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Thoughts on Life – Story Prompts That Illuminate Interesting Thoughts

Reflect and philosophise on your life and values. Sharing a glimpse of your true character and your approach to life.

Explore these Story Prompts about your thoughts on life, to discover story ideas that aren’t often spoken about and offer valuable insights for readers.

A collection of iconic old vehicles.

Life Decades

How would you describe the different decades of your life?

  • What were the world culture or social norms like then?
  • What were you like as a person during that decade?
  • What were you doing?
  • What were your hopes and goals in life then?
Sparks fly from a sparkler.

Serendipity's Role

How has serendipity played a part in your life?

  • What serendipitous or ‘lucky’ moments have had a positive impact on your life?
  • What opportunities fell into your lap?
  • Did you meet people at opportune moments?
  • Consider the pivotal moments in your life – did luck play its hand?
A sign saying "Your ideas matter".

Longest To Learn

What lessons took you the longest to learn?

  • What made learning these lessons particularly challenging?
  • Do you have any advice for others struggling in a similar way?
  • How do you think your life would be different if you had learned these lessons sooner?
A man looking surprised.

Biggest Surprises

What have been your biggest surprises in life?

  • Why did it surprise you?
  • What did you expect instead?
  • Did a surprise impact your outlook on life or teach you something?

New Beliefs

What did you believe when you were young that you disbelieve now?

  • Changing our minds is a part of growth.
  • What beliefs did you have in the past?
  • What beliefs replaced them?
  • What happened to cause this change?
  • How significant has this change been for you?
Two friends sat together looking at nature.

Qualities In Friends

What are the qualities you appreciate in friends?

  • How do you think your own qualities align with those you appreciate in friends?
  • Do you believe the qualities you appreciate in friends have evolved over time?
  • Can you recall a time when a friend demonstrated one of these qualities, and how did it impact you?
Lottery balls being spun.

Financial Freedom

What would you do if you won the lottery?

  • How much money would you need to win for it to be life-changing?
  • How would it change your current lifestyle or plans?
  • Are there any specific purchases or investments you would make?
  • Do you think it would bring any challenges or unexpected consequences?
  • Would you continue working or pursuing your current interests?
A written note: "am I good enough?".

What's Enough?

What would ‘enough’ be?

  • For many people, there is a constant search for more. Instead of seeking more, at would point would you have ‘enough’?
  • What is ‘enough’ financially speaking, in relationships, in career, in personal achievements, in family, in free time, in purchases and so on.
  • What about you and your contributions? When will you be ‘enough’, and not feel the need to give more?
  • Perhaps you have already reached the level of ‘enough’?
A chess move.

Surprising Achievements

What past achievements have surprised you?

  • Sometimes the outcome of our efforts far exceeds our expectations.
  • People appreciate your contribution more than expected, or our work simply does a better job than we imagined.
  • When have you experienced a surprisingly good outcome?
  • What was the achievement or outcome?
  • Why did it surprise you?
Lady looking proud of herself.

Reasons To Feel Proud

What makes you proud of yourself?

  • It might be an achievement or contribution.
  • It might be the principles you live by.
  • It might be the way you behave or treat others.
  • When did you last look at yourself in the mirror and think: ‘You did well there!’?
A closed gratitude journal.


What are you most grateful for right now?

  • Gratitude journals are a popular way to positively impact your health and well-being.
  • Upon inspection, most people find their lives are filled with so many things to be grateful for, from a roof over their heads to a clean set of clothes.
  • Big or small, what are ten things that you feel grateful for today?
The sun's rays passing a cloud.

Brighten Your Day

What are the things that brighten your day?

  • Sometimes it’s the little things that can have a disproportionally positive impact on our mood.
  • A song, a look, a conversation, the sun’s rays, a flower in bloom, a fresh loaf of bread, or a person’s laugh.
  • What little things add joy to your day?
A sad person looking away from us, out to sea.

Losing Loved Ones

What thoughts can you share on coping with the loss of a loved one?

  • Who do you miss in your life?
  • What do you miss most about them?
  • What advice can you offer others about losing loved ones?
  • Do you have any recommendations about preparing to lose someone?
A mother with a baby on her lap, working on her computer.

Work-Life Balance

Are you happy with your current work-life balance?

