15 questions to ponder
“The unexamined life is not worth living” is a famous saying supposedly uttered by Socrates. Socrates believed that philosophy — the study of wisdom — was the most important (life) pursuit above all else. Through questioning and logical arguments, one could examine their own life.
I think it’s not only about the questions we ponder, but also about the deep courage to embark on the journey that the posed questions take us on.
It’s about the process on the way to the answers. And so much of life is lived in this process.
As we celebrate this year’s Fast 15, I thought I would share 15 questions that you might want to ponder yourself.
- Am I happy? To be truly, deeply, unabashedly happy. Because happiness begets more happiness.
- What do I need? We are simply unable to be the best version of ourselves if our needs are not met. What you need is not up for debate.
- What do I not need? An equally pressing question that has us eliminating some things and setting better boundaries.
- What’s not wrong? We spend so much time focusing on what’s wrong, when in fact most things are not wrong at all. We can change the way we look at things — linguistically and figuratively.
- What matters most right now? Priority lists exist for a reason. Get serious about your priorities and move forward with conviction.
- What do I know for sure? Core values. True north. Guiding principles. Non-negotiables. What we know for sure anchors us and gives us a framework to operate within while we ask the other questions.
- What do I not understand? The universe is vast. Knowledge is immense. This question keeps us humble. And curious.
- What if I’m wrong? You very well could be. And you can’t possibly know until you’ve challenged yourself by asking this question.
- How are my relationships? Regrets are an enormous waste of time. Tell someone you love them, issue an apology if you need to, reconnect if too much time has passed, clear the air if a misunderstanding took place. It’s true what they say — relationships can make or break us.
- Does it make sense? Maybe yes, maybe no. You can’t possibly know until you ask the question.
- Why? Engineers are trained to repeatedly ask why. Because eventually that line of logical thinking takes you to the root of a situation. And solving for the root is so much better than repeatedly addressing a myriad of symptoms. Always try to solve the root problem.
- What is my legacy? We’re all leaving something behind — every single one of us. The challenge is to leave behind something that will live in the hearts and minds of others.
- What am I learning? You never stop learning because life never stops teaching. Everything you’re learning is preparing you for something else. Stay teachable — and take good notes.
- Am I spending my time well? We all get the same 1,440 minutes a day. And we have agency over how we spend them.
- Where do I go from here? More questions, deeper introspection, greater courage. Just keep going.
Examining your life is an ongoing process because life is an ongoing journey. We question, we reflect, we examine, we evolve. And if we’re lucky, we eventually become the best version of ourselves. And that is indeed a worthy endeavor.
Congratulations to the newest inductees into the Fast 15. I wish you much continued success.
Ancora Imparo … (Still, I am learning)
Stacey Mason is the founder of The Improv Lab, a professional development business in Bentonville. More information is available by calling 479-877-0131. The opinions expressed are those of the author.