30 Burn After Writing Prompts

Random Observation/Comment #793: I feel nostalgic for writing ink on paper. It’s good to know there’s no automatic cloud backup of it.

Why this List?

The “Burn After Writing” (by Sharon Jones) book of prompts has been one of my favorite things to decompress and reflect with. I loved just writing carelessly and thinking about my past, present, and future. Highly recommend it to friends. These were the prompts that gave me some pause and prose. My comments are not my answers, but some additional reflection.

  1. The smartest choice I made as a teenager – The younger you are, the more your small decisions will change your trajectory.
  2. When I look in the past, the thing I miss most – One day you’ll pick up your child for the last time… and you’ll never know it.
  3. Last time you did something for the first time – I have a whole list of 30 for doing more things for the first time (30 Dad Memories)
  4. The age at which you became an adult – I’m pretty sure I’m still a kid
  5. If I could do it all over again, I would change… – “Live with no regrats” tattoo. Classic. I wouldn’t change a thing.
  6. Things that I have been addicted to – I don’t have an “addictive personality.” I just do things to the max. Work hard. Play hard.
  7. I was most happy when… – Happiness and Joy is a big theme in my life. You can imagine I wrote a list of 30 for this.
  8. The most dramatic fork in the road in my life – This often related to where I worked, who I dated, and where I decided to travel.
  9. My life story in 3 sentences – This was quite hard to do. I bet I’d have a better answer if I were out in the dating world.
  10. 5 milestone experiences that made me the person I am today – This was a fun reflection. Unsurprisingly the most important one was fatherhood. Milestones with money or health were overall less important.
  11. How cool would my 16-year-old self think I am right now? – I like this perspective. Who did my 16-year-old self look up to? Did I think the person in the expensive car was cool or did I just imagine myself driving a fancy car one day? As a reflection, you think about yourself more than anyone else.
  12. Things that I have learned along the way – Learnings are certainly a list of 30.
  13. 3 Things I forgive myself for – Usually related to relationships and personal decisions.
  14. My favorite little things in life – I LOVE thinking about the little things. 30 Little Things (pre-parenting). 30 New Little Things (for parents).
  15. If I was given $10k, I would spend it on… – As an alternative, if you were given $10M, what would you spend it on?
  16. My life quote – “Perfect Simplicity”
  17. Something that means something – These are the values I hold dear
  18. People that mean something to me – 30 web of peeps. I like reviewing these yearly.
  19. If I had 2 weeks to live, I would – This is pretty interesting to think about. I probably wouldn’t watch a bunch of Netflix or start a crazy long project. Would I write? Get my affairs in order?
  20. At the end of the day, who will be there for me? – This is a subset of the people that mean something to me. I liked thinking about who I mean to people. Personally, I just want to go to at least 30 weddings in my life.
  21. Family is… – I’ve been fortunate to have a great chosen family and related one.
  22. The things that I am really bad at – The things I’m bad at are areas for improvement (or places where I’ve given up). I am also bad at giving up.
  23. My Mantras for living… and my rules for life – A mantra is different from just a quote. I tried hard to push my values and priorities.
  24. A Letter to my former self – After reading what I wrote, it was more of a leader telling my younger self that everything will be okay.
  25. I dream of… – I took this question literally as I like lucid dreaming.
  26. The next challenge … (also one week/one month/one year/10 years from now, I will …) – I enjoyed thinking about this in the short term. It helped me to consider what I want to tackle in the next 3 months. I want to always be challenged.
  27. 5 Things I love about my partner – We have a matching sense of humor as a base
  28. 5 Things You Do that Drive me Crazy – There’s probably a list of 30 here
  29. … Why? – I actually thought about this as the meaning of life
  30. My Legacy is … – I didn’t realize how important this was until I thought more about my mortality and its insignificance. So many tombstone etchings are more about the people and relationships than the accomplishments.

~See Lemons Burn it After Writing