“The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.” – John Simone
What questions are in your head?
Because it's actually true that the kind of questions you ask determines the kind of life you lead. Your questions determine the answers that establish your beliefs. And the things you come to believe determine your emotional response. And your emotional response and your beliefs determine your choices and behaviour. So... asking the right questions is pretty important. If you ask yourself limiting questions, you’ll get limited results. If you ask yourself mind-opening questions, you’ll have an expansive rich life.
Some people like to ask questions like “Why did this happen to me?”, “Why didn't I do 'x' instead of 'y'?” and “Why am I always in such a mess?”. And with questions like that, the answers are predictably dis-empowering. On the other hand, questions like “What can I learn about myself from this experience?”, “What can I do differently moving forward?” and “What am I grateful for?” are empowering. They get you thinking about how to live life better.
And so here's the challenge. For every day in the next month, ask yourself a different clarifying, inspiring, motivating question to move you closer to where you want to be. Focus. Discover. Reflect. Ponder. Grow.
1. Who do you want to be?
2. What are you passionate about?
3. What are your values?
4. What have you achieved in your life that most closely reflects your passion and values?
5. What 20 things are you most grateful for?
6. What do you yearn for?
7. Do you like yourself? Why/why not? Where should you grow?
8. If you had one month to live, what would you do?
9. What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?
10. What things that you do today will matter in 3 years?
11. What's in it for you to keep hating "_____"?
12. What is your biggest goal?
13. What's keeping you from achieving your biggest goal?
14. Are you putting a part of your life on 'hold'? Why?
15. What do you regret? How can you correct it?
16. What's the most important thing you learned last year?
17. What is your ideal lifestyle, diet, job, day, physical look?
18. What is your greatest fear? How can you confront it?
19. What thoughts spin in your head the most? Does this spin cycle help?
20. Where are you living right now? Past? Present? Future?
21. What habit would you most like to break?
22. What habit would you most like to cultivate?
23. What is your mission?
24. What drives you? Is that helpful or unhelpful?
25. With whom do you spend the most time? Do those people help you become who you want to be?
26. What/who inspires you the most?
27. What qualities do you most admire? Most despise?
28. What would make your life more meaningful?
29. How do you practice self care?
30. Is there anything you are running away from?
31. What are you going to do differently tomorrow?
In the movie 'How Do You Know?' there is a point when Lisa goes to a therapist. She doesn't quite know what to say, so she blurts out : "I was just wondering if there was one general thing that you've found over the years to be generally true in a general way that would help anyone in any situation?" The therapist answers: "That's a great question. Yes, I would say... figure out what you want and learn how to ask for it.
Lisa was quiet for a moment then said "Those are both really hard." And it's true. Self awareness and agency are both really hard. If that is your experience too, try posing these 31 questions to yourself over the next month and then see if you have come closer to figuring out what you want and how to get it. If you are still struggling or want to go deeper, then call me. I can help