Living On Purpose
Purpose Reflection — Free Writing Exercise
Becoming aware of our Purpose offers increased stability and resilience during stressful times. It brings clarity to decision-making and gives us time back as we choose activities that align with our purpose and let go of those not aligned. Living on purpose also fills us with positive energy and focus, which allows us to do everything with more wellness, efficiency, and joy — even that which used to exhaust or annoy us.
Discovering Your Purpose
The exercise below reveals your true values as you reflect upon your lived experiences. It also offers a chance to practice letting the wisdom of your subconscious arise. Free writing is a form of inner listening that draws upon both hemispheres of your brain and brings you deeply into the present moment.
Set aside 20-30 minutes in a quiet place where you will be undisturbed. Pick any question below and start writing. It is best to write by hand instead of typing because it encourages greater creativity and deeper reflection by engaging both hemispheres of your brain. You do not need to answer all of the questions or follow any order. Select the question(s) that intrigue you most. Trust yourself and flow with whatever comes up. Keep your hand moving and don’t worry about neatness, grammar, or punctuation. When your thoughts slow down in one area, or if you start to edit or judge your work, simply move to another question. Don't overthink it. No struggling. You do not need to share these writings with anyone.
Most people are very surprised by how much they enjoy this!
Remember these challenges: Can you keep your hand moving for at least fifteen minutes? Can you resist the urge to stop the flow and try to make it perfect?
What brings you joy? What activity lights you up? How do you play? What is the emotion that is triggered by this activity? What sensations does it evoke in your body?
What is your greatest accomplishment? Why? What is most important to you about that?
Beyond basic survival, what do you consider most essential in your life? Why? What is important to you about that?
What sorts of situations frustrate you? Why? What value has been suppressed?
What are your natural gifts and talents? What has been true since you were a child?
What does your world want/need most from you? This could be family, employees, teammates, manager, friends, or the planet itself.
What positive things do people say about you? What positive beliefs do you hold about yourself? What positive things would the earth say about you if it could talk?
Review your writings and look for themes. Share these themes with someone you trust and/or revisit them yourself after a few days. Continue to inquire deeply as to what is true for you. What is important to you about that? What else? What else? What else? Asking this What else? question repeatedly will result in surprising revelations.
Continue refining and being curious until a simple idea comes forward. Something that you can put into action every day. Something you find energizing and motivating. Something that causes you to feel that you are acting in service of something larger than yourself.
Revisit your simple statement and the free writing questions whenever you feel drawn to. This work is part of our evolving nature in this life. Enjoy it!