  • On a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent), how balanced is your life?
  • Why did you give that score?
  • What would a balanced life look like for you?
  • What should you do to lead a more balanced life?
  • What’s stopping you from doing that?
A couple cooking dinner.

New Habits

What new habits would you like to develop?

  • Are there habits or changes to your lifestyle that you would like to adopt?
  • Why are they interesting to you?
  • What’s stopping you from starting?
A person on top of a mountain, looking out over clouds.


What does ‘success’ mean to you?

  • There is no ‘wrong’ answer – success can vary between people.
  • What would it mean to have success this year?
  • What would a successful life look like?

Life Aspirations

Do you or have you had a dream to follow in life?

  • Has there been an underlying goal you’ve been following in life?
  • Since when did you have this goal or aspiration?
  • Why is it so important to you?
A grandfather lifting his grandchild.

Future Family

What wishes and hopes do you have for future family generations?

  • The world is changing, society evolves, and cultural norms never stay still.
  • Older generations hand over family responsibilities to younger generations.
  • What is the future you wish for your children and your children’s children?
  • What concerns you about the future?
A happy lady enjoying photography.


What would you spend your time doing if money was not an issue?

  • Some say that in a utopian future, people will be free of work and can spend their time at leisure.
  • Imagine that! What would you spend your days doing if you were free of responsibilities like money and the chores of life?
A lady writing down her beliefs.

Important Beliefs

What beliefs or principles often shape your behaviour?

  • What principles or beliefs have proven their worth in your life?
  • In what situations have you found them to be useful?

Ideal Life

What’s your ideal life, ignoring what others might say?

  • There are only 24 hours in a day, which is rarely enough to fulfil all our dreams.
  • Ignoring practicalities, what might your ideal life look like?
  • What would be your top five activities, aspirations or goals be?
A lady praying as she reads the bible.

Three Wishes

If you could have three wishes what they be?

A big old tree.


What gives meaning to your life?

  • What are the pillars that steady your life?
  • Aspirations?
  • Relationships?
  • Beliefs?
A lady running in a field as the sun sets.

Your Paradise

Where or what is ‘paradise’ for you?

  • Is ‘paradise’ a place?
  • Is it a situation you can find yourself in anywhere?
  • How would you know when you reached ‘paradise’?
A calendar.

Looking Forward

What are you looking forward to and why?

A water droplet with ripples radiating out.

Your Impact

What impact do you want to have in the world?

  • What will be your legacy?
  • What are your goals?
  • Who do you want to assist in some way?
A sign written on the wall: "Believe in yourself".

Advice To A Younger You

What advice might you offer a younger version of yourself?

  • Think back to your younger years and the challenges you faced back then. What advice would have helped you?
  • Think too about the youth in your family, and the challenges they might face in the modern world. What advice might help them?
  • Perhaps you’re thinking about advice for the youth, but if you are older, advice for people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s is just as valuable.
A box of old family photographs.

Lost Stories, Avoiding Repetition

What don’t you know about your ancestors, that you can record about your living family?

  • Consider what you know about your family’s ancestors.
  • How well do you know who your grandparents or great-grandparents were and what their lives were like? Do you feel connected to them as a real person?
  • For most families, information is sketchy at best, with a selection of black-and-white photos to put faces to names. But little more.
  • Your life and those around you needn’t be forgotten about like your ancestors.
  • Record stories that offer future generations a glimpse into what it means to be you, alive at this unique point in history.
  • Imagine how future family will feel, being able to connect with you and your living family members in such a personal way.
A couple having fun in snow.

Spontaneous Times

Have you ever ignored logic and done something irrational or spontaneous?

  • What did you do?
  • Are you regularly spontaneous, or was this quite a departure from the norm?
  • Was the outcome good?
  • Would do you it again?
A checklist being written.

Future Wishes

Is there anything you still wish you could do?

  • Can you identify things you hope to do or achieve in the future?
  • Is there anything stopping them from coming true?
  • How can you make them come true?
Someone writing their life goals.

Future Goals

What are your goals or aspirations for the next 1, 5, 10 or 20 years?

A fountain pen on paper.

Self Description

In your own words, how would you describe yourself?

  • How might a friend describe you today?
  • What about when you were a child or a young adult?
A surfer falling from his board.

Recent Learnings

What can you do now that 10 years ago you couldn’t?

