Are you ready to transform your life through the power of journaling?
In this blog post, we will explore 10 thought-provoking questions designed to spark deep reflection and self-awareness.
Through these questions, you'll not only gain valuable insights into your past, but also discover new ways to grow and evolve. As you embark on this introspective journey, remember that the process of journaling is just as important as the answers you uncover.
So, find a quiet space, and let's dive into these life-changing journal prompts. Click to answer any of these questions inside Reflection.app.
It’s easy to take what we have for granted. But fostering gratitude for even the smallest things in our lives can help us appreciate what we have and remind us of the abundance we live in, ultimately making us more joyful human beings.
Interestingly, gratitude is a practice that can be strengthened over time. Neuropsychologist Donald Hebb once said, when describing how pathways in the brain are formed and reinforced through repetition, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”The more often the brain does a certain task, the stronger that neural network becomes, making the process more efficient each successive time.
This is why the practice of regularly reflecting on and journaling on gratitude can be so powerful. It creates and strengthens pathways in the brain for acknowledging all we have to be grateful for. And the more we do it, the more ingrained the practice becomes and the easier it is for our brain to process gratitude — creating a virtuous cycle.
So get those neurons firing...
What are you grateful for today?
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” — Annie Dillard
Too often, the urgent takes priority in our lives, and we set aside the important for another day — one where we have a bit more time.
There is a constant tension between the things that pull at our attention and the things we really want to devote our energy to. This is made even more challenging in today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected, notification-driven world.
Which makes being intentional about our time, and how we spend it, more important than ever.
Look back on last week — how did you spend most of your time? Were there important things you would have liked to do that got deprioritized? What do you need to make more time for?
“Every child is an artist until he’s told he’s not an artist.” — John Lennon
As kids, we were unencumbered by the expectations of the world. We were able to lose ourselves in play and creativity, often for hours at a time. This was before we developed insecurities around how others would judge us, before our egos became something that we felt the need to protect.
Think back to those simpler times and revisit some of your fondest memories from childhood.
What childhood activities did you love so much you could get lost in them for hours? What was it about these activities that you enjoyed so much? How can you bring some of that joy into your life today?
With every decision you make, you are nudging your life in a certain direction. You’re opening new doors and also closing others, creating a series of ripple effects that will continue for the rest of your life.
Look back on some of the bigger life decisions you have made, and think about the different directions your life could have gone in if you had made different choices… e.g., if you had stayed in that relationship, taken that other job, moved to a different city, etc.
There’s rarely one “right” decision, merely different interesting and exciting ways your life can unfold.
Consider a decision you are facing in your life right now, or will be in the near future. What are the different choices you could make? Write out the stories of three other lives you could lead based on these choices.
Kintsugi is the centuries-old Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics by filling cracks with gold. It can also be viewed as a philosophy for life.
Kintsugi approaches the cracks in a ceramic bowl or pot as being part of the piece’s past. The gold used to repair these cracks highlights the work’s imperfections and unique history rather than hiding them — a practice that is thought to make the piece more refined and beautiful.
Our past and our pains have not broken us into pieces. Our scars are a gilded reminder of our resilience; we can view them as beautiful and be strengthened through them.
What past challenges have left you scarred? In what ways have you become stronger and more beautiful from that pain?
A rope becomes tense when it is pulled in opposite directions. The greater the two forces pulling against each other, the tighter the rope gets.
Tension in our lives is similar — it comes from a battle between our desired state and our current reality.
But similar to a tug-of-war struggle, there is no tension if the force pulling in one direction stops. Sometimes we just need to let go and find peace where we are.
What’s one thing you want to let go of? It can be a certain relationship, a project, a desire, a regret, or even a mindset. How can you appreciate what it gave you before you set it free?
“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” — Brené Brown
In her book Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown shares this wonderful definition for true belonging — one that acknowledges our desire for connection without compromising the integrity of our authentic selves.
Simply said, when you are true to yourself, you will realize you truly belong.
When do you feel like your most authentic self? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with?
“There is an innocence in admiration: it occurs in one who has not yet realized that they might one day be admired.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Think about someone you admire — anyone at all, dead or alive, someone you know personally or have admired from a distance. Think about what kind of person they are, the tough decisions they have made, and the life they have lived.
What is it you admire most about this person? Why is that trait important? In what ways can you embrace this trait in your own life?
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anaïs Nin
It’s easy to justify the various ways we avoid following our heart and our dreams.
If only I was a bit younger I would…
If only I had more time…
If only I had more money…
If only I had a partner…
We are often too worried about failure and what others think of to give our dreams a chance.
Imagine that “ifs” are no longer a barrier to a dream of yours. If you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
Yesterday you imagined your funeral and the eulogy that would be read. Thankfully, you are still here today.
The Stoics — some of the most prolific philosophical thinkers in ancient history — would often revisit their mortality through a concept known as “memento mori,” roughly translated as “remember that you will die.”
They’d reflect on their death as a way to appreciate their life and deepen their gratitude for the present moment.
Seneca, a Stoic philosopher, wrote:
“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.”
Knowing our death is inevitable can be terrifying — and also enabling.
Echoing Seneca, Steve Jobs famously said:
“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
How would you live differently if you were to die in five years? What would need to change in order for you to follow your heart?
These 10 powerful journaling questions are designed to help you unlock new perspectives, uncover hidden truths, and ultimately lead a more fulfilling life.
As you continue to reflect on these prompts, remember that journaling is an ongoing journey of self-discovery and growth.
Give yourself permission to be honest, vulnerable, and open to change.
The more you engage with these questions and commit to this introspective practice, the more you will uncover the potential within yourself.
So keep writing, exploring, and transforming - the life you've always wanted is within reach, and these questions are the stepping stones to help you get there.