These are some questions to answer when you want to start a project or make a change or figure out what’s wrong with your life or your career.
Number 6 Will Blow Your Mind!
Just kidding. They all will blow your mind if you’re able to dig in and answer them. I think there are always things that will be revealed when you look into these questions. New paths will open up and you’ll find new sources of power and freedom.
What are you not willing to do? (Or what are you not willing to give up?)
Most good things cost something. To be in good shape you have to spend time to work out and not eat everything you see. To have a clean house you have to spend time cleaning it (or spend money hiring someone to clean it for you).
A lot of people I talk to have goals that they think they want to reach but there are crucial activities or that are necessary to reaching that goal that they aren’t willing to give up and, in many cases, they’re not aware of that unwillingness. A good friend of mine would like to married and have a family. The problem is that he likes living alone and he doesn’t want to give up his independence. Every once in a while he realizes this and for a month or so he stops wishing for the thing he doesn’t want to pay the price for.
There is freedom and power in recognizing what you don’t want to do. Once you do that you can decide change you mind and pay the price OR give up the idea that you want to reach that goal.
What are you not being honest about?
If you are human you are probably deceiving yourself and other people about something. If you don’t think you are then I am willing to bet that you are deceiving yourself about how you’re not deceiving yourself. Maybe you’re overweight because you’re eating more than you admit to yourself. Maybe you’re straight up lying to your wife, personal trainer or your boss about everything.
If you want to get something done and you don’t know why it’s not happening look again. You probably know what the problem is but you don’t want to admit it because it involves dishonesty.
Dishonesty is like rotten wood. It’s nasty and it ruins the structure and it’s might be hidden. It needs to be found and removed.
What are you blaming on someone else?
“If only they wouldn’t stop me from doing X.”
“I’d be ____ if it wasn’t for ____.”
If you can figure out what you’re blaming other people for you will, in most cases, see how much power you actually have.
Who should you talk to?
In many cases the most effective next step is to talk to someone. It’s that person you don’t want to call who has the expertise or access that you need. Maybe you don’t want to call them because you’re intimidated of them or ashamed of asking for help. Perhaps there’s some personal mess you have to clean up that you don’t want to deal with. Maybe you need an answer from them before you move on but you don’t want to get a “no” so you just don’t ask.
You know who I’m talking about. The second I asked the question, their name popped into your mind.
Call them right now.
What do you have to do that you don’t want to do?
This is either in your mind all the time or you have rejected the idea of doing it so strongly you’ve lost track of what it is. If you want to run that 5K in 6 weeks you have to start training now. If you want a new job you have to update your resume. If you want to raise money you have to ask people for money.
What story are you telling?
A client of mine wanted a new job. He told me that he was frustrated because everyone else gets job offers out of the blue. There must be something wrong with him or the world because he didn’t get these kind of job offers.
We talked about this belief he had and it turned out that I was one of the people who he thought got job offers out of the blue. I assured him that I didn’t and suggested that his story, based on misunderstandings, was causing as much (or more) suffering than his job.
What sad stories are you telling yourself that you could give up? If you have a belief that you are the victim of circumstance you might want to take a look at that. Those kind of tragic stories are usually a justification for not taking responsibility for our own happiness.
Again, if you don’t think you have any stories like this, look again. Most human beings do.
If you knew you had 12 months to live what would you do?
Please keep in mind that your time on this planet is probably limited. It is for most people. (I personally plan to live forever but it’s not for everyone.) If you don’t have a quick answer for this question, that’s fine. If you do the next question is “why don’t you do it now even if you’re not going to die?”
To answer that question you might want to look up at the previous 6 questions.