post written by: Marc Chernoff

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask Yourself


10 Critical Questions You Must Ask Yourself

Wisdom is not about knowing all the answers; it’s about asking the right questions.  In the long run, the simple questions you ask yourself on a regular basis will determine the type of person you become.

So today, ask yourself…

  1. What do I appreciate about my life? – Think of your lifestyle as a diet.  You fill it with the fuel that’s going to keep you performing at your highest level.  Supplementing your daily routine with positivity can only make you stronger.  Because once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you will start having more positive results.  And over time, as this habit helps you reduce stress, release your hurt, and not take things so personally, you will not only feel better, you will look younger and live longer too.  Read The Happiness Project.
  2. Am I spending time with the right people? – There are over seven billion people in the world right now; don’t let a handful of negative ones ruin your happiness.  No, you can’t choose every person you meet in life, but you can choose who you spend your time with.  So be thankful for the people who walk into your life and make it better, but also be thankful for freedom to walk away from the ones who don’t.
  3. What are my gut instincts telling me? – Never apologize for what you feel and what you don’t feel; that’s a betrayal of your truth.  No matter how much advice people give you, sometimes you have to feel things out for yourself, make decisions on your own, experience things firsthand, and build your own conclusions from the ground up the old fashion way.
  4. What can I do right now to move forward with my goals? – If you don’t like where you are, then change it.  You are not a tree.  It’s not enough to just have potential, you also need to figure out what you want to do with it, and then you need to take action.  There are no ‘shoulds,’ just free choices.  Decide to be one of those people who pull it off.  Do what you say you’re going to do.  Rise to your potential.  Read Getting Things Done.
  5. Am I selling myself short? – If you’re not being treated with love and respect, check your price tag.  Perhaps you subconsciously marked yourself down.  Because it’s YOU who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you are willing to accept for your time and attention.  So get off the clearance rack.  If you don’t value yourself, no one else will either.
  6. How am I affecting the people in my life? – Your words are truly powerful.  So when you speak, make sure you use your words to lift people up, and never put them down.  Respect people’s feelings, because even if it doesn’t mean anything to you, it might mean everything to them.  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring – all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
  7. Am I holding on to something I need to let go of? – Throughout your lifetime people will upset you, disrespect you, and treat you poorly.  Let them be; let karma deal with the cruel things they have done.  Hatred and negativity filling your heart and mind will only consume your potential.  You will begin to heal and grow emotionally when you let go of these past hurts, excuse the people who have wronged you, and forgive yourself for your misjudgments.
  8. Who deserves to be forgiven? – Whoever said revenge is sweet never tasted the sweetness of forgiveness.  We often talk about how we’re better off without some people in our lives, and this can be true.  But you should still build forgiveness into your character.  Leave enough room in your heart to forgive those that deserve another chance.  Sometimes people make terrible mistakes and learn from them; and sometimes relationships temporarily split only to reunite twice as strong as they were before.
  9. What are my fears stopping me from doing? – You gain strength, confidence, and emotional growth by living through every experience in which you are forced to stop and look fear in the face.  And once the face-off is over and you realize you’re still breathing, you must say to yourself, “I have lived through this and I am OK.  I am capable of dealing with the next impossible thing that comes my way.”  Read Awaken the Giant Within.
  10. In ten years from now, am I going to wish I gave it one more shot? – If there’s something you really want, fight for it.  Don’t give up no matter how hopeless it seems right now.  Remember, the best things in life don’t come easy, but they are worth the effort.  If you keep going, someday you will be able to look back over your life, smile, and say, “I never thought I could do it and I did.  I overcame all the people, heartaches, and challenges that tried to hold me back.”

Photo by: Ethan Lofton

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35 Comments

  • Good timing! I’m struggling with my ‘action’ these days, and these questions are sure to help. Thanks.

  • I’m now 65 and these questions were enlightening. Great reminders - many of which I wished I had asked myself in my 20s and 30s. At my age so many turning points… Did I make all the right turns and ask all the right questions? Certainly not. But it’s been a good journey.

