The 5 Most Important Questions you Can Ever Ask Yourself
What are my Passions?
Our passions are the things that inspire us to greatness, they are the things that make us get up in the morning with a burning desire to do them.They are the things which define us. They become deeply ingrained within our being and are a part of who we are. They are the first things other people will think of when they think about us; they are what differentiate us from the mundanity of sameness.
Constantly following your passion allows you to experience personal joy. The purpose of life in my mind is to simply be happy; following your passions is the smoothest route to that level of personal satisfaction. By knowing what our true passion is we can derive purpose for our lives which in turn gives what we are doing value. Purpose and value are inexplicably linked, if what you are doing is your passion it is inherently valuable to you. Uncompromisingly pursuing something is incredibly brave, it is why it must be something you are passionate about. It will allow you to become ignorant of the questioning, criticism or dissenting voices as you spend your time doing it. Not enough people are brave enough to inexorably chase their passions.
What are my Goals?
What is your end goal? What does winning look like? If you were to create a plan of everything you want to achieve what would it involve and how would you get there? By creating a road map to success you can effectively ascertain the route you will need to follow to get there. Planning is the most effective tool at ensuring we remain on track. By fixing a point X on a map you can look at how others have achieved similar feats and utilise that as a map to follow. Technology has made this easier than at any time in history.
By establishing goals your focus becomes distinctly fixed on your currently reality and allows you to become cognisant of your inadequacies. Instead of pursuing a multitude of different avenues we become focused on achieving the things we have set our minds to. By creating goals we effectively limit our options, forgoing variety in order to be specifically and single-mindedly focused on the outcomes we have defined.
Am I Happy?
In life the barometer for success is perfectly simple. You are either happy or you’re not. The perception of personal success can come in many forms but the reality is straightforward. External perspective misconstrues the reality of our own experiences. People see the things that we have or what we are doing not who we are. They make assumptions on our success based on the size of ticks alongside the expected experiences and outputs of life.
- Are you the owner of your own house?
- Are you married?
- Do you have any kids?
- Do you have a good job?
- Are you rich?
- Are you well educated?
- Are you powerful?
- Do you holiday frequently?
- Do people respect you?
- Do a lot of people care about you?
The bigger the better, the more we have the greater admiration for what we have achieved. Life is distilled down to its constituent parts which distort the only thing that matters. What people see is the tiniest sliver of the idiosyncrasies which characterise our unique experiences through the materialistic elements of our lives. To assume a massive tick next to all of the above questions solves all misses the point. You can have every single one of them while remaining desperately unhappy while equally you can have none of the above and be perfect content and happy.
The ingredients then are simple. Passion and purpose are the most fulfilling routes to happiness and joy. If you pursue the things you care about most, which simultaneously affirm a sense of achievement, advancement, or significance, you have all the elements which enable success. Spending your most precious resource, time, doing the things you love, perhaps with the people you care about most, means you can’t lose.
Being happy is life’s biggest risk. It takes tremendous courage and bravery to be exactly who you want to be without compromises. It’s incredibly easy to reign in our own desires in order to placate others and fit in but to do so would be to betray your one opportunity at life and success.
So be bold, be brave and be happy.
What Would I Regret?
If my life were to end tomorrow what would I regret? Would you rather live with the regret of doing something and failing, fully aware of the outcome of your actions, or forever wonder at what may have been had you acted? Doing something may result in failure but it affords you the opportunity to learn and improve from what you have experienced and critically improve performance thereafter. Failure is merely the discovery of one way of doing something that doesn’t work. Regret is never exploring any means of achieving anything.
Doing nothing can only ever result in regret. It can never lead to learning or creating anything of value and therefore regret is debilitating and paralysing. Failure is an essential part of iterative progress. It informs cumulative advancement and helps achieve significant and unprecedented development. Regret is symptomatic of being too scared to even try.
Success and failure are inexplicably linked. Success can be arrived at after failure but regret never leads to the creation of anything or even the potential for success. Successful failure can be measured in actions and what you have learned whereas failure without action leaves the possibility of regret. The fear of failure can be paralysing. Don’t let it be. You should be afraid of failing, but you should be even more afraid of failing to try.
I can openly confess I’m afraid to fail, but I am for more afraid that I will fail to accomplish anything of significance. Failure is not a sign that your ideas are doomed but as a necessary step toward success. Failure is about learning, regret is about never knowing.
Bravery is accepting failure as an opportunity. Regret is lacking the courage to act.
What do I not Know?
The single most important skill you will ever learn is in itself an oxymoron. It is dependent on your ability to vanquish procrastination and achieve something today with view to tackling the unknown that comes tomorrow. The ability to employ autodidacticism in your every day life is the single most valuable skill you can ever acquire and employ. Self-directed learning enables you to learn the skills that you are most passionate about and employ them in innovative way to achieve your goals and ambitions. We no longer need schools, universities or teachers to spoon feed us the information you are paying to acquire. Go out and try finding what interests you and expand your horizons through learning.
And knowledge is the key that releases your own potential. By accepting your own inadequcies you can understand the areas you must improve in order to flourish. It’s no use ignorantly marching on in the hope that you trip over the things you must learn. You must actively pursue them.
We are told to cease the day but how many people do? How many people would be completely honest with themselves and admit they create little of value? What have you done in the last week, month or even year? I know I didn’t for the longest time, I couldn’t. I was scared of the facts.
Facing up to it was painful, it hurt more than anything I’ve ever been endured and it was self-inflicted. Like a gunshot to my own ego, I frantically tried to dispel the myths I had constructed to protect myself from my own inadequacies, and there were plenty. I was wasting my one wild and precious life. I realised I lacked passion, direction and commitment. Everything in life had been easy because it just happened. I hadn’t impacted or controlled anything I could have. I never pursued the things that truly interested and inspired me.
Life’s short, you can either endure it or experience it.
It all comes down to whether you can be honest enough to see what’s right in front of you.
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