How Thinking Like a Journalist Can Help Shape Your Life Plan & Define Your Purpose

Many of us reach a point in time during our lives when we are faced with a gnawing question; “What am I here to do?” and, “What is my purpose?” It greets our minds and can permeate our thoughts at any time, at any age. It faces us when life is going beautifully, when life seems like a wreck and even more often when we find ourselves at a crossroads personally or professionally.

“Do what you love and the money will follow,” says Marsha Sinetar.  Sometimes, we aren’t even sure what the answer to that question is, “What do I love?” Go ahead, ask yourself. It’s not as easy as it seems it should be. Usually that is because we have done what we are conditioned to do to be successful in life. We entered college or a trade program, graduated, took a job and started earning a few dollars. We did what would make us money, what seemed like the ‘smart’ option and what we thought would give us a ‘secure’ life – not necessarily what we love or what makes our hearts sing. Right?

I did it too. It was when I realized that what I loved most could actually even be a career, took some internships and hustled writing gigs, that doing what I love changed the direction of my career. And my life. Be that as it may, while I still love that work, there is more I want to do and more that I love. It is again, time to expand and further express. So, even as I write this, I am incorporating the trick my spiritual mentor, Sarah Nash, founder of White Light Express shared with me a few years ago. It came to her one day during one of her many labyrinth walks, and helped her creative-mind-always-on-overdrive to focus, streamline and plan. If it worked for this brilliant prodigy, it had to work for me.

After she explained it to me, I realized it followed the path of how a journalist is trained to think. And better yet, it works.  No matter who you are, where you are in your life or career, no matter your age, race, creed and so on – it works.

Here’s the skinny;

You will break down different areas of life priorities, where your heart is, and in doing so, force yourself to realize what is most important, what you want, and to think beyond any barriers, limits, conditioning or even timelines. You will get surprising information down on paper, let your imagination fly, engage your intuition, make your heart pitter patter with excitement and within a short period of time you will look over what you have pulled from the recesses of your mind and your spirit and you will smile.

How does it work?

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, HOW.  That’s essentially all you need. WHEN is purposely left out because timelines are limiting and starting with these juicy firsts will give you more than enough focus, food for thought and direction.

I encourage you to begin after you have taken a break outdoors for a walk, after a yoga class, after some breathing or meditation exercises or after some mind-emptying practice of some kind that gets you clear, grounded and relaxed. This is important.


  • Here you list the WHO; who is most important to you in your life, who do you want to include along your journey, who will benefit from your labors and who do you want to always be surrounded by?


  • What is it that you love most but haven’t made the time to do, to learn, to try out for size? Art, making jewelry, writing, healing arts, photography, research, investing, running for office, teaching yoga, teaching – anything. The sky is the limit here!!  Let nothing stop you from adding it to the WHAT list.


  • Where will you do this? Where do you want to really live or travel to for a period of time?  What space, if any, will you need? Again, let nothing hinder your thought process here like family obligations or current work arrangements.


  • Why is this important to you? Why do you love it? Why would it benefit you or your customers or clients?


  • How will you go about it?  How will you accomplish the WHAT? Will you begin to dedicate an hour each week to doing what you love or researching for information you need to get started? Start somewhere and let it flow here. There can be many paths, get them all down!



When you have finished your journalist-inspired list and ideas, start somewhere with it. It may take a little courage and it will likely take a little discipline, though losing a bit of comfort to try this something that makes your heart sing, and beginning to see where it takes you, is worth everything you may give up.

Life is handed to us with finite days and moments. It does not last forever here on this planet. It is important to make our moments count. Let’s try doing that with what we know we love, what makes us happy and what makes our heart sing.

Blessings along your path, whatever it may be, and blessings in giving this practice a try and seeing what it unfolds for you. It is my hope it takes you far and moves you along a new path of living a life you love, and expanding your purpose.

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