8 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Right Now
(even if you aren’t sure what the answer is yet)
I’m not going to confront you with a ‘If you were to die in the next 6 hours….’ scenario, because that seems like a bleak approach to some great life questioning.
An inquisitive, existential mind doesn’t have to feel desolate, and if you ask yourself the right questions in the correct context it can actually feel quite empowering, even if you haven’t figured out what the answer might be just yet.
How often do we mindlessly find ourselves at destinations and not fully know how we have arrived? And how many weeks sift through our grasp without a pause to observe our well-being and it’s impact?
Over the weekend, frustrated at my own self-imposed boredom, I realised that it is important to take a few minutes to mindfully and positively approach the questions that shouldn’t be intimidating, but rather inspiring.
1. Am I happy?
This is the big one, I know – but let’s confront it and be honest.
It might feel like a big question, but it certainly shouldn’t be a complex question so don’t treat it as one. It’s very simple really.
Remove all of the fears, excuses and justifications that you might have been going through in your mind and truly ask yourself, are you happy? Yes or no.
If yes, please do read ahead because as I’ve said before, you don’t have to be unhappy to change your life. If no, then heck, be proud of yourself because acknowledgment isn’t easy.
2. Are you content with where you live and what you do?
This is for all of you happy and non-happy people out there.
Perhaps you’ve lived in the same town for 20 years and you still bounce out of your front door each morning with an excitement to meet, greet and be surrounded by those who have known you for your whole life. Potentially you’ve started a new job and feel like you’re learning more than you have in an embarrassingly long time. If you can take a moment, look around and feel content in your heart with where you are and what you’re doing then oh man, how great is that? You should feel excited by your own life.
On the other hand however, maybe you’re feeling a little bit sick of the town you’ve been in for what seems like forever, you can’t bear to walk past that closed down shop for what seems like the 10th time in one day and that new job that was supposed to be a game-changer has turned out to be an absolute nightmare and you don’t know what to do.
Acknowledgement is pretty intimidating, because that means that it is up to us to change something. However, simply taking a moment to examine the day-to-day beat of your life can reveal a lot of guidance in how to navigate your next route. The answer might not be an extreme up and move plan, but perhaps a new route or means of arriving at work, or a change of career, or maybe starting a new extra-curricular activity (it’s not just for students!)
3. Are you working towards a goal that interests you?
Along the same lines as the previous question, but instead now examining the larger impact of your current situation and occupation. It really is a great attitude to seize the day and roll with the punches, but in contrast to this it is also essential to ponder for a moment the direction that you hope your life to go in.
For example, do you have a burning desire for a certain profession, but currently find yourself in a totally unrelated job? Do you really love your current job? Enough to sacrifice working towards that dream goal? You don’t have to be unhappy with your life to strive for change.
Do you dream of taking a lengthy, exotic trip to somewhere tropical, but just can’t seem to scrape enough money together to get by, let alone save? Is now a good time to take on an extra evening job to make that dream a reality?
Become a risk-taker and see what it’s like to take a walk on a new path.
Don’t allow yourself to regret not taking that risk.
4. What are you great at?
Don’t be modest, seriously. This question is supposed to put a smile on your face. We beat ourselves up so much about what we can’t do, but it’s a complete fact that every single person in this whole wide wonderful world is great at something. Even if it seems really inconsequential, acknowledge your greatness, just for a moment, and fall in love with yourself for being so great at something.
Me? I’m a darn good waitress! Sounds odd, but after years of working in hospitality combined with an impressive memory and recollection for people’s faces, I’m confident that I’ve mastered the art.
On a total side note, I’ve also got a knack for writing really neatly, in very straight lines – maybe this will come in use one day?
5. Do you express your love and gratitude often enough?
Life questioning doesn’t always have to relate directly to self-searching but rather can extend to the impact your existence is having on those around you. I’m not talking here about romantic love, but unconditional love for all those you interact with. That’s a lot of people right? Well, I think you’ll find as soon as you start to express compassion and love to those around you, you will be pleasantly surprised about the good energy coming your way.
Say that compliment, give thanks from the heart, send a little love letter to your pal, express honest appreciation and wear a big smile on your face.
Free hugs? Heck, why not!
