Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful
- Margaret J. Wheatley
Humans are creatures of habits, and we tend to love routine. However, this can lead to plodding through life without stopping to think about the direction we're actually headed. Self-reflection is something that we should all try to do more of. After all, we only get one shot at this life, so why not spend a few moments asking yourself some hard questions. You may not like the answer, but that could be the beginning of a spark that changes the course of your life in a very meaningful way.
How to use these questions
These questions are very personal, but if there is someone that you feel you can confide in, it may be good to share this article with them and discuss some of the questions that strike out to you.
At Brightful we believe in fostering deeper relationships with those around you. If these questions are a bit too intense to ask your co-workers to break the ice, you'll find a wide range of different questions, ranging from light-hearted to deep, over at Brightful Meeting Games.
If these questions resonates with you, you may also find our list of Deep Would You Rather Questions, Deep and Meaningful Questions and Philosophical Questions equally thought provoking.
1. Do you feel stuck?
If you are bored and uninspired, you may feel stuck. If you are unhappy with your situation, you may feel stuck. If you are unhappy with your job, you may feel stuck. If every time you turn around someone is telling you what to do, you may feel stuck.
2. If you could travel back in time to the day you were born, what would you do differently?
How do you think you would change the direction of your life if you could have done it over again? Would you have taken more risks? Would you have gone to more parties? Would you have stayed in school? Would you have gone to school at all?
3. Are you happy?
Sometimes we are so unhappy we don’t even realize it. We can’t even see a way out of the mess we’ve created. Or sometimes we’ve been so unhappy for so long we forget what it feels like to be happy. We’ve settled for less than we deserve.
4. Is there anything about your life that you regret?
Most of us can think of something we’ve done or said that we would like to take back. If you look closely you’ll find the answer to this question is a little more complicated than you may think.
5. What do you have to do to make your life complete?
Do you have to finish school? Do you have to find the right person to marry? Do you have to get a job? Do you have to have kids? Do you have to buy a house? Do you have to have a perfect body? Do you have to have the perfect figure? Do you have to learn to play the guitar? Do you have to go to Disneyland?
6. Do you feel like you’re on a merry-go-round?
Are you spinning your wheels, going nowhere? Are you stuck in a cycle of events that never seem to come to an end? Are you repeating the same mistakes over and over again but not learning from them? Have you found yourself in the same situation over and over again but in different circumstances?
7. Are you living for the future or the past?
When you look back on your life, is it the past or the future that excites you? Most of us value the past over the future. We remember the past with fondness and nostalgia. The future, on the other hand, is something we fear. But the future is where everything we want is waiting for us.
8. Have you ever found yourself in the wrong place at the right time?
What have you done when you’ve found yourself in the wrong place at the right time? Maybe the circumstances just seemed utterly stacked against you. Did you take the opportunity or did you pass it up?
9. Are you a genius at something?
We all have the potential to be a genius. A genius is someone who is capable of doing, creating, or thinking of something extraordinary. A genius is someone who can see the world differently. Perhaps there hidden potential in you that you haven't nurtured yet.
10. Have you ever been successful?
What have you done when you’ve been successful? Did you take the opportunity or did you pass it up?
11. Have you ever been successful at something you didn’t really like?
Have you ever succeeded at something that you had no interest in doing? Maybe you started off passionate about something but slowly lost interest
12. Do you feel like a failure?
Sometimes when we’ve failed at something we begin to develop a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think of ourselves as failures then we begin to act like failures, and soon enough we are.
13. Have you ever been successful without working hard?
Have you ever seen someone who works hard to get what they want? Can you tell which people in your life work hard to get what they want and which people just get lucky?
14. Are you the person you want to be?
Do you want to be like everyone else or do you want to be different? Do you want to be liked by everyone or do you want to be respected by a few? Do you want to be ordinary or do you want to make a difference?
15. Have you ever been in a dream in your life?
Have you ever had a dream that you thought was impossible to achieve, but you achieved it anyway? Maybe something that seemed to come effortlessly, and you felt like you were on Cloud 9. How long did that moment last?
16. Do you have a dream that you’re afraid to achieve?
Most of us have a fear of failure. What about a fear of success? What would happen if you achieved your dream? What would you have to sacrifice? What would you have to give up?
17. Do you have a story to tell? What is that story?
The story of your life is the most important story you will ever tell. It is the story of how your life became what it is today. The story of who you are today is the result of what you did yesterday.
18. Have you ever been on a quest?
What happens when you go on a personal quest? Do you discover something about yourself? What sparked the need to go on the quest? What were you looking to find?
19. Have you ever been on a quest that you didn’t like the end result?
What happens when you go on a quest that you don’t like the end result? Do you quit? Do you go on another quest?
20. Have you ever been on a quest for something you wanted so badly you were willing to risk everything to get it?
What happens when you go on a quest for something you want so badly that you are willing to risk everything to get it? Do you get it?
21. Have you achieved your quest in life?
What has happened when you’ve achieved your quest in life? Have you been happy?
22. Have you ever been on a journey that you didn’t want to take?
Do you have a journey in life that you don’t want to take but you know you have to? Would it have been more comfortable to stay where you were, but you were compelled to take those steps?
23. Have you ever been on a journey that you didn’t know what it was about?
Have you ever been on a journey that you didn’t know where it would lead? Have you ever had the feeling that you were being guided on your journey? Do you value the journey more than the destination?
24. Have you ever felt like you were born to do something great?
Have you ever felt like you were put on this earth for a reason? Are your circumstances, talents and ambitions something that could only happen once in a generation? What is it that you were born to do?
25. What is the meaning of life?
This is a question that may have a multitude of answers – and that's okay! What is the meaning of your life?
26. What is one thing you can do today that will make your tomorrow better?
What can you do today to make tomorrow better? For example, can you go to the gym, meditate, or even just eat a healthy breakfast? This is a great question to ask yourself because it helps you to focus on the present moment.
27. What makes you feel alive?
This question is especially important to ask yourself if you're feeling down or uninspired. What makes you feel ALIVE?
28. What is your greatest fear?
This is a question that many people avoid because they don't want to face it. However, you should ask yourself what you're most afraid of in order to overcome it.
29. What are you willing to do to make your dreams a reality?
If you want to achieve something that you've never achieved before, you must make your dreams a reality. This is a scary and difficult question to ask yourself, but it's necessary.
30. What can you do to make your life better?
Again, this is a question that should be answered every day. What can you do to make your life better?
31. What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
This is a question that is best answered with a list and a timeline!
32. What do you want to accomplish in the next ten years?
What do you want to accomplish in the next ten years? This is a great question to ask yourself if you want to have a better sense of direction.