So, I was stumbling on Stumbleupon when I stumbled upon an interesting post that was all about asking questions intended to expand your mind. Out of 50, three questions inspired this post. Perhaps you can ponder and reflect on your own answers to these fun and thought provoking nuggets.
1. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
Wow, right? One of my biggest fears has always been to live a life chosen or expected by others. For instance, a friend of mine became a Dentist because her father wanted to be one and transferred that dream on to her. She ended up hating everything about it even though the money was good.
On the other hand, my cousin became a Pharmacist for similar reasons, but the difference was, she was very specific about what kind of environment she wanted to work as a Pharmacist. She was absolutely adamant about not doing retail pharmacy and she didn’t. Today, she works as a Pharmacist for the VA system, consulting and counseling veterans who are discharged from active duty. I truly believe she’s the kind of person that would go back to work the very next day even if she won the lottery. She finds purpose In what she does and that is part of the recipe for happiness and higher existence.
That is also how I measure my level of happiness in the work I do. If I were to win or be given a wind-fall, would I still continue to do what I’m doing? If my answer is yes, then I am doing what I believe in.
2. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
I asked my husband this question and he said, no, because one, he doesn’t want to be famous and two, he said, “I’m already extremely attractive”. I laughed at this because he was absolutely serious. Though I personally find him very attractive, he wouldn’t make People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People…perhaps in an alter universe. He ‘believes’ he is attractive however, and that is one of the things that attracted me to him. He’s extremely confident and thinks very highly of himself, something I have struggled with my entire life on account of my daddy issues. When a little girl doesn’t have her father to tell her that she’s beautiful, it makes it hard for her to believe it.
Ask me this question 10 years ago and I probably would’ve said yes. Ask me this question five years ago and i’d probably still would have said yes. in my mind, losing 10 years of my life for happiness would be an excellent trade off.
It strikes me as sort of sad now, however, because the only reason I’d take that deal was because I wasn’t happy with my life and who I was. When you’re not happy with who you are as a person you’d be willing to trade places with anyone at anytime especially when the grass seems greener. It’s only since my recent quest to self enlightenment, freedom, success and happiness that I have learned to embrace myself in the now, and accept my flaws not as flaws, but as the little details that make me unique.
Now it just seems foolish to lose 10 years of my life. Extraordinary things can occur within a span of a decade, and that is 10 years of missing out on helping others, 10 years of not eating and laughing with loved ones, 10 years of lost living. When I think about it, there are millions of attractive and famous people who would gladly give up 10 years of their life for a crack at happiness, because having those things don’t guarantee anything.
3. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Early on in our lives we learn that getting too close to the fire will get us burned, and if we ever get burned, we try to stay from anything that could start a fire, including matches, gasoline or anything possibly flammable. We avoid anything that could ever cause us to feel that kind of searing pain again.
Well, mistakes can feel like a burn sometimes. The more severe the mistake, the more painful and the more we are determined never to feel it again. The safest thing to do is to not put yourself in that position again.
Most of us live in the space of fear, relegating ourselves to a life of safe bets, security and mediocrity. The problem is there are no real safe bets. The security you think you have isn’t security at all and everything you do has you running right there in the middle of the herd.
Nothing extraordinary can be gained if you haven’t ever fully committed to walking through the fire. Yes, you may get burned, but once you’ve come out the other side, a stronger, more resilient and empowered version yourself, you’ll be astonished by your invincibility. I truly believe that for myself and living it as I speak. It’s hot and sometimes it hurts like hell, but not so much that I cannot endure it.
I have a few questions for myself that I will try to answer during my journey. Here they are:
1. Are the things I desire and wish to acquire for my own happiness, or do I want them because of what people will think of me?
2. Am I living the life that will have people saying the things I wish for myself at my funeral?
3. Is the truth worth saying if it hurts the receiver more than it frees you?
4. What extraordinary task can I accomplish today?
5. I’m I really being different, or just being stubborn?
I’ll keep adding to this list and come up with my own list of 50 questions. Questions are a great way to get the answers we didn’t even know we were seeking.
Have a great weekend!