Questions and words can be life-changing.
They are so powerful they can change your brain.
Yes, your brain!
And if you can change your brain, you can change who you are and your life.
I know it firsthand.
Since 2004, I’ve been using questions, words, and quotes to help me get out of depression after I lost my girlfriend in a car accident.
A couple of times each day, I ask myself questions like “how can I be even more relaxed?”.
Or “how can I be even more generous today?”.
I also use a journal where I write questions and answers to better understand myself.
But the question is this:
How can YOU change your life with questions?
What are the questions you can ask yourself?
Let’s find out!
#1: What do you stand for?
Know thyself. Socrates
This first question is one of the most important.
Indeed, knowing who you are and what you stand for is the foundation for your happiness and inner peace.
Otherwise, you will fall for anything.
But the more you know yourself, the calmer you can become.
And the best part?
You stop seeking approval from others.
#2: What is your one overwhelming desire?
You have desires.
You are a biological creature.
Moreover, you are bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages each day telling you you don’t have enough.
But if you care for every desire you have and have no self-discipline, you will chase your tail all your life.
So it comes down to this:
What is your ONE overwhelming desire?
What are you ready to suffer for?
Focus on that and let go of the rest.
#3: If you could have a giant billboard anywhere with anything on it – getting a message out to millions of people – what would it say and why?
This question is from Tim Ferriss’ podcast.
If you can answer this question, you will get a better sense of what’s important to you.
It’s another way to learn about yourself.
And when you find what you value, you stop spending your time and energy on useless stuff.
On my billboard, it would be “Stop chasing happiness and you’ll find it.”
#4: What is your deepest personal value?
Many values are important in life.
But what are the ones that you care about the most?
- Reaching your full potential
- Inner peace
Here’s a challenge for you:
in the list above, choose your top 5 personal values.
Then, from your top 5, choose your top 3. Then choose your top 1.
Once you have a better idea of what your top values are, every decision you’ll make will be easier.
Related: The Most Powerful Word in Your Life (psychologytoday.com)
#5: What are you against? What do you hate the most?
You don’t know what you stand for?
Perhaps it’s easier to know what you are against.
- Social media
Once you know what you’re against it helps you find your purpose in life.
You have “the enemy” and you are the one fighting against it.
You take little (or big) actions each day to improve the way things are.
#6: Who are the people you should spend more time with?
The quality of your life depends largely on the quality of your relationships.
One of the longest studies on happiness conducted by Harvard proves this point.
Thus, one thing you can do is to write the top 5 people you love to be with.
Then, schedule more time with them.
You can also ask yourself the opposite question: Who are the people you should spend less time with?
#7: What gives you energy and how can you do more of this?
You have a limited amount of time and energy each day.
Thus, it’s crucial for your happiness and productivity that you spend them on things you love.
Otherwise, the more you spend time and energy on things you hate, the less satisfying your life will be.
You can also ask yourself the opposite question: What takes away your time and energy and how can you avoid it?
#8: If you could eliminate one bad habit from your life, what would it be?
Habits are everything.
Most of the things you do are habitual.
You don’t even realize you do them.
Your goal is to find the few that drain your energy and don’t serve your future self.
Find THE most useless habit and eliminate it.
Or even better, replace it with a better habit.
#9: What is truly important right now?
99.99% of everything is noise. Michael Saylor
It’s easy to lose track of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Modern society sends us hundreds of distractions every day.
The way to bring back focus into your life is to ask yourself the question: “what is truly important right now?”
And then work on that task until it’s finished.
Remember: you can’t do big things if you’re distracted by small things.
#10: What would you do if you were not scared?
Fear is your default mindset, sadly.
You are hardwired to be pessimistic and fearful.
From an evolutionary standpoint, it was more useful than being optimistic and loving.
But in today’s world, you no longer need to “survive”.
There’s no jungle anymore and being fearful is not useful anymore.
So what do you need to do?
Stop caring what people think of you and be more courageous.
This will make your life more interesting.
#11: How can you feel even more relaxed, peaceful, and content today?
You are used to rushing and being busy all the time.
But life becomes more peaceful when you let go more and when you slow down.
Keep in mind:
you don’t need to be #1 in all areas of your life and you don’t need to have a full calendar.
What if you were even more relaxed and calm?
What if you became less attached to achieving things?
