Most of us acknowledge that unless you know yourself first, you really canโ€™t achieve much in life. We also realize that we all have the potential to create amazing things and to find lasting happiness.

Yet...
One minute we are filled with definite goals for life and the next we are completely desolate. How can anyone hope to find lasting happiness in this state?

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Here is a list of 15 questions to get started on a journey of self-discovery, in the hope to release your potential that is trapped within and consequently finding lasting happiness.

Who Are You?

1. What is the one thing that makes you special and unique?

There is no other person on this planet that is you. For just a moment, quit focusing on what you arenโ€™t, what you wish to be, or what others expect from you. Try to find out what is one existing thing that makes you special. Identify your specialness, acknowledge it, and respect it.

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what makes you so special?

2. How do people perceive you?

Do people see you for the special person that you are? Do they appreciate it? If not, what is the reason and can you close the gap between your potential being and your current self?

โ€œWe judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.โ€ โ€” Henry Longfellow.
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how do people see you as a person?

3. If money was not a constraint, what would you be doing with your time?

Write a book? Grow a beautiful garden? Spend more time with your family?
Take your time. Feel free to daydream. Once you have the vision in your mind, think of what is the one thing you can do now to move just one step closer to that vision.

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what are you doing with your given time?

4. What do you do for a living?

There is nothing deep about this question. It really is as simple as it sounds.
If your answer matches (or will lead you towards) what you answered to the previous question, you are on the right track.
If it doesnโ€™t, maybe itโ€™s time you figured out how to connect the two. Think about it and eventually youโ€™ll figure it out.

"Work is making a living out of being bored." - Karl Lagerfeld.
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5. What are you grateful for?

How long did you have to think to answer that question? If itโ€™s not immediate โ€“ if the images of your family and friends, your health, your ability to see, hear, walk and talk did not come to your mind instantly, you should start looking into developing an attitude of gratitude.

โ€œI cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.โ€
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be grateful. it's as simple as that.

6. If you die tomorrow, will you be happy with the life youโ€™ve lived?

Iโ€™m not saying youโ€™re dying tomorrow, but truth is, nothing is guaranteed.
Have you lived a good life? Have you forgiven everyone who did you wrong? Have you asked for forgiveness from everyone you have wronged?

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if you died tomorrow, would you be happy with where you are today?

7. What is the one movie or a book you donโ€™t mind watching/reading over and over again?

The human mind responds strongly to narratives, so the story that touches you the most is the one that tell you a lot about yourself. Or the one that you aspire your life to be.
What is that story? What is the underlying theme/premise of it?

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a story you love can tell so much about you

8. If someone made a movie out of your life, what will it be like?

Everybody has a story โ€” what is yours? Would your movie be filled with inner peace, happiness, love, growth, joy and transcendence? Or it would not?
If you are happy with your answer, keep doing what you are doing. If not, a quote by Maria Robinson may be helping, โ€œNobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.โ€

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if your life was made into a film, what would it be?

What Really Matters?

9. If you are in a sinking ship with everyone you know, and you could only save 10 people, who would it be?

Sometimes we donโ€™t even realize who the most important people in our lives are. We constantly try to impress random people who hardly care about us.
Are you aware of the handful of people that really mean something to you? Are you treating them right?

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are you treating them right?

10. If you die today, who will miss you the most?

Think about it. You donโ€™t need a life that warrants a national holiday when you die, but are you leaving behind a legacy that at least a handful of people will cherish?

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who will miss you the most?

11. What will they say in your eulogy?

Why will these people miss you when you are gone? Will they choke up unable to continue, or will they smile all the way through because you showed them life is to be celebrated?
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers โ€“ this is just an exercise to get you to know yourself better.

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what would they say about you?

12. Are you a better person today than you were last year at this same time? Or 5 years ago?

Are you a better person today than you were before? Are you on a path of growth? Are you moving forward, standing still or slipping backwards?

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have you grown?

13. What was your last random act of kindness?

When did you last give something in spite of knowing that itโ€™ll never be paid back? What goes around does come around โ€“ what will come back to you?

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain
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be kind. again, it's just as simple as that.

14. Who is making most of the decisions in your life โ€“ you, or those around you, or your circumstances?

You know youโ€™re the master of your life as well. But a lot of us find it much easier to give up that power and make circumstances decide our lives. Watch your thoughts, watch your words and reclaim your power over your life.

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be the one who takes control of your life

15. What is the one thing you fear the most when you think of yourself as an old person?
Are you worried about looking old? Thatโ€™s like fearing sunsetsโ€ฆ Why be scared of something that is guaranteed to happen and is very dignified if you just change your perspective?

Are you worried about not having money or close family? Thatโ€™s like having a cow in your backyard and worrying about milkโ€ฆ. spend your time building up a bank balance and nurturing your relationships now.

The same goes for being sick and frail โ€“ as long as you take good care of your health and donโ€™t abuse your body now, you will be absolutely fine.
Stop being scared and live your life now in such a way that you can continue to celebrate your life right into an old age.

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And before we wind up, answer this bonus question. What are you going to do after reading this article?

Do you just go on with your life the same old way? Or do you live each day as if it were a treasure, enjoying the little moments with those dearest to you as opportunities to make lasting memories now that you know?

It really is a choice โ€” what do you choose?

love,
m.

i write a lot