Feeling lost, empty, or just plain bored with your life? Use these 32 journal prompts to find your passion, and get your creative juices flowing.
For so long, I yearned to find my calling.
It seemed like everyone else was buzzing with excitement over their career, hobby, or latest creative project – whilst I was feeling totally lost (and, frankly, bored).
I was waiting for inspiration to hit.
I was convinced that one day, I’d just know what I was passionate about, and then everything would work out.
But I got the formula wrong.
Passion doesn’t happen by accident. We actively cultivate it.
Nobody is born with encoded DNA which makes them passionate about martial arts, or painting, or horse-riding (although sometimes it seems that way).
They simply explored an interest, tried it, liked it, and then kept doing it.
That’s how you find your passion.
Why bother to find your calling?
Passion is what makes us feel alive.
It gives meaning to our lives, gets us all excited, and often allows us to experience flow (that delicious state of being where time no longer seems to exist).
Plus, we can be passionate about tons of stuff; even if you find your deepest calling, you don’t have to limit yourself.
I’m super passionate about many things, including:
- Life drawing
- Belly dance
- Language learning
When I reflect on my life, the clues were there. I read a yoga book when I was 13 (before it was even a ‘thing’ in my city). The three specialist subjects I chose to study at school were English, French, and Art. And personal growth became my obsession after reading How To Win Friends & Influence People.
If you’re struggling to find your calling, don’t despair. You probably already know what it is.
At the very least, you know what interests you. What lights you up. What puts fire in your belly.
It’s now a matter of digging a little deeper.
Grab your journal
Use these 32 journal prompts to reflect on your past experiences, think about your life right now, and visualise your future.
As you write your answers, make a list of any ideas that spark an interest in you.
Then take action:
- Buy a book on it
- Check out a class in your town
- Sign up for an online course or membership
- Try it out at home
- Go to a meetup
Resolve to take at least one action towards exploring it.
Give yourself the gift of experimentation.
Going back in time
1. What dreams, hobbies, and passions did I have as a child?
Before life became hectic and you resolved to be ‘realistic’, think about what you dreamed of doing.
2. Do I still find them intriguing?
Imagine yourself working towards these now, and see what thoughts or feelings it brings up.
3. How could I pursue these again?
Don’t limit yourself here; get specific, and do a little research if necessary. Look for classes, courses, books, groups, clubs, or meetups.
4. What related activities could I try out?
If you loved painting, for example, you could try pottery or photography. Or if you loved street dance, you could dry belly dance or salsa.
Checking out success stories
5. Whose life, or work, inspires me?
Think about the people whose books and blogs you read, whose podcasts you listen to, and who you follow on social media.
6. Anybody whose work I’m jealous of (and why)?
Jealousy is usually a good indication that someone is doing something you’d like to be doing, too.
8. What do my idols do that I wish I could?
List out the aspects of their life that you wish you could experience. For example, “they travel the world, they write books, they sell out their gigs”.
9. What type of books or articles do I read the most?
Take a look at your bookshelf, Kindle library, or mobile bookmarks on your internet browser. Look out for any patterns or common themes.
10. What subjects could I never get bored of learning or talking about?
There are undoubtedly times you’ve not been able to shut up about a certain topic, got lost in researching it, or were totally engrossed in learning about it.
Living life right now
11. Which skills or talents do I love using?
Reflect on the natural skills, strengths and abilities you enjoy using at work, at home, or in your free time.
12. What activities do I enjoy doing?
Again, this could be at work, or at home, in your free time. Think about the tasks you do where time seems to stand still.
13. What do the above 2 answers have in common, if anything?
Reflect on your previous two answers, and look for any overlap between the activities you enjoy, and the skills you like using.
14. When do I feel most alive?
Step back and notice when you’ve felt happiest, most content, and completely fulfilled in your life.
15. What experiences have I had where I felt amazing afterwards?
These might be times where you’ve felt totally exiliarated, excited, or proud of yourself for what you’ve achieved.
Tapping into potential
16. What have I always wanted to try?
Rehash your ‘someday’ list; the things you tell yourself you’ll do ‘someday’, but keep postponing because you don’t think you have the time or resources.
17. What am I afraid to try?
This may or may not be related to the previous question. Think about what you’re afraid of – and how it would feel to tackle those fears.
18. What have I been afraid to admit you want?
Now we’re really getting into it. Reflect on the things you’re scared to admit you want (maybe even to yourself). Get really honest here.
19. What deep desires do I rarely, if ever, share with people?
Think about the things you’re embarrassed about wanting, or that you’re ashamed of yourself for wanting.
20. How is fear holding me back in life?
Get specific about the things you’re afraid of – such as embarrassing yourself, failing, being rejected, and succeeding (and then losing it all).
21. How would my life change if these fears weren’t an issue?
List the ways your life would be different if you weren’t afraid to admit what you wanted, or to pursue these things in earnest.
22. What’s an “impossible” dream I have?
Name at least one big goal you have that may or may not feel realistic, achievable, or even the tiniest bit possible.
23. What does my ideal day look like?
On a perfect day, think about how you’d spend your time, who you’d hang out with, what you’d spend your money on, and where you’d go.
24. Does this change if I have no financial pressure whatsoever, and didn’t have to work for a living (and if so, how)?
Take money out of the equation, and visualise your ideal day again. Think about what you’d spend your day doing, if money was no longer a concern.
Beginning at the end
25. I’m 80 years old. What do I want to have spent my life doing?
Picture yourself at 80 years old, looking back at your life. Think about the things you’d like to have achieved, across all areas of your life.
26. How do I want to be remembered?
Think about what values, traits, behaviours, and ideas you’d like to be remembered for.
27. What do I want my euology to say?
Use this as an opportunity to reverse-engineer your life’s plan. Think about what you want your eulogy to say, and whether that would be the case if you died tomorrow.
28. What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind?
This is your main mission, or your life’s work. Think about what you want it all to mean, and what you’d like to leave behind.
29. What do I want to have contributed to the world?
Think about the difference you’d like to make in the world, and how you want the world to change as a result of you being here.
30. What do I want to achieve before I die?
Make a bucket list; a list of things you want to do, be, have, or experience before you die.
31. How much progress have I made with these so far?
Think about your life as it is at the moment, and how much you’ve prioritised achieving any of these goals.
32. How can I start making more?
Brainstorm ways you could start moving towards these goals – write down every possible solution, even if it feels totally wild.
What are you passionate about? How did you discover this passion? Share your wisdom in the comments below.