If you’ve ever wondered about your life purpose, and questioned whether you’re on the right track, these questions will help you discover what your passion is and how you can have an impact in the world. Finding your purpose is critical to living intentionally and in true alignment with your values.
I am very organized and very productive, which is fantastic 80% of the time, and dangerous the other 20%. I love a good routine, a solid schedule, and a long to do list. I execute on them efficiently, and get so much done in a day.
If I am not careful to prioritize the critical few actions, I will spend all day working on the trivial many tasks.
It’s important to me to step back and think about what the point is of all of my to do lists, schedules, and routines; to make sure that they are paving the way to a future I am in love with, rather than keeping me spinning in circles in one place.
It is so easy
- to bury the fact that we have a limited amount of time to live.
- to stay busy and keep doing what we’re doing without giving it a second thought.
- to push out our hopes and our dreams until tomorrow, or next month, or next year.
My worst habit is letting time slip away by filling it with the minutiae. As long as I am checking things off my never ending to do list, I feel good about it… until 2 years pass by and I am no closer to living the life of my dreams.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!’HUNTER S THOMPSON
If you want to make the most out of your life and reach your full potential, it’s important to step outside of the day to day and think about the bigger picture.
Personal growth is a never ending cycle of self discovery.
Here are 10 questions I’ve asked myself over the past year as I went through my quarter life crisis. They helped me dig deep and get really honest with myself about what I want out of life, so that I could finally start being strategic with my goals.
So, stop scrolling down this page, and get out a notebook and a pen. Start getting really honest with yourself and rumbling with your thoughts.
// 1 // Did today matter?
Don’t overthink it. Don’t go sorting through your planners and your emails.
Did the things that took up your time today contribute to your future goals, or your present values?
Questions like this can give us the kick in the butt we need to change for the better.
Are you prioritizing the right things? Don’t lie to yourself.
// 2 // What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
This one is my favorite. It clears all of the road blocks from your mind and allows you to dream the biggest you’ve ever dreamed before. It can be terrifying.
I’ve often procrastinated answering this question for myself because it means I’d have to get real about what I want in life and I know that sometimes those changes can be hard to make.
But ask yourself, if there was no way you would fail, where would you go and what would you do?
I first came across this in Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly book (highly highly highly recommend!) It’s a great question to help you zoom out to a thousand feet and think about the big picture in life.
Another way to rephrase it is, “if you could never fail, if you could only win or learn, what would you do?”
// 3 // Are your goals too small?
Are you really pushing yourself?
Are you squeezing every ounce out of this beautiful life?
Is that list you made up really what you want to achieve with your entire existence or are you playing small to make other people around you feel comfortable?
I cannot continue to live as half of myself simply because it’s hard for others to handle all of meRACHEL HOLLIS, GIRL WASH YOUR FACE
Here’s the thing, you cannot bury your dreams because you’re worried about how they compare to everyone else’s.
John Maxwell (on this episode of the Rise podcast) said the most memorable thing: when you decide to rise above average, it makes all of the average people uncomfortable and they start to bring you down.
Other people don’t get to decide how big your goals are.
// 4 // What are your limiting subconscious beliefs?
What are the stories you are telling yourself and the excuses you are letting get in your way?
What have you believed since you were a child and never thought to question?
What thoughts are bringing you down that you aren’t even aware of?
In Jen Sincero’s You Are A Bad*ss, she helps uncover your limiting subconscious beliefs by having you fill in the sentences:
- I always … give up when things are hard.
- I never … have the motivation to save my money.
- I can’t … write a book as good as Rachel Hollis’.
- I should … do what everyone says and give up on my new business idea.
- I suck at … public speaking.
- I wish … I could go to the gym every day like my neighbor.
- I want … to be financially independent but that’s impossible.
- One day … I will travel the world.
These are all lies! You need to rewrite the narrative!
Dig down to the root cause of what happened in your life to make you believe these crappy things, and literally write different sentences.
This is something that often requires someone outside of yourself to challenge your thoughts. A qualified life coach can help transform your beliefs, which are often the biggest obstacle holding you back from the life you want to live.
// 5 // What does your ideal day look like 10 years from now?
Pretend 10 years of your life have gone by, and now you’re 34, 44, 54, whatever it is. What does your ideal day look like?
What do you spend your time doing and who are you surrounded with? What do you actually want to see outside your window and how do you want to feel?
Putting a 10 year barrier between us and our dreams allows our silly brains the permission to think these thoughts without censoring them.
It is far enough away that we feel we can make it happen. It’s just a matter of identifying what you really truly want to spend your days doing in the future.
Then you can make a plan to head in that direction. (I am the queen of making plans that get you where you want to go twice as fast as you thought was possible. Work with me.)
Another variation of this is, “if money were no object, how would I choose to spend my days?”
// 6 // If I could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Some questions are good at getting us to dream big. This one is good at helping you prioritize. If you could only change one thing, with the guarantee that you won’t fail, what would it be?
This helps uncover your passion. What’s that one thing that you care more than anything about?
Another variation of this is from Mark Manson’s, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck:
“What is your legacy? How will the world be different and better when you’re gone?”
// 7 // What am I willing to suffer through?
This is a bit of a different spin on things. Everything takes sacrifice: you just have to identify which sacrifices you’re willing to deal with.
People who get really fit are willing to suffer through weighing all of their food and sweating to death in the gym.
People who get the corner office are willing to suffer through 80 hour work weeks in a cubicle and bosses who bore the life out of them.
What are you willing to suffer though, and what goes against all your beliefs?
// 8 // What does your resume from the future say?
Zoom out again and think about what your resume would say when you retire?
On your 80th birthday, what are the things you wish to have accomplished?
Once you’ve identified the end game, you can work backwards and identify the necessary actions to get you to your objective and start measuring your progress.
// 9 // More than anything, before I die, I want to …
This question is a fantastic way to start a bucket list! Brainstorm all of the things you want to do before your time comes and then circle the one thing you’d want to do most.
This helps you differentiate between what’s critically important and what’s just an interesting use of your time.
// 10 // What are my guiding values?
What are the 2-3 values that will guide your decisions over the course of your life? Is it more important for you to be adventurous or secure? Are you more focused on playfulness or generosity?
Prioritizing your values will help you make big decisions when you come to a fork in the road.
Life can be so tough. Sometimes it feels like an uphill climb just to get our feet under us and walk straight ahead.
But life is too short to coast along, content with where you’re at and never growing into who you want to become.
Yes, it’s important to be grateful for everything we have. But that doesn’t mean you should stop challenging yourself, and growing, and improving.
Finding your purpose and challenging the status quo is the only way to live intentionally.
Society may have buried them deep beneath expectations and norms and conformity. But I know there’s a fire within you that dreams of doing the unbelievable.
Get honest with yourself and then get to it.
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What dreams have you not dared to dream in a while?