Are you finally ready to improve your circumstances? Are you ready to take it to the next level? Are you ready to step forward to begin the journey of never-ending improvement?
If so, asking the right kind of questions will be your best guide. Basically, thinking is nothing more than asking and answering questions. All discoveries, both great and small, are realized by asking questions. You’ll need to continually ask questions and be inquisitive if you want to expand your consciousness and increase the quality of your life.
Ask yourself these deep questions in order to improve the quality of your life:
1. What is the lesson?
Living life with an open mind is easier than living with a closed mind. With an open mind, you are much more likely to learn from your mistakes, become aware of new ways of doing things, and discover wondrous things about yourself and others. If you are in constant search of learning, you will see the lessons in every event rather than shutting down or becoming self-absorbed. Do you have a core childhood memory of learning a very valuable lesson? Do you remember being given a piece of advice that is engrained into you as an adult? Do you have a memory of a deep conversation that brought clarity to a situation that seemed too massive to overcome? Those are lessons. The reason you had to endure the crisis, was to be able to appreciate the reward.
2. Who can help me achieve my goals?
This question will give you the focus needed to target the people who can help you. No one climbs the ladder of success without the aid of someone else. Brainstorm on paper a list of people whose assistance and cooperation you want or need to achieve your goals. Choose the top three names. Then approach each one and ask them this question: Will you help me? This can be a best friend, a mentor, or even a family member. These important figures in your life want you to live a happy life. have them help you create a bucket list and celebrate with them when you reach even the smallest goal.
“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
3. Am I living an honest life?
Self-reflection is imperative for personal growth. Do you ever find yourself twisting words and thoughts with the intent to deceive? Or worse, did you realize it only after the fact? How much time and energy did this cost you in the end? The adage, “The truth will set you free” is not meant for the benefit of mankind but for the benefit of you. Being truthful and practicing self-awareness for yourself and others saves you time and reputation. Truthfulness will bring you a sense of peace. And it will save you all that time and effort of backtracking, re-spinning, or trying to keep your stories straight. Perhaps that is why Thomas Paine wrote, “It is necessary to the happiness of man that he is mentally faithful to himself.”
4. On a scale of 1 to 10, what is the rate of my current performance?
Have the courage to examine your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly progress. Get out of your comfort zone and If you regularly write out your goals it will be easier to rate your performance. If you don’t write your goals, start. You will find that accomplishing anything long-term is easier when you take the time to see how your short-term steps are progressing.
5. What am I grateful for?
A great place to begin the process of improvement is to reflect and be grateful for the things we already have. Have you ever experienced a “perfect day?” What is the most important thing in your life? Are you taking inventory of your own happiness? Within the humdrum of day-to-day life, it is easy to lose sight of all the blessings we experience while on our journey through life. Few people take the time to think of all the things they are grateful for and appreciate. This is a powerful conversation starter. These great questions can spark a conversation with your spouse, a good friend, a loved one, and just about anyone in general. By answering these personal questions you can help spark, and reignite your enthusiasm for life.
6. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
This can be a scary question. Self-reflection is uncomfortable. The trouble is that most people are afraid to look within, fearing what they might find. If that describes you, get over it! “Know thyself” is a mantra that has been echoed for thousands of years. Perhaps you have been so stressed out that you cannot even find the mental space to asses what your strengths and weaknesses are. Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side list your strengths, the other your weaknesses. Be honest with yourself. Examine your list when you are finished, then resolve to accentuate your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. Once you start pinpointing your shortcomings, you will find that this is a great way to break through your stress.
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
7. What is the No. 1 obstacle that is preventing me from achieving my goal?
In football, your goal is to score a touchdown. Your obstacle is the other team. Professional sports teams study video footage of their opposing team in order to gain insight as to how to better overcome their obstacle. What potential challenges or obstacles stand between you and your goal, and what can you do to overcome them? Practice overcoming the obstacles in advance and then perform better, as a sports team does, when the real game is on. Everyone has to learn the hard way once in a while. We have all waited until the last day to finish an assignment and taken a bad grade for our poor planning. It’s okay to realize that sometimes the biggest obstacle is our own self-sabotage. Once you identify what your #1 obstacle is, you now can overcome it.
8. What can I not change?
Many people needlessly worry about things over which they have no control. The Serenity Prayer is a great reminder. We all know how it goes: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. It is easy to dismiss such platitudes. Ponder the question again and take it to heart. Some unchangeable things can be related to the state of the world we live in. Other times it can be a parameter of business that is set in stone. Many times, it is the case of not being able to change something about yourself. One of the best practices is understanding the importance of self-care, taking inventory of your mental health, and discovering that it’s okay to be unapologetically you! It’s okay to forgive yourself for making an honest mistake. Sometimes the thing we think is our worst attribute is actually our superpower. Consider this statistic as reassurance that you are doing just fine. Researchers believe that autism may actually offer a rare gift. According to spectrumnews.com people with autism are about 500 times more likely than the general population to have a perfect singing pitch. Who would have thought that something as unchangeable as autism could actually open a door to the arts and music?
“To fear to face an issue is to believe that the worst is true.”
– Ayn Rand
What do I fear?
This question freaks most people out. They avoid it like the plague. How many times have we lamented over doing something? The concern, worry, or terror continued to grow bigger until we were immobilized by the fear. When you really want to do something and it is the fear that is holding you back, then acknowledge that you are fearful and do it anyway. Do you remember how terrified you were to experience your first kiss? If you hadn’t faced the fear, you would have never learned the life lesson and experienced the joy of your first love. Many of us now have a shoebox full of exes and we still reminisce about the good old days. Facing fear always results in a reward. Release the negative thoughts that connect and bind you to that fear. The only way to conquer fear is to push through it by taking immediate action. Feel the fear and go for it! Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Remember that a question not asked is an answer not given!
When you take the time to ask the right questions you are already on the road to self-discovery and avoiding the pitfalls from the last time you tried something and failed. This results in unlimited self-improvement. The process of asking the right questions will undoubtedly increase your overall personal value. And there is only one person that can ultimately improve the quality of your life—and that person is you. Wouldn’t you agree?
Best of success to you!