When you read a question that challenges you to think of your own life and reflect upon the path you are currently taking, do you recognize that it is you that is asked the question or do you treat the question as rhetorical in nature?
Today, I have some questions that will actually make you think -- not only about where you have been, but about where you are going -- and how that direction relates to money, happiness, career and the course of your life in general.
Here's a helpful hint: Do not force yourself to answer the questions -- simply let your mind freely go where the questions lead...
At the end of the questions, I will provide the source of where you can find many more like them...
When has your life dramatically changed as the result of some seemingly random external influence? How much do you feel in control of the course of your life? Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it? Will you ask for help? Where would you choose to be if you could place yourself anywhere on a scale from one to ten, where one is hardship, struggle, and extraordinary accomplishment and ten is comfort, peace of mind, and no accomplishment. Why? Where are you now?
When has your life dramatically changed as the result of some seemingly random external influence? How much do you feel in control of the course of your life?
Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it? Will you ask for help?
Where would you choose to be if you could place yourself anywhere on a scale from one to ten, where one is hardship, struggle, and extraordinary accomplishment and ten is comfort, peace of mind, and no accomplishment. Why? Where are you now?
If you could spend one year in perfect happiness but afterward would remember nothing of the experience would you do so? If not, why not?
Would you rather be extremely successful professionally and have a tolerable yet unexciting private life, or have an extremely happy private life and only a tolerable and uninspiring professional life?
Do you have any specific long-term goals? What is one and how do you plan on reaching it?
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Does the fact that you have never done something before increase or decrease its appeal to you?
If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you'd find leading a more satisfying life than yours?
Would you like to know the precise date of your death?
Would you accept a guaranteed, lifetime allowance of $50,000 per year (adjusted annually for inflation) if accepting it meant that you could never again earn money from either work or investments?
If you learned you would die in a few days, what regrets would you have? Were you given five extra years of life, could you avoid those same regrets five years hence?
What would you like to be doing five years from now? What do you think you will be doing five years from now?
Since so many people place an emphasis on a happy private life, why do people often wind up putting more energy into their professional lives? If you feel your private life is more important to you, do your priorities support this? Are you simply unwilling to admit that work is more important? Do you use work as a substitute? Do you hope professional success will somehow magically lead to personal happiness?
Do you feel you have enough time? If not, what would give you that feeling? How much has your attitude about time changed as you've aged?
Can you envision how you are likely to look back upon things you are doing today? If so, how much do you try to live now as you think you will one day wish you had lived?
"Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem." ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
Did you answer the questions or did you allow your mind to go where the questions lead you? Did you discover anything of value? Were there certain subjects, such as money, happiness or career, that made you pause to think more than others? Why do you think that is?
Often it is not the answers that help us in reflecting on our own lives but by going where the questions take us -- to a vision of the past, present and future -- to a place where the answers may be revealed to us as individual people and what steps we may want to be taking going forward...
For more questions like these, I recommend The Book of Questions. The book sure clarified a few things for me...
Related Post: Life Planning Part III: Creating the Plan