Questionable Advice #3: What is my purpose?

Questionable Advice (2)

Questionable Advice #3: What is my purpose?

The only advice column that gives you more questions than answers.


From Cookie:


My name Cookie. I’m 14, about to be 15 next Monday. I’m a Sophomore in High School. I’ve always questioned my life. Like, why am I here? What is my purpose? I sometimes, catch myself seeing things and hearing things that I shouldn’t be seeing and hearing. In my dreams, I can legit see the future. I’m not sure if I was supposed to be “wired” like that but throughout my day, I tend to catch myself seeing the same things from my dreams happen in real life. Sometimes, maybe just a sound would bring me back to my dream I had the night before. I don’t voice my “ability” to people because they probably won’t believe me.

I came across your website because I was making some 30/31 day writing challenges. I searched up ‘deep questions to ask yourself’ and saw yours was the first one to pop up. I hope it was okay for me to use some of your questions. I mean, I know about copyright issues so that’s why I haven’t shared any of my challenges to anyone.

I don’t really believe in “magic per-say, but I do believe in horoscopes. I’m a Libra so I connect with other people and nature. I’m a person who you can always count on to have a shoulder for you to lean on. I’ve been known to give the best advice and I love hugs (well kinda; not sporadically).

The real question that I hope you can answer is why is it that I’ve been blessed with this “Déjà Vu dream” ability? Do you know if any other people can do this? I’m saying ‘this’ like it’s my job!

With Best Regards,


Dear Cookie,

Last year, a psychic gave my friend three predictions. The psychic predicted that her close friend would go through surgery, her son would make an intimate connection, and, if she made a big change, a considerable weight would be lifted from her life.

One week after the psychic reading, my friend’s coworker reached out to her after a knee operation. Over the winter, her son became close to another boy at his school. And, after a tumultuous period of debating whether to stay at her job, she chose to stay – and requested to transfer departments. Since this decision, the dread she felt about going to work all but disappeared.

Afterward, we reflected on the accuracy of the psychic.

My friend could easily argue Option One: that every prediction came true. Because, technically, you can draw the connection between the psychic’s words and real-life events.

I could also easily argue Option Two: that she’s exaggerating these connections. The skeptic in me wants to claim that all of the “predictions” aren’t magical or coincidental. Instead, she’s merely drawing parallels to make it seem like they are.

Now, she could defend her connections, and I could argue back, and this debate could last for hours. It didn’t, though. Instead, we both adopted a more open-minded philosophy. We landed on Option Three: What did it matter if the psychic was spot on, somewhat accurate, or completely fraudulent, as long as it gave my friend meaning?

You see, my friend found purpose in choosing to believe in the psychic. The predictions offered her a new lens to evaluate her life, inspiring more questions and soul-searching. And then, her life (and mine) carried on.

Now Cookie, I hope you don’t think I told this story as proof that your Déjå Vu dreams don’t matter. Quite the opposite, actually. Your Déjå Vu dreams can matter quite a bit – it will just be up to you to determine what their meaning is.

At the end of your letter, you ask if I know anybody with your ability. However, I’m hearing something else behind your words. You’re asking if you’re not alone, if this ability is real, if it is the reason you’re here.

We’ll get to this last question in a moment. But first, I want you to consider what answer you’re looking for. What do you hope my response to be? (No, really, I want you to ask yourself this question.)

When you sent the email, did you want Option One: “I’ve never heard of anything like this – find a way to use your ability for good! It’s your life purpose!”

Or did you hope for Option Two: “I’ve got a million scientific reasons to explain that your Déjå Vu Dreams aren’t magic, but actually relatively common.”

You see, Cookie, I could give you either. I could easily argue that your repeated Déjå Vu experiences contain future-telling skills full of magical energy. Or, I could say that our brains are incredibly complex entities that play tricks on us. Your “Precognitive Dreams” are caused by selective recall, an association of unrelated events, and subconscious connections. (Yes, yes I did research Déjå Vu and future-predicting dreams.)

But I don’t think either option would give you the answer that you’re looking for. Because there’s one central question underlying everything you’ve written. And it’s your very first question: Why am I here, and what is my purpose?

Everything you say afterward – about your dreams, beliefs, Libra identity, pride in being a good friend – is rooted in this question.

I’m about to tell you something, Cookie, that will be the most freeing and the most terrifying words of wisdom you’ve ever gotten.

The answer to your question is whatever you choose for it to be.

Sure, a lot of people will try to persuade you what the answer is. You probably hear it from your parents, your teachers, and your friends every day. Our culture also tries to trick you, whether through social media, television, or ads. (Heck, I’ve probably seen about $4 million worth of ads today that have tried to convince me what is purposeful).

But nobody – not even questioning bloggers – can answer it for you.

The fact that you’re searching “deep questions to ask yourself” and starting writing challenges tells me that you want to engage in the self-discovery process. Some might even say that it gives you purpose.

But that’s for you to decide. And, once you do, you have to figure out how to live it within the scope of your values.

Maybe your Déjå Vu dreams are magical and special, and maybe they aren’t. Maybe they will fit in with your purpose and values, and maybe they won’t. Maybe you’ll embrace it as a unique ability that gives you meaning, and maybe you won’t.

I don’t proclaim this inner work to be easy or always pleasant. It’s incredible vulnerable and sometimes rocks us to the very core. I’ve spent many nights tossing and turning, desperate to find my own answers to your very same questions of purpose. At some point, everyone does.

The fact that we’re all struggling with the same question makes us both incredibly ordinary and incredibly connected. When we learn to appreciate these two facts, however, we can begin to embrace that the fact of asking the question is part of its answer.

At the end of the day, Cookie, it always comes back to Option Three.

How much something matters rests in how much meaning you choose to give it.

Keep dreaming,



Questions For You to Ask Yourself:

  • What gives you purpose in your day-to-day life?
  • What do you think a “purpose-filled life” should look like? Where did you develop this perception?
  • What are your core values?
  • What meaning do you derive from your Déjå Vu dreams that are in line with your values?
  • What have your Déjå Vu dreams given you?
  • Imagine that your Déjå Vu dreams disappear tomorrow. Would your questions change? What would you still be searching for?
  • What makes you afraid to share your Déjå Vu Dreams with others?
  • Who in your life would you trust sharing your Déjå Vu Dreams with?
  • I encourage you to research the science behind Déjå Vu and precognitive dreams. What sounds familiar? What sounds different? How does it feel to have a scientific reason for them?

Want some of your own Questionable Advice? Send me an email or check out my FAQ on what Questionable Advice is (and why you should do it).

1 thought on “Questionable Advice #3: What is my purpose?”

  1. Wow! I really enjoyed Cookie’s question and I really enjoyed your response, Kara. Keep up the great questions and I will keep working at answering them…

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