  • This is a great post with ten inspiring questions to reflect upon. One by itself is worth thinking about for days. Thank you for the push in the direction of keeping a good perspective on what is most important in life.

  • These are really meaningful questions to ponder. If we think and reflect upon things on a regular basis, life becomes more meaningful and we become more happy. Lovely post.

  • Honestly, I rarely think about #3 even though its happening all the time, and I often feel ashamed of my choices. #6 is the other one that spoke to me. It’s important to feel what others feel with your words and attitude. Thanks for the reminders… it’s always great to hear from you Marc :)

  • Motivating questions. And the explanations are are all true. Thank you! :)

  • These are great questions to ask on a daily basis. In fact, you answer them and then turn them into an eBook which could lead to speaking engagements. All of us can learn from each other. Do you have the courage to open up and share your life experiences? If you do, you could help millions of people reach their full potential.

  • Good one! I especially needed to hear #10. I do not want to look back on this time and the project I am working on now and wish I would have given a little more or not given up. Thoughts like these keep me going steadfast. Thanks!

  • Awesome questions and answers! Please add a pinterest button so I can link to your blogs easier and share. I love your stuff!

  • It’s really wonderful to wake up and read my dose of positive karma in the morning. Thank you for all the joy and insight you bring into the world every day.

  • “Forgive myself for my misjudgments…” Thank you for that advice. I need to. I will now give myself permission. I guess I just needed to see it written.

  • Congratulations on creating another insightful post. It IS amazing. I just love reading it your writings each week.

  • Questions packed with wisdom. Love this!

  • Thanks! and I will remind myself often: “You are not a tree”—sometimes I think that I cannot change my mind because I have already put my roots down in some other area, and have changed my place too many times already. But being stuck just because I think I “should” do something, or not do something, has gotten me nowhere. It is time to get moving.

  • I was just talking with a co-worker about how I am cycling through my usual unmotivated, don’t want to do anything phase, and then I looked in my email and found this blog post. You have been a source of inspiration in the past, but today I believe that your words have come to you just for me. I didn’t know what to do to skip the downturn, but now I am just going to press forward with some positive thoughts, some positive spoken words and read this again and I will be ready to take on the world. Blessings.

  • Wow. All the questions are enlightening me. These questions are a must to ask in one’s life on a recurring basis. Thanks MA-Hack Life.

  • Powerful words. Powerful questions. Thank you.

  • I can well imagine that like many who see your large following, rarely take the time to post a comment. This post isn’t more exceptional than the rest but I felt I needed to say that each of them are what we need on that particular day. They are all exceptional and well thought out. I want you to know that even though we don’t always comment, we are in deep appreciation of that bit of motivation coming from you. I surround myself with it as a buffer to a negatively influencing world. Keep them coming and I for one as well as my sister will remain in gratitude. Thank you.

  • A really nice piece. I think I need to ponder these questions. I’ve been back and forth so many times in my life. Sadly, with each passing year I haven’t had the change I’ve been seeking; I’m not the man I wanna be. Please Marc, could you provide me with a good article with actionable steps to help me change for the better? I’d be really grateful.

  • Another great piece, Marc! These are just the questions that I need to ask myself right now. You answered my prayers again. Thank you for sharing.

  • I love your blogs! They have been such an inspiration to me getting through the hard times of this crazy world we live in.

    I was wondering if you could post a list of books that you have recommended throughout the year? I know there is a small list on the right side of your blog, but it would be nice to be able to search for a book on a certain topic. Thanks much!

  • Marc, thank you for your wonderful and uplifting post. I always look forward to your articles, and this one especially spoke to my heart. Thanks so much!

  • Thank you so much for this!

    I’ve shared it with many people, including some of my clients.

    But the point that stuck out most for me today was #3. I often have forced myself to do what my brain told me was “right” when my heart was not in it.

    I’m learning to listening to my heart more, and enjoying the greater sense of integration, freedom, and authenticity as there is more congruence between my internal and external worlds.

    To your brilliance!
    Elizabeth Grace Saunders

  • I am so inspired by this article. Great writing and questions.

