the 20 questions that just might change your life

ImageWe’ve all felt stuck at one time or another – whether it’s a job or a relationship – you know that something needs to change.

If a situation does not serve your best interests and stifles your positive personal growth, it is time to find new company or adopt new routines. Based on the idea that you cannot control anyone but you, the following 20 questions are meant to inspire intrinsic reflection and foster personal discovery.

You have the power to change your life by accepting your current state and grasping where you’d like to grow. Life is indeed boundless. No one should let habituated indoctrination hinder your ability to succeed.

1. What are you pretending not to know? All possibilities open up when we stop deceiving ourselves.

2. Why don’t you do the things you know you should be doing? Life isn’t figuring out what to do. The real challenge is (not so) simply doing the things we know we should be doing.

3. What are your values and are you being true to them? When we don’t act true to our values, dissonance arises.

4. What don’t you know, that you don’t know? It’s always the obstacles we don’t see coming that are the biggest challenges in life. Get in the habit of asking people that have been there and done it for guidance.

5. In what way are you being perceived that you’re not aware of? Perception is reality. Make sure you understand how people really think about you.

6. Do your ‘shoulds’ get in the way of your happiness? The desires of the ego are often in conflict with the emotions of the heart. You’ll always have what you want, if you want what you have.

7. What did I learn today? Who did I love? What made me laugh? The meaningful exchanges of life – was your day memorable?

8. How would you feel if you achieved all of your life’s goals today? How can you feel that along the way? Misguided perception makes you think that success enhances one’s value or worth; do you feel once you get ‘there’ you’ll finally be worth it? While delayed gratification is a powerful habit of highly successful people, we’re happier striving for our goals when we let ourselves feel that which we want to feel when our outcome is achieved.

9. If you had no fear, what would you do? Imagine your 90-year-old self looking back on your life. What risks would you wish you would have taken?

10. If you were dying, would you worry about this? We so easily lose perspective on what takes up our energy and focus. We all die, plain and simple; sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this to enjoy living. I whole-heartedly agree with Jason, read Tuesdays with Morrie.

11. Should you be focused on today or tomorrow? The present is a gift, savor it and don’t forget the future. Life is a balance of knowing when to enjoy the moment versus when to plant seeds for tomorrow’s harvest.

12. Why Not? What would Happen If? Don’t accept that things are the way they are, question why something can’t be done. And when you get the pushback to these questions, re-frame the negative answers with possibilities.

13. What do you want your life to be in 5 years? “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there” Lewis Carroll. Create an outline/vision board of what you hope to achieve in the next five years if you’re unsure what you’d like to manifest in your life.

14. What can you do to improve? An honest answer can be humbling and provide the foundation you may need in order to achieve the greatest of feats.

15. What/Who did you make better today? A valuable tool to measure your worth may just be to give more than you take.

16. What’s the one most important thing to get done this week/month? Hold yourself accountable, write down your to-do’s on a sticky note, and complete the tasks that need taking care of in your life.

17. Can you get it done now? If something is important or urgent and can be done now, do it.

18. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Fear from others’ opinions inhibit most individual’s free-spirited actions. Whether a new business venture, pursuing a joyful hobby, or taking a leap in an unknown direction, if you knew there would be no criticism, what would you do different?

19. Am I being true to myself? In solitude, deeply ponder this question as it pertains to your personal relationships, work, and purpose. If one ignores their true passions, burn-out and depression can set in. Have courage to follow that which calls to you.

20. When was the last time you took a risk? It’s easy to fall into the comfort of routine, but risk and challenge is where character is built and growth takes place. Regardless of your fear of change, leap out of your comfort zone every now and again: try something new, talk to a new person, pick up a new hobby, travel, etc.

If you seek positive, guided change in your life, begin with seeking truth intrinsically and letting go of conditioned limitations. Simple questions can have many applications; comments are encouraged for you to share those questions which have stirred change in your life.

Thanks to Jason Nazar for allowing the adaptation of his work.

about anne gallagher

ImageI was upset to hear that Anne passed away suddenly a few weeks ago. Anne founded Seeds of Hope, an organization that facilitated story-telling and sought to embrace anyone who had experienced hurt and pain as a consequence of the Troubles in Ireland. She is quoted as saying, “The idea is that when you hear my story and I hear your story, it becomes our story, and seeds of hope are sown.”

Rest in peace, Anne. You will not be forgotten.

For more information on the Anne and her work, go the The Forgiveness Project.

motivation for those who need it

ImageAfter rejoicing at the completion of my business website, I did little to draw potential clients there. The enormity of developing 18 pages of content from scratch, was daunting, and for a time I felt a little burnt out. While I knew what I needed to do — I just wasn’t motivated to do more heavy lifting — toting the internet barges and hauling the big creative bails is exhausting.

Well, this week I’ve finally recovered the genuine enthusiasm I had when the project began. I’m again making connections and driving myself to achieve. Why it went away or what caused it to return, I can’t say, but welcome home ingenuity!

If you need a nudge or are feeling sluggish, don’t fret. Here are just the quotes for you.

  1. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein
  2. The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’ -Jeffrey Bezos
  3. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan
  4. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. –Babe Ruth
  5. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb
  6. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. –Napoleon Hill
  7. Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi
  8. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford
  9. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain
  10. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily. –Zig Ziglar
  11. If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh
  12. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  13. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair
  14. Start where you are. Use what you have.  Do what you can. –Arthur Ashe
  15. Fall seven times and stand up eight. –Japanese Proverb
  16. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. –Leonardo da Vinci
  17. I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. –Benjamin Franklin
  18. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. –Gloria Steinem
  19. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. –Ayn Rand

Indeed I have begun the online list making to which everyone is attached. It’s seems as if no one, including myself, has an attention span of more than two short sentences. But as I always say, that’s a rant for another day.

au revoir to little flower

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We said goodbye to the Thérèse of Lisieux statue that’s graced our house for years. Her new owners are bringing her to her new home at the Archdiocese offices in Washington, DC. I know they will treat her well.

In a previous post about Thérèse, I wrote:

Ok, so I’ve had this statute for years — Thérèse of Lisieux is her name (I had a French thing for a while), she’s the patron saint of any number of respectable things like people with AIDS, aviators, florists, illness and missions. I’ve always given her very deserved solemnity and left her alone. She used to wear hat ocassionally, but I’ve stopped that. Lately Thérèse been looking a little forelorn, perhaps even bored. Naturally, I’ve been concerned.

Today I attempted to cheer her up a bit, and the girls are convinced I’m wrong. Going to H-E-double-L even. I figured if trying to cheer up a saint will get me there, I’ve done a half dozen things worse just in the last few days and I can worry about the hell thing later. Anyway, she does look happier and that’s what counts.

having a bounty bar because europe isn’t on the intinerary

I’m not a fan of American chocolate, there is a falseness to it, like a swirly, brown mixture of plastic and sugar — just not, well, real. While I’m aware that the Bounty bars are made by Mars, the dark chocolate version is just European enough for me to appreciate the indulgence, rich and not bitter, and mostly not American. And the filling is a satisfying combination of moist coconut and sweetness,

While this just might be a commercialized version of confectionery from the continent, it is different enough to please me, especially since I won’t be making it to France this year or very likely next. There’s always 2015… Image