Many of us know about the power of gratitude – feeling grateful for the good things in your life lifts mood and helps you see more of the positives in your life. 

Another related exercise is self-affirmation or focusing on our “valued domains” – those things in life that we really care about and prioritize. 

When we focus on these core values, we are buffered against the negative effects of self-doubt and other worries and are more engaged and focused on whatever we are doing in the present moment. We have a greater sense of purpose when we focus on what we care about.

To cultivate a sense of purpose, the first step is to rank, in order of importance, 11 values and characteristics. Some of them might be important to you, and some might be unimportant to you. Rank them from 1 to 11, using each number only once:

Now write about a personal experience in which your top ranked value was important to you or made you feel good about yourself.

After doing this exercise, go out in the world and see whether you feel more engaged, focused, and present.