Good questions prime your brain to look at the world in a different way. By simply holding a question in your mind and pondering potential answers, you can find unexpected paths to get from where you are now to where you want to be.
This afternoon, I re-discovered a list of questions I put together a few years ago. The intent of the list was to help me figure out what I wanted to improve about my life, both as a person and as a professional. This list helped me figure out who I was and what I wanted during a particularly difficult time in my career, and I sincerely hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me.
Here are 49 questions you can use to improve your results…
Do I use my body optimally?
- What is the quality of my current diet?
- Do I get enough sleep?
- Am I managing my energy well each day?
- How do I manage daily stress?
- Do I have good posture and poise?
- What can I do to improve my ability to observe the world around me?
Do I know what I want?
- What achievements would make me really excited?
- What “states of being” do I want to experience each day?
- Are my priorities and values clearly defined?
- Am I capable of making decisions quickly and confidently?
- Do I consistently focus my attention on what I want vs. what I don’t want?
What am I afraid of?
- Have I created an honest and complete list of the fears I’m holding on to?
- Have I confronted each fear to imagine how I would handle it if it came to pass?
- Am I capable of recognizing and correcting self-limitation?
- Am I appropriately pushing my own limits?
Is my mind clear and focused?
- Do I systematically externalize (write or record) what I think about?
- Am I making it easy to capture my thoughts quickly, as I have them?
- What has my attention right now?
- Am I regularly asking myself appropriate guiding questions?
- Do I spend most of my time focusing on a single task, or constantly flipping between multiple tasks?
- Do I spend enough time actively reflecting on my goals, projects, and progress?
Am I confident, relaxed, and productive?
- Have I found a planning method that works for me?
- Am I “just organized enough”?
- Do I have an up-to-date list of my projects and active tasks?
- Do I review all of my commitments on a regular basis?
- Do I take regular, genuine breaks from my work?
- Am I consciously creating positive habits?
- Am I working to shed non-productive habits?
- Am I comfortable with telling other people “no”?
How do I perform best?
- What do I particularly enjoy?
- What am I particularly good at doing?
- What environment do I find most conducive to doing good work?
- How do I tend to learn most effectively?
- How do I prefer to work with and communicate with others?
- What is currently holding me back?
What do I really need to be happy and fulfilled?
- How am I currently defining “success”?
- Is there another way of defining “success” that I may find more fulfilling?
- How often do I compare myself to my perceptions of other people?
- Am I currently living below my means?
- If I could only own 100 things, what would they be?
- Am I capable of separating necessity and luxury?
- What do I feel grateful for in my life and work?
Pick up a journal, set aside a few hours, and spend time with yourself answering these questions. Make it fun: treat yourself to a nice lunch or dinner at a restaurant you like, and write as you eat. By the time the check arrives, you’ll have more than a few new ideas about how to change your life or business for the better.
Did you know both of my books are available as audiobooks? Think of them as very inexpensive course versions of the book. They're perennial bestsellers on Audible.com, and The Personal MBA was recently honored at the Audie Awards, the "Grammys" of the audiobook industry.
Even better: you can get one of my audiobooks for free if you don't yet subscribe to Audible. Click here for details.
The #1 International Bestseller, Revised & Expanded. A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then go out into the world and make your own. More...
A practitioner's guide to rapid skill acquisition. Accelerate your learning by deconstructing complex skills, practicing the most important elements first, and removing barriers to deliberate practice. What do you want to learn? More...