    You write such inspirational ideas and quiet often. How do you do it time and again? :)

    Cheers,

    Hatice

  • Number 7 is a powerful one- just what I need to focus on… Thank you!

  • They are all key questions to keep asking oneself! I also often ask myself what I am tolerating in my life, and if i really need to do so, as well as if I am satisfied with my life and what could make it better. From that point, I can set up new goals to keep focusing on what would bring me to a higher level of happiness

  • I am actively working on #5.

  • Truly powerful blog. “The Happiness Project” is now on my booklist, thanks.
    I can’t help but to find it amusing that I’m still surprised and delighted by how simple and beautiful the answers can be if you can just take the time to ask the right questions, or just to ask an age-old question a little differently. I think that is something that your blog does VERY well. Posing questions, sharing insight, offering the inspiration that gives people the desire to want to pause and ponder and then seek the answers for themselves.
    I always learn something more about myself and life after reading your blogs. Really grateful for this :)

  • Great posts as always. I don’t know how you guys know what’s really bothering me and say just what I need to hear. And it’s so authentic! Self help seems to run together after a while with so called motivators hashing the same stale thoughts. But your material really does come from the heart and is fresh and relevant.

  • Thank You.

  • Marc & Angel,

    Once again a fantastic article..

    (1) I appreciate my friends, family & the many experiences I have had throughout my life.
    (2) I have been blessed to have many wonderful people in my life & as well I am grateful for those who have not been so positive because of them I am a stronger person..
    (3) As far as my gut instincts I didn’t pay attention in regards to bettering myself as far as a career. I am 43 & knew there were things in my life that needed change however I choose to sweep my instincts under the rug & settled for less.
    etc…

  • Dear Marc & Angel,

    Thank you once again for another wonderful article. I am 43 yr. old single mother of 2 AWESOME children who has always wanted to create a better life for them then what I had growing up. This being said I read your articles everytime you post and am INSPIRED each day I read them. Thru your articles I have learned so much!

    :FORGIVENESS-My Mother & I have had strained relations all of my life due to conditions she placed on our relationship but in reading your aritcles we have made a mends and she is now a part of my childrens and my life with no conditions…

    :MOVING FORWARD-I have made some decisions over the last 4 months that have lessened the burdens on my shoulders that only I could change. Our home is a much happier one now.

    :BREAKING OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE-I have worked all of my life and never had any goals set for myself. I just went to work earned the paycheck pd. the bills and stayed stagnant. Yesterday I had some issues transpire at work once again as usual I felt I needed to vent.. During the venting process I came to the realization with the help of a friend and my sister that I have to change yet another thing in my life as change is always needed in order to move FORWARD. I have known over the years this was needed but let fear of change get the best of me.. Not anymore.. So last night I decided to enroll for some online classes..

    :LIFE IS NEVER EASY IT TAKES WORK AND DETERMINATION-It may have taken me a lifetime but there is NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT to take these steps necessary to better myself.

    :KEEP POSITIVE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE GET RID OF THE NEGATIVITY-I had been in a relationship with a man for 7 1/2 years of which was full of NEGATIVITY. I read, prayed and thought many times over how to go about changing this situation to a POSITIVE one. I had for many yrs. been fearful of moving on mostly because of my insecurities of being alone. This I know is not true with God on my side, your wonderful articles, friends, family & my new improved motivated self I know I can do this.. I know everyday will not be easy but with the tools I have been given I will know how to cope with each situation as it may come up…

    Thank you,
    Aila

  • Marc and Angel

    Thanks so much for these ten insightful questions.

  • These are great questions to reflect with.

    I have a similar set of questions that I review on a monthly basis.

    Something else I would highly recommend is to keep a journal. Looking back on it over the years will really open your eyes as to how much you have grown and developed.

    Thank you Marc & Angel once again for this.

  • The opening line reminded me of something one of my college professors used to say during every class:

    “It’s not about knowing everything, it’s about knowing where to find everything…quickly.”

    He always laughed when he said it too, funny or not. :)

    Anyway, asking the right questions is definitely more valuable than knowing more than others around you.

    This was a great post as usual, thanks!
    Kyle

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