To follow the right path in life, you need to ask yourself the right questions. Even Voltaire believed that people could be judged by the questions they asked rather than their answers. This approach is still relevant today, hundreds of years later. Questions inspire self-reflection, open you to unexpected discoveries and can even serve as a substitute for therapy.
This article is not just informative, it is a call to action. We have prepared 8 questions covering all areas of your life. Try to ask yourself these questions as often as possible and make sure to answer honestly. This will develop your self-awareness, improve focus and contribute to continuous personal growth.
What gives you the most energy?
In her book ‘The Defining Decade’ Meg Jay writes: ‘It’s easy to find your greatest passion. The things we love doing always give us the most energy.’ Pay attention to the way you feel while doing various activities - what energizes you the most? Find this activity and spend more time on it! Follow the energy - and your passion will definitely find its outlet.
Does this person’s opinion matter?
Think about it: as a child, you often received some long-awaited presents. Maybe you got a new shirt or bowtie, or perhaps a new toy. You were overjoyed, excited to share the novelty with your classmates. But then you went to school and your classmates started making fun of you. Did you wear these things to school again? Chances are, you didn’t.
2000 years ago, Marcus Aurelius was perplexed by our fixation on other people: ‘It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinions than our own.’ Now think about the number of times that you changed your mind about a book or a movie after reading a popular review from an opinion leader?
In most cases, there’s no point in listening to other people’s opinions. On the contrary, we need to set our own standards on what is right or wrong. These standards should be used to make our own judgments.
Conclusion: drop the habit of thinking about other people’s opinions as quickly as possible!
What will happen if I say no?
Saying no at the right time is one of the most difficult things in life. Every day, we get many invitations to meetings and requests for help… And let’s be honest: we don’t always want to do the things we agree to do. But we still say yes - because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or out of greed, or sometimes just because we forget to think about it.
That’s why you should always consider what your consent will cost you. Don’t forget that almost all requests take some of your time, so by consenting you give up a part of your life. So you should always ask yourself: ‘What will happen if I say no?’ And if the answer is: ‘I will be happier’, or ‘No one will be upset’, don’t you think this is the right time to say no?
Do you own your possessions, or do they own you?
Chinese Confucian philosopher Sun Tzu once said: ‘A true master makes possessions serve him. A petty master becomes a servant to his possessions.’ In other words - be careful not to become too materialistic.
Our possessions often limit our freedom and require more and more investments. So whenever you wonder if you should buy something, ask yourself, ‘Will it give me more freedom?’, ‘Will it force me to take on new obligations?’, ‘How will ownership of this object change my life?’
Take stock of your possessions and make sure that the things that you own and purchase serve you, and not the other way around.
What are you ready to let go?
We all carry around some old wounds and grudges. We’ve all been hurt and tricked in the past. What should we let go of, once and for all?
The truth is that we are often to blame for the grudges that we hold onto. We might be mad at someone because they insulted us, but how many insults have we said in our lives? Our parents might have hurt us, but are we perfect?
Every day, set aside several minutes to consider the baggage you might be carrying. And consider whether or not it’s worth carrying it any longer? Isn’t it easier to let it go, to make the rest of your journey lighter?
What did you learn today?
Legendary MMA fighter Frank Shamrock once said: ‘Always stay a student’. Try to learn something new every day. Knowledge and health are your most valuable resources. It’s important to keep your mind sharp and flexible - that’s why you should read books, learn new languages, expand your vocabulary. Learn new things that you are interested in. When you stop learning, you also stop growing. Education might not yield immediate results, but it will definitely bring you long-term rewards.
How often do you read books?
How many books have you read this year? What about your entire life? Could you read even more? Books are an excellent and free way to live through a new experience without any losses, offering you a chance to learn based on others' mistakes and develop your skills. Moreover, reading expands your horizons and improves creativity.
Here’s an idea - ask some people which book changed their lives, and make sure to read it.
Do you express your love for your family and friends?
The key word here is ‘express’. Loving someone is not enough, and neither is telling them about it. Express your love and attachment in actions, not just words. Do it every day - relationships also require investments to thrive. And you will definitely see positive results!
If you answer these questions honestly, you will be able to objectively assess your life and figure out which area needs further development. You might not be happy about the big picture, but at least you will find out what needs to change.