Awaken What Matters to You:
7 Thought-Provoking Questions
“How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives.”
– Annie Dillard
Our contemplative questions can gently nudge or strongly awaken mind, body, and spirit. Although we may not have the answers, these questions bring meaning and shape to our personal and professional lives. For some of us the inquiries unfold as time moves forward and through experience, while for others, although the answers may evolve, the questions hold steady.
“Accruing evidence suggests that finding a purpose for your life may add years to it.”
– Hill & Turiano (2014)
Meaning and purpose are influential building blocks for happiness (Seligman, 2011). According to mounting evidence, exploring purpose in life promotes well-being and healthy aging. A 2014 study of over 6000 people revealed that having a sense of purpose may help us live longer (Hill & Turiano). Participants were asked several questions as a barometer of well-being, including “Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them.” Findings indicated that people who reported a higher sense of purpose lived longer.
Data also pointed to the importance of a strong sense of purpose at younger stages. Developing a meaningful direction in earlier life can contribute to positive quality of life as we get older. A strong sense of purpose can be as significant at younger stages – 30’s, 40’s, 50’s – as at later ages.
Uncovering what really matters typically involves stepping back from the day-to-day and considering life through a longer perspective. There’s no single meaning, goal, or ideal that fits for everyone. Within the complexities of our lives, what we experience as meaningful and fulfilling may shift and transform as we do.
7 Thought Provoking Questions to Awaken What Matters to You
Consider these inquiries for inspiration to wake up, step back, and adjust your longer lens. You might find it helpful to speak the questions and your responses aloud, or journal about them.
- What really matters to me?
- To be myself, what do I need to do?
- What do I really believe in?
- If I were writing a book about my life’s story, what would the title be? What do I wish the title of my auto-biography could be?
- When I listen to the quiet voice inside me, what do I hear, see, and feel?
- If I could change three things about my life, what would they be?
- If I were five times more courageous, what would I do?
Call Yourself to Action
- What small action can I take to become more of the person I want to be?
- What priorities may change if I pursue this objective?
- What goal would I like to set for myself and work on to completion?
- What would it take if I choose to work toward this goal?
- What action step(s) am I ready to take today? This week? This month?
Coaching with Ilene Can Help You Call Yourself to Action
Ilene Berns-Zare, PsyD, PCC, CMC is an ICF Credentialed Professional Coach and Speaker. Ilene helps people live their best lives by bringing mind, body, and spirit into flow with their strengths, callings and potential. She inspires clients to find fresh perspectives and access their full potential as creative, resourceful, whole persons. Find Ilene online and access free resources at http://ileneberns-zare.com.
For more inquiries to awaken awareness and purpose, and tips to take action, download your free guide.
Resources and References to Learn More:
- Berns-Zare, I. (2017). 25 Powerful Questions for Awakening Meaning in Life and Work: A Guide to Awareness and Action.
- Hill, P.L. & Turiano, N.A. (May 8, 2014). Purpose in Life as a Predictor of Mortality Across Adulthood. Psychological Science 2014 25:1482.
- Seligman, M.E.P. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. Atria Paperback, NY.
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In light and empowerment,
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