The following is a collection of questions I conjured up while enjoying a long black a few days ago at one of my newest favourite cafe’s, Penny Black. Although they took me around 2 hours to come up with and refine to my top five, it has taken years to be able to develop the awareness on which questions to ask on an introspective level.
Podcast after podcast, book after book, interview after interview. My life's mission is to find the best questions and ask them of the best teachers.
And as Dr John DeMartini would say, “the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions”.
Therefore we can conclude that if we ask better questions, we will get better answers.
These are deliberately open ended and are designed to be answered as long as you like, or as short as you like. If you’re like me, sometimes you will write for pages, other times 2-3 lines will do. Like life itself, the purpose of this exercise is in the journey.
Get it all out. Spew the words of your mind out onto the paper or keyboard and release the blocks that are in the way.
I know this will help you just as much as it helped/helps me.
Q1. "Why do I do what I do?”
This question is designed to help you realise if you are either on track with your goals, or off track and need to re-align yourself. It’s also important to realise that just because you are here now, doesn’t mean you’ll be here forever. Life itself takes us through the journey of ups, downs, pivots, blocks and everything in-between. Do not judge, simply observe.
Q2. “What do I fear?”
We all fear something. I’m not talking about a fear of spiders or snakes (although spiders do creep me out), I’m talking about something much deeper. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of judgment, fear of loneliness?
So many people keep these fears internal and never allow them to see the light. However, like a bacteria, if you allow them to fester in the closet of the self, they will exponentially grow. Instead, get it out onto paper. Release the demons. Show yourself who is the real boss. You don’t have to confront them right this second, but half the battle is simply getting them out of your head and onto an external source.
Q3. “What am I telling myself I ‘need’ before I allow myself to be happy?”
- Are you waiting for more money to be happy?
- Are you waiting for the perfect life partner to be happy?
- Are you waiting for bigger arms, or a larger squat?
The truth is, you’re perfect just the way you are. There is a series of exercises you can do to help draw this out, but in summary, once you realise that you already have what you need inside of you to get the result, and start working towards it, you will find your happiness takes care of itself. I have found, we are happiest when we are striving towards our goals. Not before we set them, not after we achieve them, but on the way to being them.
Q4. “When was the happiest time of my life and what made it so?” This was a really powerful question that I asked myself, and I know it can help you too. When you ask yourself, see if you can’t deconstruct the elements of this happiness, so we can reverse engineer what needs to be done to replicate that feeling.
For me - I was staying in a foreign country (Italy), in a tiny remote beach village, in a location where no-one knew where we were, with a girlfriend at the time, with no internet, and we would cook healthy meals or enjoy beautiful coffee or fresh seafood at the local restaurants.
I love it because it was:
- In Italy > Beautiful remote beach village with 1000 people in population (99% of whom could not speak English) + no-one knew we were there.
- Off the grid > meaning no demands, internet or emails coming through.
- With someone I loved > meaning I could share the experience with them.
- Healthy, Fresh Food > Eating great means feeling great.
- Now, instead of yearning for ‘this’ time to come back, I simply take what I need to take from it, and work towards spending more time doing what makes me happy.
Q5. "If I had $5 million dollars as an annual salary, and money was not an issue, what would I do every single day?" I concede that most people will answer this with “I would go on a holiday, buy a new house, fly first class” etc etc, but once you get the ‘fun’ stuff out of the way, what would you do each and every day?
- What would you do for purpose?
- For fulfilment?
- What would your goals be?
- What would your life look like?
- Who is in it?
- Where are you living?
Yes, there are several more questions involved with this one, but they are simply designed to help guide you along the way to answering the main question.
Now, once you have a clear answer (which may be several pages, or simply 5-10 lines)…reverse engineer these elements and what you’ll find is that on some capacity you can already do a lot of these things. I have done this exercise with countless people and we always find many things that can be done in their lives right at this very moment.
I hope that clears a few of your internal queries up and you are now thinking at a deeper level.
If this content resonates with you and you would like to learn more about how I can help you, or simply want to say hello, you can drop me a note here.
Thanks for reading.
Happy question asking.