Self discovery essays free

Self discovery essays free

Journey self discovery essay

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Grendel’s Self Discovery Essay

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Throughout the novel Grendel goes back and forth between the two beliefs nihilism and existentialisms. Through the journey of figuring out the belief in life, he struggles for being a cultural outsider. Gardner makes it tough for Grendel to make a decision because just like Grendel there are other cultural outsiders like the Dragon who shares his philosophy with him. Philosophies of life have a wide variety for people to choose from like in Grendel by John Gardner.

The main character, Grendel, travels on a journey of self-discovery, eventually becoming a nihilist, and by the hero Beowulf was defeated. Grendel struggles with his own meaning of life between “being” and “nothingness. ” With influence from others like the Dragon, Beowulf, and the Queen, Grendel switches between beliefs based off two philosophers named Jean-Paul Sartre and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi. The philosophy that is existentialism is “a philosophical movement which exercised an influence on many of the arts as well as on philosophy and psychology.

The belief in people have free will and can choose what they want to be is in other words what existentialism. Existentialism was a philosophical movement that dealt with the ideas of the way of life by many philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre did not agree with traditional arguments of human nature he argued that in the case of human beings “existence precedes essence. ” In his famous quote, the meaning is that humans have no set or fixed nature that determines what they will do.

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After leaving his mother’s cave, he is free to an entirely different world, a world of humans and other creatures, “I played my way farther out into the world… cautiously darting from tree to tree challenging the terrible forced of night on tiptoe. ”(16). As a defense against the rest of the universe, Grendel establishes existentialism as his philosophy. Grendel discovers that the creatures that he watches share a common language and thought. This is when Grendel meets characters like the Shaper and Hrothgar, both of whom help shape his early belief of existentialism.

May it be the destroyer of Hrothgar, or perhaps a somewhat benign antihero. The belief in Nihilism is the viewpoint that life is meaningless. There is no purpose to life because it will come and go. Nihilism is the more extensive version of determinism. That of which is a person’s main purpose in life is already mapped out for them and they cannot change it. Nihilism is the total opposite of existentialism, it is the view of having no purpose and existentialism is finding your own purpose.

In a way, you can look it as binary opposition because nihilism could be evil and existentialism could be good. In Grendel, Grendel comes in to the presence of the Dragon. Through his conversation with the Dragon, Grendel is taught nihilism. The Dragon believes that all things in the universe will end and are therefore meaningless and discounts existentialism as a philosophy and nihilism as the absolute truth. The idea that nothing lasts forever and will die is the philosophy of the dragon, “The beginning, the present, the end. All time, all space. (62, 63)

The Dragons conversation pursues Grendel on his philosophy of life that everything comes and goes “In a billion billion billion years, everything will have come and gone several times, in various forms” (70). These two different philosophies dictated Grendel’s life from start to finish. He was neither truly Nihilistic nor Existential, because he was a creation of both. His early experiences led to an Existential belief and his later ones a Nihilistic one. These conflicting ideas ultimates led to his ultimate peace, “Is it Joy I feel? ” and his ultimate destruction. (173) Or are they the same thing?

52 Weeks of Self-Discovery Prompts for Your Bullet Journal

Get to know yourself a little better! Grab the free printable to start your 52 weeks of self-discovery now and unlock your true potential.

52 Weeks of Self-Discovery Prompts for Your Bullet Journal|

How well do you really know yourself? Have you ever taken the time to listen to what your life is telling you about your true nature?

It’s okay if you haven’t. Few of us ever make time for intentional self-discovery. We’re bombarded with messages from other people—what they think of us, how they perceive us, what they want for us—that we forget to include the one voice that matters. Our own!

My whole childhood, people told me I was an extrovert.

I was chatty (I’m still super chatty), made friends easily, and enjoyed theater and dance without stage-fright. So, when people said, “You’re such an extrovert,” I didn’t argue.

But I left social situations feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and deeply grateful that it was over. In college, when my friends would ask me to go out to a party or to a football game, a flash of dread would rise up in my stomach as I forfeited a night to myself. I pushed the panic aside because going out with friends is what extroverts do. Right?

Fast forward to my mid-20s. I was a Lieutenant in the Air Force, staring in confusion at my results of the Meyer-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI). I scored as an introvert.

So many things clicked into place in that moment. How could I have not known this about myself? Simply put, I had never bothered to ask.

Self-Discover, the Easy Way

Here’s the good news. You don’t have to quit your job, or strike out on a nature quest (during which you befriend squirrels and eat tree bark in a vague attempt to “find yourself”). I mean, you could, but who has time for that?

Not to mention, you shouldn’t wait for a life crisis to explore your personality a little deeper. I wish I had done this in my early 20s when I was all bravado and determination. I could have saved myself so much trouble!

The easiest way to get to know yourself is the same way you would get to know anyone else. Ask meaningful, personal questions. Interview yourself.

  1. Keep a journal: Anyone not doing this yet? My corner of the internet is pretty full of journal-keepers, so I’ll assume you’re already there. But if you don’t have a journaling system yet, I suggest you take a few minutes to learn about Bullet Journaling and how it can overhaul your life.
  2. Make time to write: Make sure you set aside time beyond regular planning. I’m in my journal all day since it’s my to-do list, planner, notetaker, doodle pad, and motivational aid. So, I have to set aside a little time each week to go deeper. I sit quietly for a few minutes, clear my mind of the tasks of the day, and try to focus on the question in front of me.
  3. Start with a fresh page each time: When answering these prompts, I suggest a clean page each time. You should feel free to focus 100% on yourself on this page. No tasks, no reminders, no obligations to other people. This is your time to listen to yourself.
  4. Pick 1 prompt each week: Write a page about it. If you feel like writing more, go for it!

