10 Game Changing Questions That Can Transform Your Life
"The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates
As humans we are so caught up in the chase of life that we rarely stop to think about what we are really chasing. Some people approach life like a rat race. Getting tangled in the web of materialism and status. Trying to keep up with the Joneses. Little do they know that the race of comparison is one they will never win. There is no finish line.
The great Bob Marley once said, "The day you stop racing is the day you win the race."
That line always pierced my soul because I spent so many years running the wrong race.
And if it wasn't for this simple epiphany, I would have likely ran straight into a nervous breakdown.
Thankfully, I realized this.
"The quality of my life is determined by the quality of my questions."
I already had all the answers inside me, I just wasn't asking the right questions. I wasn't taking the time to think about what I really wanted in life. I wasn't aware of the things that were really pulling me back from the best version of myself.
To be frank, I really didn't know who I was. And I know I am not alone. So many of us sleepwalk through our days without taking the time to know ourselves.
"The greatest subject you will ever study is yourself. And the only way you can ever become a master of self is to ask yourself the right questions."
As Leonardo Da Vinci says, "There is no smaller or greater form of mastery than mastery of oneself."
Once you know who you are, what you are capable of, and what you are called to do, nothing can stop you. Nothing at all.
Now, that doesn't mean a couple of self-reflective questions will take you to the pot of gold. You have to respond in the right manner. Make the right choice. Take the next step.
Knowing is not enough. You must apply.
The right questions will veer you in the right direction. It gives you the recipe, but you still need to cook the meal.
Have the wherewithal to ask the right questions and the courage to answer them with massive intent.
As a deep thinker and a fan of philosophy, I wanted to present a series of questions that can act as a catalyst for changing your life.
One of the keys to a great life is curiosity. Having an insatiable hunger for learning. So I strongly suggest you invest in studying the subject that will yield you the most happiness you could ever fathom, yourself.
1. Are you a master of your habits or a slave to them?
A. Let's say your plan is to lose weight and your coach asks you to wake up at 5am and train. Your immediate response is, "I can't do that. I haven't woken up that early in my life."
This is a perfect example of being a slave to your bad habits. You immediately jump into "Excuse Mode. " Acting as if your coach's request is irrational. As if getting up at that hour is impossible.
i. Don't ever let poor habits control your life or dictate your future. You just don't want it bad enough. It's that simple.
Never become a slave to the lesser version of yourself. Instead, become a student to the highest version of yourself. Listen to the right teacher. Follow the right leader.
2. How do you fail?
There are two ways to fail.
- Failure due to timidity, quitting, or lack of trying.
- Failure due to bold action and allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable.
Both may be painful, but only the latter will produce wisdom and personal growth. The first option will only produce regret and protect your ego. Choose wisely.
3. How do you handle pressure and pain?
Regardless of your trial, remember that there is someone in the past who has achieved it with less talent, less resources and possibly suffered through injury while doing it.
Knowing that someone has achieved things under immense pressure reassures me that anything can be done. This simple philosophy has pushed me through the darkest times.
I think of Viktor Frankl who endured numerous concentration camps and still found life's meaning in spite of the most crippling circumstances.
I think of Jack Ma who was not profitable for years before reaching billionaire status with Ali baba.
These two stories may be two different extremes in regards to circumstance, but the display of mental strength and perspective is all relative.
If there are people who can endure concentration camps, terminal illness, homelessness, abandonment from loved ones, surely I can handle a couple of years of entrepreneurship and physical injury.
4. Are you a front runner?
Are you only good when you are ahead on the scorecards?
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson
Anyone can perform when everything is going their way, but true warriors are born through the struggle. "Grit" is mandatory for success, it's not a luxury. We all need grit.
I am all about amplifying your strengths and doing the things you are naturally good at.
But ask yourself how you respond when you are no longer the top dog in your field. When you actually have to claw and grind your way to victory.
How will you respond then? When you are bruised and battered from betrayal, self-doubt, and injury.
Create the killer instinct to stomp on the competition's throat when you see them start to get up. Build the mental toughness to fight back when you are no longer in the lead. That is the mindset you should always aspire to have because no one is 100 and 0 in the game of life.
5. Are you more disciplined than you are talented?
There was a time when I leaned on my natural gifts more than my intangibles.
This was insanely evident in my career in sales. I could outsell most people with a fourth of my effort. Eventually, that talent runs out and you won't be able to coast to the next level. You will get exposed. It wasn't until I became the most disciplined person in my industry when my career started to skyrocket. Discipline always wins. It will always outlast talent.
6. Are you productive or are you just busy?
Do you know how to execute and get things done or are you just running around in circles? Are you busy or are you productive?
Being busy for 8 hours isn't the same as being productive for 3 hours. You must know the difference. Focus on being productive and creating tangible results and output.
Ask yourself, what did you actually accomplish?
After all, how many spend 2 hours in the gym, but only do 15 minutes of training. The rest is spent texting on your phone and taking selfies in the mirror. All before you make a motivational post on IG about all the "Work" you are putting in.
How many people go to an office for 8 hours, but only spend 1 hour doing real work. The rest is filled up with coffee breaks, social media, and mindless meetings.
Focus on GTD. "Getting things done." What are your results? What can you report? What have you proven to yourself?
Think "Work Smart." Then think "Work hard." But you must do both. That simple combination is deadly. It will change your life in any pocket you desire.
7. Are you cocky or are you confident?
There is a difference between being cocky and confident. Cocky people are arrogant and rarely listen to anyone. Confident people believe in themselves and constantly learn from everyone around them. Their confidence is bred from their preparation, discipline and work ethic. They never see themselves as experts, but rather students of their craft.
"Competence breeds confidence. The more you know, the more confident you become. And all that comes from the hours you put in behind the scenes. The dark hours that no one knows about.
8. Are you known for your potential or your production?
Potential is overrated. It simply means you haven't achieved anything, but you have the ability to do so.
Don't be satisfied with being known for potential. Be the person who actually fulfilled his potential. These are people who are productive and deliver on their promises. In fact, they overdeliver. To themselves, their circle, their community, and their families.
They are effective and produce massive results. Focus on potency, not potential.
9. Do your actions align with your values?
If you claim that you value faith, family, and your professional career as the top three priorities in your life. Ask yourself, if your daily actions reflect that?
There was a time when I claimed that my family was everything to me, yet I worked 16 hours a day and rarely spent uninterrupted time with my wife and daughter. This is a perfect example of my actions being misaligned with the values I claimed to have.
I needed to self-correct. I needed to own up to my shortcomings. I needed to make the proper adjustments to become the father and husband my family deserved. I needed to align my actions with my values. Once I made that decision, I gained a level of peace that will never be taken for granted ever again.
10. What would my life be like in a year, if I committed to these simple yet transformative practices? The game changing habits.
Imagine this, If I dedicated myself for an entire year to…
- Journaling, meditating, praying and reading daily.
- Trained 4x a week while eating healthy 80% of the time.
- Only surrounded myself with people who inspired and elevated me. Cut out all the negativity, clutter and mediocre bullshit.
- Managed my time to do things that really matter to me. Things that pushed my career and my life forward.
- Created content, expressed my unique genius and executed on all of my ideas.
If I hit these marks, I would be an entirely different animal.
I would feel different. I would think different. I would move different.
I would reinvent myself. I would be a Rare Breed. Why wouldn't I embrace this lifestyle?