  • Sports?
  • Skills?
  • Knowledge?
  • Can you list all the things you can do today that you still had to learn ten years ago?
A happy grandmother with her loving granddaughter.

Being A Grandparent

How is it to be a grandparent?

  • How does it make you feel to be the grandparent of a new generation of the family?
  • What is it like practically being a grandparent?
  • How is being a grandparent different to being a parent?
  • Has being a grandparent changed you in any way?
A collection of printed photos from over the years.

Life In Words

What words would you use to describe your life?

  • Can you think of 10 words to describe your life today?
  • Can you prioritise them?
  • How do you feel about your list? Is everything as it should be? Would you make any changes?
  • How might previous years or phases of your life be described in words alone?
  • What words describe how you hope like will be in the coming years?
A quote written on a board.

Impact Of Quotes

What famous quotes or ideas have impacted your life?

A colourful light spelling out 'change'.

Life Experiments

What ‘life experiments’ have you tried and what were your conclusions?

  • Do you try out other people’s suggestions, like an exercise regime or a new diet?
  • How did they go?
  • What did you learn?
  • Are there resources you can recommend to others to discover such life experiments?
An arrow on the ground pointing to a different direction.


If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

  • Is there anything you would change from your life?
  • What impact do you think such a change would have made?
  • Are there hard life events you would keep as ultimately they made you who you are?
A sign saying: "Do what you can't".


Is there something you said you’d never do, that you have since done?

  • What made you change your mind?
  • How beneficial was it that you made this change?
A sign saying: "Love to learn".

Recent Learnings

What have you recently learned that others might benefit from?

  • If it benefits you, why not share it with relevant others?
A father surrounded by three children.

Parenthood Changes

Did parenthood change you?

  • Has your character changed?
  • Have your principles, values or beliefs changed?
  • Has your outlook on life changed?
  • Has anything else changed?
A pen, ready to write in a Year Planner book.

End Of Year Achievements

What do you hope to achieve by the end of the year?

The back of a lady looking out to sea.


What never fails to motivate you?

  • In your family life?
  • In your social life?
  • In your personal life?
  • In your professional life?
An elderly couple sat on a bench.

Marriage Changes

Did marriage change you?

  • Are your views on life different?
  • Do you spend time differently?
  • Are you interested in different things?
  • Have you developed new skills?
  • Have you learned new things that have changed your perspective?
A close-up shot of a lady's eyes.

One Thing

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be and why?

  • Do you think your life would have been very different if this one thing had changed?
  • Perhaps you gladly accept you exactly as you are. Then challenge yourself, if you HAD to change one thing, what would it be?
A collection of keys.

Keys To Life

What are the keys to unlock a happy and fulfilling life?

  • Are there just a few important rules that when followed, lead to a good life?
  • You might have rules about what NOT to do.
A couple holding hands as they walk.

Strong Relationships

What advice can you offer about building strong and lasting relationships?

  • Relationships with partners.
  • Relationships with friends.
  • Relationships with peers and colleagues.
A man lying on the ground, looking proud.

Treasured Discussions

What have people said to you that made you feel proud?

  • If you could pick three things that others have said about you that make you feel proud, what would they be?
  • Why do they make you feel proud?

Story Prompt FAQ’s

What is ‘thoughts on life’ about?

‘Thoughts on life’ are a collection of ideas you can explore that take you beneath the surface of your life. Much of who you are, your very character, is not visible to those around you. And in your busy day-to-day life, you rarely get prompted to consider some of these more nuanced elements within you. These prompts challenge you to think deeply and create stories that illuminate the rarely-seen part of you while enriching your family’s lives with thoughts and insights they might find helpful.

What are ‘Story prompts’?

Sometimes it can be hard to get start writing a story. Story Prompts help by providing creative ideas as inspiration. Simirity’s Story Prompts have been designed to ignite discussions in your family and inspire you to ask questions about your family’s past.

How can I use Story Prompts with my family?

Stories don’t have to be written, they can be spoken too. They are designed for both you and your family. As you review the prompts, consider how your parents or a sibling might answer. It you don’t want to write a story down that fine – they can serve as great inspiration for interesting family discussions.

All prompts are built into the Simirity App. Within the app, you can send them to family members as Story Requests. This is a great opportunity to ensure important family stories get discussed and preserved for future generations.


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