52 Weeks of Self-Discovery Prompts for Your Bullet Journal

  1. What is your favorite physical characteristic (face or body)? Describe a time you felt proud of that feature.
  2. What physical characteristics are you most self-conscious about? How could you make peace with those?
  3. What is your greatest strength? Describe a time this strength served you well.
  4. What is your greatest weakness? Describe a time this weakness held you back.
  5. Describe a time you felt especially valued and loved.
  6. Finish this sentence: “I can’t stand it when other people…” Examine those character flaws. Do you also possess them? Be honest.
  7. Today is your first day at your dream job. You’re so excited you can barely contain yourself. When you arrive at work, you take a minute to look around and appreciate the moment. You can’t believe you actually got this job. Where are you? Why do you value this job so much?
  8. Name a book that spoke to you on a personal level. Why?
  9. If you had a theme song, what would it be?
  10. Name an animal whose characteristics you admire. Are you in any way like that animal?
  11. What do you enjoy most about your favorite hobby? How can incorporate that into other parts of your life?
  12. Describe a day in your life that was especially enjoyable. What made the day so good?
  13. When you think about your future, what do you fear the most?
  14. When you think about your future, what do you hope for the most?
  15. Describe a time you mistreated someone. How do you feel about your behavior, and what would you say to the person now?
  16. Write about a missed opportunity you with you had taken. What could you do differently next time?
  17. What do you look for in a close friend? Do you have those characteristics?
  18. Describe a time a friend went out of their way to help you. How do you serve the people in your life?
  19. Are you a spiritual person? Describe your beliefs and/or doubts. How do those beliefs affect how you live your life?
  20. Discuss how the people in your life make you feel. How do you perceive yourself after spending time with them? How will that affect how you spend time with them in the future?
  21. True or False: “I know how to stick up for myself.” Explain your answer.
  22. You just moved in to your dream home. Look out the kitchen window. What do you see?
  23. Your neighbors are having a party. You only know 1 person who is attending. Will you go to the party?
  24. You just spent all day by yourself. Are you bored?
  25. You’ve just met a stranger at a place you frequent. He/she tells you a bit about his/her life. Are you listening intently? Or are you waiting for an opening to talk about yourself? Neither answer is incorrect. Describe how this meeting made you feel.
  26. You just spent a day at the beach. How do you feel? Energized? Tired? Alternatively, you spent a day in the mountains. How do you feel?
  27. You’re in an elevator and someone you admire walks in. Do you give the person your business card? Why or why not?
  28. To show someone you love them, are you likely to use words, actions, or another method?
  29. You’ve just started working at a new job. One of your colleagues is mean/unkind to you. How do you handle the situation?
  30. You walk into a white room filled with white furniture. Does it feel clean or sterile? What does this tell you about the rest of your home. Imagine the room with colorful walls and colorful furniture. How does this change your feelings?
  31. Someone gives you a complex task you’re not sure how to accomplish. Do you make a plan? Ask someone for help? Research how others have done similar projects in the past? Read a book on the topic. What does this tell you about your learning style?
  32. Do you lean into challenge or away from it? Describe a time you were given a challenge you weren’t sure you could complete. How did the situation make you feel?
  33. Someone trusts you with a secret and asks you not to reveal it. It’s really juicy! Do you tell anyone?
  34. A colleague takes credit for your work and is rewarded. How does that affect your perception of your own value? How do you react?
  35. You are walking on a road, and you encounter three forks. One path leads up a mountain. The other leads into a forest. The third path leads to the ocean. Which path do you take? What do you think this means about you?
  36. True or False: “I am more likely to try something if others would be impressed.”
  37. If you have a problem, would you go to a family member, best friend, or a stranger?
  38. You’re in a room with a group of people who all share the same opinion on a certain topic. Do you go with the flow or argue the counterpoint?
  39. Two teams are playing in a big game. One of them is heavily favored to win. Which team do you support?
  40. Your to-do list this week is overwhelming. Do you ask for help or give up sleep?
  41. A group of people is having a conversation on a topic you know nothing about. One of them turns to you and asks your opinion. Do admit ignorance or bluff your way out?
  42. You are on a team of people creating an iconic building. Which job do you want to help with: managing the project, designing the building, ensuring its safety, or final decorations. Why did you pick that job?
  43. You can work at a job you love for very little pay, or work at job you hate for a luxurious salary. Which do you take?
  44. You partner is not giving you something you need. Do you tell them or suffer in silence?
  45. True or False: “All is fair in love and war.” Explain your answer in the context of your life.
  46. You have an important task to do. Do you do it now or procrastinate?
  47. You overhear a stranger giving information/advice you believe is incorrect. Do you correct the person or stay out of it?
  48. You are feeling down. What do you do to cheer yourself up?
  49. Describe a time you were radiantly happy. What do you value most in that memory?
  50. City mouse or country mouse. Which are you?
  51. You’re on a gameshow that benefits the charity/cause of your choosing. What do you support? Why?
  52. You got great news today. Who do you tell first: Your best friend, the first person you see, or social media?

Printable Prompt List

Want to keep track of these prompts throughout the year? Grab the free printable prompt list and cross them off as you go.

*Tip: To print in journal size (A5), print in booklet or 2 pages per sheet.



Your turn to inspire! What has journaling taught you about yourself? Comment below to share an eye-opening experience in your life.

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