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24 Questions That Awaken The Real You

24 Questions That Awaken The Real You

I never used to ask these hit-harder-than-Tyson questions of myself. Or perhaps more accurately I’d occasionally ask them or they’d pop, unwanted, into my head, but I’d always quickly remove them from consciousness. I didn’t want to “go there”. Because I was scared. Intuitively, I knew these were important questions. Questions that would take me forward and jolt me outside my current reality. But I was comfortable drifting along the peripheries of my potential, even if I wasn’t totally happy, so why would I want to risk that? But… I had to risk it. I’d always wanted more than “normal”; better than “average”. I wanted to be successful. I really did. And these questions must’ve been popping into my head for a reason, with the most logical explanation being that I wanted an answer to them. When I really thought about it, I was desperate for an answer to these kinds of questions. I knew they’d set me free, because that’s what being honest does. You no longer hide from yourself. It can be a little painful at first, but what’s more painful: asking these questions of yourself now, or never asking them and risking never living the life you’ve always wanted to? Only you know if you’re being honest or not. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. They just become questions you ask of yourself all the time and give true answers to. My life changed when I started asking these questions and being honest with myself. I realized (admitted) that I just wasn’t that close to where I wanted to be. I realized (admitted) I was using excuses. And I realized (admitted) that I’d never get to where I wanted to be if I kept this up. It was time to make a choice. One that I could be proud of. One that I could tell my kids to make one day. That choice? The choice to make progress, not excuses. To pursue my dream life. To be who I really was. Isn’t now the time to be the real you?   So, why 24 questions? Because that’s how old I am. The actual questions aren’t quite as arbitrary. Promise. Here we go:

What would happen if you just went for it?

Deep down, you want to go for it. But you’re scared. The good news: even if you’re scared, you still have a choice. Fear doesn’t run your life; you do.

Who are you?

Write down a list of what’s important to you about life.

Who are you really?

What was important to you before other people told you what was important to you?

What’s your deepest, most secret desire?

You know it’s there. Just be honest and admit it. You’ll feel amazing… and free.

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If you knew you couldn’t fail, what’s the benefit of not beginning?

Bet you can’t think of a good answer for this.

If not now, when?

The past is gone forever and the future is anything but guaranteed. What are you waiting for?

Who’s permission do you need?

You know you only need your own permission, but do you seek someone else to tell you it’s ok?

What’s stopping you?

If you haven’t started working towards what you truly want, something is.

Who or what is holding you back?

The only answer to this: you.

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If you don’t know what you want, why on earth aren’t you trying to find out?

Unless you’re content to just drift through life, never knowing where you’re going, and never being truly fulfilled.

When you know what you truly want, will you actually do anything about it?

Most people ignore it or talk themselves out of doing it.

What’s important to you?

Make a list. Be honest with yourself.

What’s really important to you?

Seriously. Be honest. Otherwise this is pointless.

If you wrote a list of everything that’s important to you, would you even be on it?

If you’re not, is there a good reason for that?

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If you don’t prioritize yourself, how will you ever be happy?

It’s not going to happen by accident.

What’s the excuse you use the most?

Would to tell your best friend to use that excuse?

When will you stop using your excuses?

Excuses stop you from getting what you truly want. If you’re happy with that, then keep using them.

Do you feel good when you know you’re using excuses?

I’m guessing you don’t. Just a hunch. And I bet you feel great when you make progress. Just saying.

Will you ever get what you want if you keep making excuses?

Make all the excuses you want. Just make sure you don’t wake up one day and finally admit that’s what you’ve been doing.

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Why won’t you just be honest with yourself?

Lying to yourself is easy most of the time because we’re so practiced at it. But it’s not the right thing, and you know it. It might be painful to be honest right now in this moment, but it’s much more painful to lie to yourself forever.

How long can you go on doing what you’re doing?

6 months? 1 year? 5 years? If you don’t take action and do something different, nothing will change.

When you’re totally honest with yourself, what will happen?

Great things, right?

Do you choose comfort over happiness?

There’s a big difference. Find out what that difference means for you, and what you’re currently choosing.

And, last but not least:

If any of these have resonated, are you gonna make an excuse or actually do something about it?

The alternative is to sit there and do absolutely nothing different. Procrastinate. Get annoyed with yourself. Wish things were different. Even though things need to change. Even though you know you’re choosing comfort over happiness. But, let me ask you – what would the real you do? If these questions somehow aren’t enough for you, here’s some more: 20 Inspiring Questions to Help You Find Your Dream And Change Your Life

Featured photo credit: Bernat Casero via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

Reference

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