6 Big Questions To Ask Yourself
Small Questions Run Our Lives, Big Questions Change Our Lives: What questions do you ask yourself everyday?
We ask ourselves questions everyday mostly very simple and basic, like: What to eat for breakfast? Which route to take to work? What do I wear for the event tonight?
Small Questions Run Our Lives
These questions are very small and may seem insignificant to some but they help us run our lives on a daily basis and we ask them in our heads. The answers show up in our actions: I think I’ll have eggs for breakfast today. I’ll just use Waze. Black pants and the blingy white top. Whatever little questions we ask, we actually act on them, every day, in a micro-management way. Because we need to make those decisions.
Big Questions Change Our Lives
But when do we ask ourselves the really important questions, the BIG questions, the ones that could change our lives? Make it better? Not many people take the time to examine their lives and it’s ok…until one day you actually start to wonder.
“I wasted too much of my life being quiet. I was afraid, I guess. You know how it is. You keep your head down and you hustle and hustle. Then you look up one day and wonder, “How did I even get here?” Last Holiday movie quote
But what if you did? Examine your lives. In solitude, pen and paper in hand – you might be surprised at the answers you get. No need to ask anyone, these questions are just for you. Don’t think too hard. Better still if you give yourself a ridiculously short time limit like 10 (yes, ten) minutes to answer the first 5 questions. The answers ARE in your head, your heart and your gut knows it too. The more you think about the answers, the more you’re rationalising and thinking about things that don’t matter.
So, have a go:
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy am I with my life today?
Happy is a feeling, and being able to put a number to it helps you put a finger on your meter. Don’t try to justify, just be honest with yourself. Consider your state now. The answers are for you and nobody else. Once you have it, then and only then can you start thinking about what you can or want to do to increase the number.
2. Am I doing what I want to do with my life?
Do you feel that the life you’re living right now is what you really want or would you rather be doing something else? What might that be? What is it that when you do it, brings you joy? Visualise for a moment, sometime in the future – 5 years or 10 years – how did your life turn out? Is it different from what it is now? This question opens up pathways for us to decide what we might be able to do differently now.
3. Do I have “work-life” balance?
Life is one big whole, yes, although inevitably most people will have a professional or business life and a personal life, with significant others, children and extended family. How you are in one life will affect how you are in the “other” life. How balanced is yours or is it out of whack?
4. What am I “tolerating” in my life right now?
You know what this means. It refers to the things we know we don’t have to put up with but which we do. Whatever the answer is, resist the temptation to say that it’s outside your control. There is always something you can do rather that put up with something you’d be much happier without.
5. When will I or what is it that will make me feel at peace with myself?
Most people can talk about their goals in the form of “success”. I will be successful when I’m CEO of a company.. or I will be successful when I have a million in the bank.. or when I become top of my class or field.. etc When you try to answer this question, it can go both ways – you will know the answer because it’s very obvious to you or it just doesn’t come to you. Don’t worry, this is the BIG question and just give yourself the opportunity to think about it. Just don’t think too hard. The answer will come.
6. What actions will I take during the next 30 days to bring me closer to the joy, passion and purpose I’ve discovered I still want to accomplish?
Well done! You found all the answers within you and did it surprise you? What can you do about any of it? Only action brings about results. So this is where you create your to-do list: for now, just quickly do a brain dump of things you can and will do to address all the answers you got from asking the first 5 questions. Every day, for the next 30 days, pick one item and schedule it and DO IT. What gets scheduled, gets done. You decide what’s most important and go down the list and pick one thing every day.
I remember doing this exercise for myself and I remember how it made me feel – lighter. It made me feel in control of my feelings and it made me recognise that I have choices. Good luck and have fun.