I recently returned from Austin, Texas where three friends and I had a reunion. It had been more than two years since we had all been on a trip together in Australia. Much had changed, but somehow things felt the same, like no time had passed. We all felt like we were just as close, and that time had not made us distant.
While eating brunch one morning, one of my friends had a great idea. We would devote the entire meal to asking one person questions. This would be a discovery session. It had been a while since we had all seen each other and this would be the perfect way to see what had been going on in everyone’s life. The questions became pretty profound, pretty quickly. All four of us delved into our lives much deeper than any of us would have previously thought.
It got me thinking… “How many of my friends that I talk to on a regular basis know the things about me that these three friends in front of me do?” “How come we never ask the people around us those hard questions?” “Do we ever have a break to stop and think about what’s really going on, and what’s really important?”
Every day there are so many distractions. There are bills to pay, things to be fixed, appointments to make. There are family and religious obligations. There are friends to meet, and job to think about. There are emails to answer, voice mails to respond to, and birthdays to remember. You’ve got to buy groceries and batteries to change the smoke detector. Your favorite TV show is on, or there’s that bar you want to meet up at. If you have kids, the number of things on your to do list is significantly larger. Everyday our lives are jam packed. With the internet information has become better organized, but the sheer amount of data we take in each day can be exhausting. It seems there’s a never ending list of things to do. The focus is on the distractions rarely are we able to step back and look at the big picture.
When is there a chance to take a breather and ask ourselves those hard questions? When we are with our closest friends and relatives why don’t we ask the hard questions? Is it because of fear? Fear that your family member or friend will be offended? It may just be that we are so used to being comfortable that the thought of asking difficult questions never even crosses our minds.
Here are some of the questions that started a whirlwind of follow up questions tailored to each person’s unique personal life journey and answers.
- Where do you see yourself in 1 year? In 5 years? In 10 years?
- If you knew for a fact that you would die exactly one year from today, would you live the same way you’re living right now? If not, then why are you living this way?
- In the last 2 years, what were the best 3 things that happened to you? What were the worst 3 and why?
- Have the goals you made for yourself a year ago come to fruition?
- Are you dating someone? If so do you love them or is it out of convenience? Do you plan to marry them?
- Do you make decisions based out of fear?
- Do you make decisions to be comfortable or do you push yourself?
- Is life exciting to you, or do you feel like it’s coasting by?
These are just a few of the questions we asked each other. Some were serious. Some were more light hearted in nature. A personal favorite: If you could possess one super power, what would it be and why? Some questions were tough. Really tough. They were really tough because we were forced to think about things we hadn’t thought about in years, or hadn’t thought about at all.
This post is filled with questions. (23 to be exact). Questions are what breed progression and growth.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates
Complacency is evil. Examine your life. Ask yourself those hard questions. Try to find a friend, family member, or loved one, and take turns asking each other. Take a step back and think. Nobody’s life is perfect and free from all trouble and pain. However, examining your own life will bring personal and spiritual growth. Make things real. Ask those difficult questions. If you prefer to do it by yourself, write the answers down. You may be surprised at the level of introspection.