Life is hard all the time. It’s made even harder by the fact that humans have a real sense of responsibility related to getting to the end of their life having accomplished something meaningful.
Finding that meaning can take up an entire lifetime, and some people never really understand why they were on earth in the first place.
We are so busy searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that we rarely spend enough time just admiring the rainbow. Life passes us by so quickly, and we all know that we need to slow down and enjoy the little things more.
If you are on a path of discovery, or if you just want to improve your daily life, asking yourself these 4 questions will lead to a longer, more meaningful life.
1) What if Your Fears Weren’t Real?
Fear stops us from achieving our goals every single day. Many experts say that we need a little fear in our lives to keep things interesting and help define the courageous from the weak.
But what if you didn’t have to be afraid of the things you wanted in life? Why are you afraid of them to begin with?
Let’s say you want to start a business and you’ve been putting it off for years now. You’ll never get those years back, you know? So what’s stopping you? Money. Time. Family commitments. Whatever it is that is holding you back, you better believe it’s not anything outside of you.
Your lack of success in building a business has nothing to do with your situation: it’s because you are afraid.
Instead of declaring all the things that could go wrong in your life, start focusing on the things that could go right. Tell yourself that fear is just in your head. Remind yourself that trying and failing is better than not trying at all.
2) If You Could Do Anything, What Would it Be?
There are many ways to look at this question: work, life, family, relationships, money, travel, charity, creation. If you could do anything, what would it be? If there were no limitations, what would you achieve? Would you start a charity? Would you volunteer at homeless shelters?
If money were no option, what would you set out to do in the world? We’re assuming, of course, that money is one of the major reasons that you don’t pursue these passions.
People need to work, so they can’t volunteer. But rather than quit your day job and give all your time to the homeless, think about what giving time to the homeless represents for you. It probably means you are compassionate, caring, willing to put yourself out so others can be comfortable. It probably means you want to improve the world, help people get back on their feet, and leave a lasting impression with someone.
These qualities are all things you can find in your everyday life, even at work, to help you lead a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
If your job at the Rite-Aid isn’t cutting it, go out and find some work that will pay you what you need to be paid, and it will also give you a deep sense of accomplishment.
3) What Are You Always Worrying About?
We spent a considerable amount of our lives worrying about things we cannot change. We worry about losing our jobs, raising our children, death, and taxes. What if you just stopped worrying about these things?
If you take the drama out of having to make an appointment to get the oil changed, it’s just a task. It’s just math. If you stop worrying about how clean your house is, you might enjoy it more. If you are staying in that job because you are worried about looking for another one, stop wasting your life and find another job.
You will be old soon enough, and you’ll replace that worry with regret. If you take on your life with a sense of wonder, instead of a sense of worry, you’ll live a much more meaningful life.
4) What Could You Spend More Time Doing?
Are there things on your to-do list that just never get done? What’s eating up all of your time that things that are important to you are left waiting in the wings?
If you didn’t have to rush out the door to work every day, how you would spend your quiet afternoons? Reading books? Painting? Writing that novel you always wanted to write?
If you had all the time in the world, how would you spend it?
If you have 15 minutes a day to dedicate to the things you love, you’ll lead a much happier, and more meaningful life.