“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
It’s not the answers you get from others, but the questions you ask yourself that will help you grow stronger. In fact, the simple questions you ask yourself on a daily basis will determine the type of person you become in the long run.
And that’s precisely why we recorded today’s video blog post – to help you embark on a positive journey of self-inquiry.
Video Blog Post:
3 Questions (video transcript):
Keep in mind that these questions have no right or wrong answers…
Because sometimes asking the right questions IS the answer.
1. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?
Remember, the way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will. So treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Stop discrediting yourself for everything you aren’t, and start giving yourself credit for everything you ARE. We have to learn to be our own best friends, because sometimes we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.
Honestly, the amount of abuse you tolerate in your relationships is often equal to the amount of abuse you heap on yourself. If you are used to telling yourself that you’re unattractive, that you are destined to fail, and that you’re not capable of performing in the world without someone holding your hand, then you will accept and feel most comfortable in relationships with people who reinforce these same negative beliefs.
Because that’s what careless words do – they clutter your mind and make you love yourself and life a little less.
So when you’re hanging out by yourself, watch how you talk to yourself. Watch your thoughts. Keep in mind that it is only ever our own thoughts that hurt us. It’s how we choose to think about it all. You know this is true. You think 60,000 thoughts a day. Don’t waste fifty nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine of them on limited, negative thinking.
In fact, review your self-talk right now. How well have you chosen the words you’ve recently used to talk to yourself? Have you put them to positive or negative use? If I eavesdropped on your self-talk a minute ago, would I have heard statements that empower happiness, or statements that refute it?
The bottom line is that your relationship with yourself is the closest and most important relationship you will ever, ever have. So let me ask you this: When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters? When was the last time someone told you that you did a great job, or took you someplace special to celebrate one of your small, everyday victories, simply because they know you deserve it? When was the last time that “someone” was YOU? (Read The Mastery of Love.)
2. If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?
Think long and hard. And when your answer is NO for too many days in a row, you know it’s time for a change.
And this is an interesting conversation, because we are all aware deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to every one of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to reality and how the world really is.
So LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take positive action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step in the direction of your dreams ANYWAY.
You’ve got to take that step. Because sadly, there are far too many people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize absolutely everything. Don’t be one of them! You have to live your own life your own way. That’s all there is to it. Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for something that makes us feel alive. It’s your duty to find it and keep it lit. You’ve got to stop caring so much about what everyone else wants for you, and start actually living for yourself.
Find your love, your talents, your passions, and embrace them. Don’t hide behind other people’s decisions. Don’t let others tell you what you want. Design and experience YOUR life! The life you create from doing something that moves you is far better than the life you get from sitting around wishing you were doing it. So do something today, and every day, that moves you, even if you can only spare ten minutes here and there.
3. What are you holding on to that you need to let go of?
It happens to you slowly as you grow. You discover more about who you are and what you want, and then you realize that there are changes you need to make. The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits. The people you’ve known forever no longer see things the way you do. So you cherish all the great memories, but find yourself in desperate need of moving on.
Some things simply are NOT meant to be. Everything from your past does not belong in your present. To hold on to relationships and circumstances that have already moved on without you, is to stay stuck in a place and time that no longer exists. Moving on doesn’t mean you erase or completely forget the wonderful things from your past, it just means that you find a positive way of surviving without them in your present.
Truth be told, we all have a story. We have all gone through something that has changed us in a way that we could never go back to who we once were. In life, this kind of change is inevitable. Everything around you is impermanent – your body, your possessions, your relationships, and so forth. You don’t have control over every little thing that happens to you, but you do have control over how you decide to internalize it.
Pay as much attention to the changes that are working positively in your life as you do to those changes that are giving you trouble. Appreciate how the unexpected is sometimes better than what you expected. And above all, stop stressing over what’s behind you. The end of something good is always the beginning of something great. Say to yourself: “Dear Past, thank you for all the life lessons you have taught me. Dear Present, I am ready now!” Because a priceless new beginning always occurs at the point you thought would be the end of everything.
So don’t sweat the small stuff. Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Work diligently. Then let go, and let what’s meant to be, BE. (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the “Simplicity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
The floor is yours…
As you know, Marc and I are committed to asking the right questions along with you. In fact, we believe self-inquiry is one of the surest paths to personal freedom and positive change. And this is precisely why we ask one new thought-provoking question at the end of every one of our blog posts here on Marc and Angel Hack Life.
So today, we challenge you to a little self-inquiry starting with the three questions we discussed in this post. Please leave a comment below and let us know what your initial reaction was to each question.
Photo by: Dhilung Kirat