6. Do you have a positive impact on those around you and the environment?
Again, life questioning doesn’t have to be intimidatingly intrusive on your soul but can examine how mindfully you are living.
Have you taken some time recently to think about your physical impact on human kind and the environment? Perhaps you could set an environmentally conscious goal for this week (or month, or year)? Whether it is to recycle more, bring into place a meat-free Monday or maybe to simply take shorter showers, every effort contributes dramatically.
Not only on a large scale, but also consider how your living style affects those you live with and those around you. Do you have an awful habit of littering, or leaving your stuff wherever it falls? Do you avoid washing up like it’s the last thing in the universe that you want to do?
Well, today you are going to address these habits and make a quick action plan in your minds eye of ways to transform this.
7. What is your worst trait?
The point of this pondering post is in no way negative, but rather aims to open up questions that can positively impact upon your life. So when I suggest that it is important to reflect upon and question your worst trait, that doesn’t mean you need to dwell on all of the things you get yourself down about in regards to the person you are.
I strongly believe that you can manifest your worst trait into a valuable asset if considered correctly.
For example, do you have a habit of talking over people all of the time? Hopefully you surround yourself with people who love you flaws n’ all, who have come to find it an endearing quality that you possess. However, think about it for a moment. To me, it suggests that you have a lot to say and that certainly isn’t a bad quality to have. How can you use this to your advantage?
My worst trait is that I am really stubborn.
I’m aware that this can come across as both bossy and intolerant, although when used correctly it means that I am determined and work to really high standards. If it’s a busy scenario that needs some management, or generally a bit of a mess that needs organising, then I’m your gal. However, sometimes my worst trait doesn’t come across like this at all. Sometimes when I don’t communicate very well I just come across as plain bossy and can’t see why I should apologise. Luckily, most of those I spend time with either in work or socially see me as a strong-minded person with a whole lot of heart, who put me in my place by laughing at me whenever I get a little bit too boisterous.
8. What do you want to learn?
You might feel like learning something new is impossible, but you’re wrong. It’s certainly likely that it is going to be slightly (okay, a lot) harder than it was when you were at school and had a brain like a sponge, but whatever your heart is longing for is totally doable.
There’s a huge difference between impossible and plain, hard work and the answer? You need to simply get off your butt, stop making excuses and be prepared for a little bit of initial failure. A learning curve we’ll call it.
I personally think that mind maps never get old and are definitely a good excuse to get a little bit creative. Or maybe just writing a list of a few ideas that have been floating around your consciousness for a while will help you to focus on what it is exactly you want to learn?
There is no better time than right now to start bringing these thoughts into being, but as I keep emphasising, acknowledgement is the integral beginning to a new journey.
My problem is always being so indecisive about what direction I want to go in, but recently I feel like it’s becoming more focused.
I live a 10-minute walk from the ocean and am aware of the nourishing effect this has on my life and soul. However, I’ve been attempting to learn to surf for about 3 years, and it’s been a slow… really slow process. However, there has definitely been improvement. I can spend hours in the sea without getting stingy eyes, my pop-up has vastly improved and when the waves are (really) small I can just about venture out back and cruise along those little peelers. Who knows where I’ll be in another 3 years? I’m so grateful to myself for persevering despite all the tumbles and in my opinion, it's one of the most humbling hobbies to pursue.
Don't forget to check out my article here on What You Need To Know About Learning To Surf.
2. Learn a new language.
Is this on everyone’s wish list? My school didn’t make it essential to study a language for GCSE and I really regret not being smart enough to make the wise choice. However, I’m not going to regret what little-me chose to do and instead I’ve downloaded a free app which is teaching me Spanish basics. Saying ‘the apple’ (la manzana for those who want to know) might not get me far in Spain, but I definitely didn’t know that word a week ago.
I don’t know where this one is going yet… but that is okay. I’ve felt for a long time that everything I’ve done so far in life is going to come together in a few years as a mix ‘n’ match style career… What this is I don’t know, but watch this space.
Monday’s are a great day to be inquisitive, because it seems to have a certain freshness that other days seem to lack sometimes. What questions are you asking yourself at the moment? Are there any that you think are more important than the ones I’ve come up with?
I hope that your day has been full of warm sunshine and delicious coffee and if you need some tips for a more magical Monday then don’t forget to have a read through of my Monday advice over here.