Finding your purpose can seem like a huge task. Our purposes work together to encompass one overarching purpose we aim for as a species, to leave the Earth a better place than we found it. To me, that, and enjoying life as we live it, is all that counts in the end. But it’s still a pretty tall order! I’m a firm believer that each of us has the ability and potential to create their own purpose. Even if you never manage to weave it into words, you’ll know that you’re making a difference only you can make.
So, I’ve come up with 8 journal prompts to get you thinking and exploring your own purpose. Grab a pen and paper and let’s get started!
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
What are you good at?
Starting off objectively, what are you good at? You might not end up picking something from this list, you don’t have to be great at what you do, especially at first. But, having a list of your strengths can help you shape a trade/goal to work to your strengths, and give you some confidence to start out with. A great tip from Mark Manson, author of The Simple Art of Not Giving a F*ck (a book I highly recommend), is to “look at the activities that keep you up all night, but also look at the cognitive principles behind these activities that enthral you. Because they can easily be applied elsewhere” – Mark Manson.
What injustice can you not stand?
There’s an infinite amount of problems on Earth, but, this also means there’s an infinite number of solutions you can find to solve them. Which problems stand out to you? What do you want to see made better in the world? What starts a fire in your belly? From there, you can start digging into fitting yourself into the hows and wheres and all of that good stuff.
What energises you?
I was once advised to choose a path in life that gave me problems I was excited to deal with. It’s easy to be excited by the positives, but if even the negatives can be appealing, you’re on to a winner. You might think being an Olympic athlete is a cool idea, but if you’re not ready to take on the heavy training, restrictive diets, and the strict routine, it’s not the path for you. Choosing something that keeps you energised will help you stick to it long-term, improve your overall happiness, your health, and everything else you do in your life. If you can get home from a day at work tired but content, you’re doing the right thing.
When have you been happiest in your life?
Again, you’re going to want to choose something that makes you happy, even when the going gets tough. No matter how much time or energy working on my blog takes, how many times I have to rewrite something, fix a page or face roadblock after roadblock, it never fails to make me feel good. I love to write. I love to create. Of course, it can be stressful and aggravating, but whatever cocktail of problems I face, they’ll never outway the fact that I love what I’m doing. Finding your purpose should set you up to be as happy and satisfied as possible.
What qualities do you most admire in other people?
It’s often said that the things we admire most about other people are a reflection of a part of ourselves. So, look for what you admire most in others and note these down as things to expand within yourself. Becoming more confident in who you are is a purpose within itself. Creating and nurturing your inside world will help you best decide how to create and nurture the outside world.
If you had one year to live, how would you spend that year?
I always use this principle when it comes to routines. Making every day the best it can be is the best way to find happiness. This exercise will highlight what’s truly important to you. Note down every little detail about how you’d spend your ideal year. How would you want to leave the world? Who would you spend time with? Where would you go? How would you live? These will all shape finding your purpose.
What does your intuition say?
Sometimes you just have a gut feeling. I remember when I went for my first proper job after college, having a strong gut feeling about one of the three positions I was looking at. The interviews for it were a couple of weeks after the other two and I knew that if I went for the first two and got one, I’d have to take the position before I’d tried for this one. Looking back, I can say it was, to date, is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but at the time, I was trusting only my gut. I can’t tell you what being at those two other companies would have been like, but I know it’d be difficult for them to have taken a better path than the one that role set me on. I wouldn’t be here today without it.
What does 5-year-old and 90-year-old you think?
If you picture sitting down with a 90-year-old you and a 5-year old you, what’s important to them? I often think the elderly and the young are more similar than we give them credit for. Neither care much for opinions, status, money or anything of that nature. They both focus on enjoyment and both are more than happy to live to the fullest, to be ambitious and authentic. Looking from a different perspective can help you make decisions, especially if you’re deciding between a few ideas. Who do you want to say you lived being? Who would you love to see yourself walking forward as?
These are just some of the questions (I’d love to hear your suggestions!) you could ask to help with finding your purpose. Truth be told, it’ll probably change and reinvent itself many times throughout your life, so don’t sweat it too much. It’s all part of the fun. This is just a fun, thought-provoking exercise to help you get to know yourself a little better and maybe provoke a few ideas!
Be you, through and through. Love, Ella-Rose xx