpose. How might you fulfill it in the next five years? What guiding principles and goals will help you live according to your purpose in the next five years and beyond? If you keep your purpose in mind, where do you think you will find yourself in five years?

Winning entries will be based on the quality of the ideas presented, the creativity of entry, and your command of the medium chosen for the entry.



  • Applicants must be high-school seniors graduating in spring or summer 2012 and planning to be enrolled part- or full-time in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited college,  university. or trade school in the United States or its territories in fall 2012.
  • Applicants must be living in the U.S.