“The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions.” – John Simone
This article is dedicated to my son, who has been asking me the same question every day for years; what’s for dinner?
Life is full of small questions: What will I wear to my meeting? What’s for lunch? Where shall we go this weekend?
Small questions are important as they facilitate the day to day running of our lives. The problem is, most people do not pause to ask themselves the big questions. The real questions! The questions that will change our lives for the better. Often we do not take a moment and think about what really matters to us and what our contribution to the world is.
The Law of Cause and Effect states that if you put out good thoughts accompanied by good actions, you will receive good things. Asking yourself thought-provoking questions cultivates good thoughts and allows for self-reflection. It helps you maintain a conscious awareness of where you are, where you have been and where you intend to go. Through self-reflection you are able to see, organise and preserve your dreams, desires and goals. This conscious awareness is vital in life and opens doors for many good things to come your way.
Today, I believe questions are a key to self-awareness and personal growth. In my 1-1 coaching sessions, I enable my coachees to discover the answers to their goals/questions by asking them the right questions. The right questions will help them untangle the blockages in them and connect with their inner self.
It doesn’t matter if you get confused in the beginning, or if you don’t know the answers to the questions at first. Our minds are unlimited. Just because you don’t get an answer immediately, it doesn’t mean there are no answers. The answers are there — it’s just that your mind is too foggy since you’ve not consulted it before. The more you ask, the clearer your mind will be, and the more ready you’ll be to receive the answers.
Here are five questions I ask you to help examine your life. Take a few minutes, a quiet spot and ask these of yourself (warning: the answers might surprise you!):
1. How happy am I overall, today, out of 10?
Take into account all areas of your life when you do this. Whatever your number is, be honest about it with yourself. Then you can get real about what you can do to increase it.
2. What type of life do I want to lead?
Think about your life 10 years from now. Are you satisfied with your life if it is to continue exactly as it currently is? Are you content with your relationships, work, health? Picture the ideal life you could be living. How is it different? Visualising helps us understand what it is that we can be doing differently now.
3. What does success look like to me?
For some people it is becoming an expert in their industry. For others it is taking one year off in every five to seven to travel. For some it is raising a healthy and tight-knit family. Be clear on what it looks like to you and don’t be swayed by others visions for themselves. Your life is your path to honour and actualise.
4. What brings me joy?
Is it writing, teaching, singing, surfing, volunteering, dancing? Whatever it is, make time for it!
5. What can I do in the next two weeks to bring more joy, passion and purpose to my life?
This is the killer part right here. All of the above is important, but it won’t impact your life unless you take action. Start small. Write one blog. Take one dance class. Perhaps speak to a friend in Europe about a potential meet over the next few months. You know what it is that will generate excitement and happiness in your life. Don’t put it off!
The answers are within us. We have everything we need to create the lives we want. Getting clear is the starting point.
An old proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”
Get busy now sowing the seeds of the life you want to flourish over the coming years.