Are you wondering what the hell to do with your life?
If yes, then play along with Martha Beck’s exercise from Finding Your Own North Star:
“First, imagine that you’ve moved forward in time. It’s anywhere from a year to several decades in the future. You’ve just picked up a fresh, new copy of a glossy magazine and — oh, look — the picture on the cover is a portrait of you! The headline promises an article, written by a well-known interviewer, that will tell readers all kinds of interesting things about your life and times.
“Now I’m going to ask you some questions, and I want you to answer them not by thinking but by opening up this magazine in your mind and reading the answers from it. You might want to write these answers down on a separate piece of paper. Again, don’t think about the questions. Just look at the magazine. If you can’t “see” the answer, just skip to the next question.
1. What magazine is it?Time? Vogue? Walrus Fancier’s Quarterly Review?
2. Who is the interviewer?
3. What group of people typically reads this magazine?
4. Why do the readers want to know about you?
5. What do they want to know about you?
6. The interviewer has written a description of your home, where the interview took place. Read the description. What does your home look like? Where is it?
7. How does the author describe you physically?
8. What does the article say about your clothes? Your manner? The way you move?
9. Is there anyone else in your home? Who?
10. The interviewer asks you about your romantic life. How do you describe it?
11. If you have a spouse or partner, read what the interviewer says about him or her, and any comments about the way the two of you interact.
12. The author writes about the way you spend a typical day. What is it like?
13. The interviewer describes some photographs you have in your home. Who or what is in them?
14. Does the article mention any children, or perhaps ask you about your decision not to have them?
15. The author writes a good deal about your best-known achievement. What is it?
16. There’s a motivational paragraph or two about the hard times in your life and how you worked through them. What does it say?
17. The interviewer asks you what advice you would have given to your younger self. What’s your answer?
18. What gem of wisdom do you have for your readers?
19. What’s the most interesting part of the article?
20. The interviewer asks you about your plans for the future. What are they?
“If you really like this exercise, try writing the article out in full. Don’t edit, ponder, or worry about writing style; just take dictation from your intuition.”
-Martha Beck, Finding Your Own North Star, p.301-302