What if you had more space and breathing room in your life?
#12: What would you do differently if your mental and physical health were your priority #1?
Nothing is more important than your health.
It’s more important than:
- your friends
- your family
- your work
When you don’t have health you can’t enjoy any of these.
A sick man only wants one thing; a healthy man wants a thousand things. Confucius
So make sure health becomes your top priority.
Focus on the 3 pillars of health:
- better moving habits
- better sleep
- better diet
#13: How can you be more generous and loving today?
Martin Luther King Jr once said: “What are you doing for others?”
It’s a powerful and deep question.
It forces you to think beyond yourself. It forces you to be more altruist, more helping, and more loving.
Finally, it forces you to be more human and to make the world a better place.
#14: What happened to this person?
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren
Empathy is not easy for most of us.
We are often too busy to stop and listen.
But if you can learn to slow down and put yourself in other people’s shoes, you’ll become more compassionate and tolerant.
After all, who wouldn’t want more tolerance and love toward themselves?
#15: What is your ideal day?
Here’s a fun exercise for you:
- Take a pen and paper (or use your computer or your phone)
- Imagine your ideal day
- Write down the details
- When do you wake up?
- Do you do some meditation? Yoga?
- What do you eat for breakfast?
- Who are you with?
- Where are you?
- Who do you have lunch with?
- Which activities do you do?
- Which places do you discover?
- Do you take some time alone?
- Do you do some exercise? Read a book? Visit a friend?
- Do you listen to your favorite movie? A new one?
- Do you take a long walk in your neighborhood?
- Do you drink your favorite tea?
- Do you take a hot bath?
- What time do you go to bed?
Then, once you have your ideal day written, take specific actions to add those ideal days more often in your life.
#16: What is one thing you can do today that will make tomorrow easier?
Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life. Jerzey Gregorek
This question is from Shane Parrish.
Basically, if you always make the easy choices, you’ll make your life harder tomorrow.
- Do you eat chips instead of vegetables?
- Do you watch a movie instead of doing exercises?
- Do you avoid a hard conversation with your friend?
choices with short-term pains often lead to long-term gains.
#17: Can your current habits carry you to your desired future?
This question is from the habits expert James Clear.
Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds.
Can your current habits lead you to your goal?
Are you going to bed late? Are you eating poorly? Are you avoiding exercise? Are you lifting weights? Are you stressed out?
If you answered yes to any of these, you know you need to change something in your life.
#18: How can you simplify your life?
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius
Nature is simple. Life is simple.
But humans are not.
We are the only living creature that wants to be something else.
Moreover, your ego and society demand:
- You show people your “status”
- You care about everything
- You become busy forever
- You travel the world
- You buy new clothes
- You buy a big house
- You buy new cars
If you want to improve your life, learn to restrain yourself.
Stop chasing every desire that has been planted in your mind.
#19: What should exist?
A good question to spark your creativity and your entrepreneurial spirit is “what should exist?”.
Everything around you started as an idea to make the world better.
And if we are not here to make the world better for others, I don’t know what it is.
You could also ask yourself: “What’s missing in the world?”
#20: How do you want the world to be different because you lived in it?
Now that you get a better sense of who you are, what you like, and what you dislike, it’s time to think further.
What kind of impact do you want to have on the world?
Do you want the world to be:
- More relaxed?
- More beautiful?
- More caring for one another?
#21: If you were a character in a book, what would your readers be yelling at you to do?
This question from Eliezer Yudkowsky helps you gain perspective.
Sometimes you feel stuck and miserable and you don’t have a clue how to change your life.
By taking a step back and asking yourself this powerful question, it’s easier to see the next step.
So, what would your readers be yelling at YOU?
Finally, what’s the best way to apply these questions?
- Use them as prompts for your journal. Journaling has been found effective to increase well-being. It’s also a good way to think.
- Read them just before going to bed or right after waking up. This is the ideal moment since you are more easily influenced by words when you are calm.
- You can also try asking these questions during meditation.
- Repetition is vital. The more you ask yourself these questions, the more you “groove” your mind, and the more your life changes.
- Emotion is vital too. The more emotional you are when asking yourself these, the more impact they will have.
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Hope you liked these deep life-changing questions. If you did, please share them with a friend today!
Which questions do you usually ask yourself? What’s your favorite question? Please let us know in the comment section below!