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30 Thought-Provoking Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Day

30 Thought-Provoking Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Day

Thought-provoking questions are deep inquiries that shine a light on the essence of living and awaken our full potential as human beings. Voltaire, the writer, historian, and philosopher of the French Enlightenment era, admonishes us to judge a man by his questions rather than his answers: you’ll get to know someone better by asking them the right questions. In the same way, you know yourself better by asking yourself the right questions. People who continually ask themselves questions that provoke introspection will, in effect, create a foundation for a happier life full of purpose and meaning.

The Law of Cause and Effect states that if you put out good thoughts accompanied by good actions, you will receive good things. Asking yourself thought-provoking questions cultivates good thoughts and allows for self reflection. It helps you maintain a conscious awareness of where you are, where you have been and where you intend to go. Through self reflection you are able to see, organize and preserve your dreams, desires and goals. This conscious awareness is vital in life and opens doors for many good things to come your way.

If you would like to maximize the benefits of self reflection, ask yourself questions that provoke your mind and force you to reconsider the way you live and the way you look at the world. The best questions to ask usher in a new perspective and remind us who we are, as well as who we aspire to be. They are questions that tend to become inner voices of wisdom, guiding us through the turbulent journey of life.

These 30 thought-provoking questions I am sharing with you today have no right or wrong answers. Asking them is the answer.

1. Who am I really?

2. What worries me most about the future?

3. If this were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?

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4. What am I really scared of?

5. Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?

6. If not now, then when?

7. What matters most in my life?

8. What am I doing about the things that matter most in my life?

9. What do I matter?

10. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?

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11. Have I made someone smile today?

12. What have I given up on?

13. When did I last push the boundaries of my comfort zone?

14. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?

15. What small act of kindness was I once shown that I will never forget?

16. How shall I live, knowing I will die?

17. What do I need to change about myself?

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18. Is it more important to love or be loved?

19. How many of my friends would I trust with my life?

20. Who has had the greatest impact on my life?

21. Would I break the law to save a loved one?

22. Would I steal to feed a starving child?

23. What do I want most in life?

24. What is life calling of me?

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25. Which is worse: failing or never trying?

26. If I try to fail, and succeed, which have I done?

27. What’s the one thing I’d like others to remember about me at the end of my life?

28. Does it really matter what others think about me?

29. To what degree have I actually controlled the course my life has taken?

30. When it’s all said and done, will I have said more than I’ve done?

Some of these questions might make us uncomfortable at times, but it’s important to remember they give us valuable insight on ourselves and guide us to live in ways that bring the most fulfillment and joy. These are questions worth asking every day.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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