This article will expand your horizon, take a seat and be prepared to take a deep journey through your inner self. Instead of providing you with interesting insights about business and management, this articles will make you pose the hard questions of life. I learned that sometimes questions can lead to more wisdom than plain information. You will quickly understand this meaning by answering the first questions. You will not be able to google the answers because they are as unique as your interests, passion, and personality.
My auntie is a voracious reader, who handed me over a book that attempts to find answers to the ten most asked questions posed by humans. I vaguely remember all of them right now but I have posed hard questions throughout my life. What I found out is that many people who seriously thought about the hard questions have distinctive answers. Some of the answers I heard were completely different to mine and others were astonishingly similar. Why? On the one hand, we are all conditioned by society. From our early childhood on we were fed with a standardized curriculum, which is why we all have a sense for what common truths are. On the other hand, answers to the hard questions of life are tremendously shaped by our interests, passion, and personality. Fact is, finding answers to the hard questions takes a lot of time and energy. The quest in life is to find people who answer the hard questions similar to ourselves, because chances are high that they have the same values, experiences, and goals in life. Like attracts like.
When you read the hard questions, you should research possible answers, speak about them with other people, and take time to think about them for yourself. It is not easy. Some will cause fear, others perhaps self-delusion. However, stick to it. It is a process. Before every up, there is usually a down. At the end you will end up with an unique answer that fits only to you. It will contain an essence of purity that stems from your personal truth. It will neither be right nor wrong. It will be just yours. Once you finally found the answers, you will become more confident. You will develop a firm worldview after you created or found your answers. This is powerful because it will be the moment when nobody will be able to influence you anymore. You will be an evolved human being equipped an independent mind. You will become dangerous because you will stop being a follower and start questioning decisions.
There will be periods of peace followed by periods of motion expressed by new series of interrogations. After answering one question you will be satisfied for a while, however, stay open to new experiences. When something new happens that has a deep impact on your life you should have the courage to pose the questions again and challenge the answers you originally had. Perhaps you will change your worldview, perhaps you will not because your intuition tells you that you found your personal truth. Whether you challenge hard questions or not, you need to learn how to cope with them. This will only increase your confidence. When you feel distressed, focus on the here and now. The physical world is easier to grasp because it can be sensed by our sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
Highest stage of consciousness
I believe Maslow’s hierarchy of needs provides an interesting insight. Abraham Maslow described five stages of growth in humans (physiological, safety, belonging and love, esteem, and self-actualization). As long as people struggle to reach their physiological needs, they will not move to the next high stage of the pyramid. Reaching the highest stage of consciousness would mean to achieve self-actualization. This is the moment when people will have the ability to think about the hard questions of life. Nevertheless, there are critics that argue that Maslow’s theory is neither complete nor accurate. I agree with the critics and also refer to Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which discusses how Abraham Maslow, at the end of his life, put the contributions of his posterity ahead of his self-actualization. He called it self-transcendence. We should understand that a starving family has other priorities than philosophizing and posing life’s hardest questions. However, when you start asking the hard questions you will have reached the highest stage of consciousness. When you reach happiness at this stage, you will have reached an advanced form of happiness. Enjoy the little things of life like the sun, fruits, and people’s warmheartedness.
By becoming self-aware you can observe the daily thoughts. Take a moment to reflect about recurring questions you avoid answering. Perhaps these are you current hard questions. Do not push them away, they demand to be answered. However, do not fall in the trap to constantly think about them. Take breaks, practice the stop-thought technique. Nevertheless, be persistent and aim to answer them eventually. You will perhaps realize that these are indeed hard questions. I do not want to convince you of answering them but I would be delighted to make you consider to pose the hardest questions you can think of. Be persistent. Be critical. Perhaps you will realize that the hardest questions I list up are irrelevant for you. It is fine. Simply move on to other ones. Perhaps you have different questions in mind at this moment and others in the years to come. We are all on different stages of consciousness in life and it is okay.
Questions most people are afraid to ask
The list is in no particular order and each answer reveals something unique about you. Depending on how deep you want to dive into answering the questions it can provide enough thought-provoking material for a whole evening. Find a great conversation partner, pick a few questions, and start philosophizing about them while enjoying a whole bottle of white wine.
Do I have an own opinion or do I just listen to others?
How I describe my personality and do other people agree with my description?
What are the things that I wished people knew about me?
How do I introduce myself to people and how interesting does it sound?
Am I pretty?
Who am I and what do I want in life?
What do I fear?
What is draining my energy?
What is giving me energy?
When I help someone am I not just doing it just for myself?
What makes me happy?
What makes me laugh?
What do I need?
What do I want?
Where do I want to live?
What would I do if money would not be an issue?
What am I grateful about?
Do I live my life only to fulfill other people’s expectation?
How do I positively affirm myself?
Why do I matter?
What are my principles and values?
What could people learn from me?
What does my negative self-talk say?
Why do I hold back my feelings?
Is there something from my past that I do not want to accept?
When did I feel loved and how did I feel?
What am I scared to loose?
Why do I procrastinate?
Who are my idols?
What attitude or mindset do I need to develop to reach my goals?
What do I still have to learn?
What is my biggest failure?
What is my biggest accomplishment?
What opportunities do I see in my life?
Where do I see myself in 5 years?
Why should I work for someone else when I am capable enough to start something on my own?
Why do I want to start something on my own?
What is the motivation behind my ambition?
What is the most important thing to do today?
What problems can I solve for others?
What desires can I fulfill for others?
What else did I gain from work except money?
Do I first explore the good qualities in other people or or the bad ones?
Who do I want to be with and how do I meet that person?
What do I find important in a relationship?
Where do I find like-minded and warmhearted people?
How curious am I about other people?
How persistent am I?
How committed am I?
How helpful am I?
How generous am I?
How assertive am I?
When is it time to fight or quit?
What is the meaning of life?
Why do we exist?
What is my purpose?
What is right and what it wrong?
What is the difference between living and existing?
How do I define love?
Is there a god?
What was before I was born and what comes after death?
Is there a true love?
Why do I believe in personal growth?
How would I like to be remembered?
What existed before the universe and what will happen when it ceases to exist?
Are there multiple universes?
Are there other live forms in the universe?
There are philosophical books that help one to answer the hardest questions. Finding out what resonates with you is part of the personal quest. Research existing literature and converse with other people to gain deeper insights. It is about the journey. Some questions can only be posed and answered by yourself. Why should you answer the hard questions of life? You gain confidence and perhaps more self-esteem. This is enough reason for me to pose them. I hope I encouraged you think about them and hope that you have the courage to search for your personal answers. Make sure that you resonate with them and that they feel true to you. Anything else would be self-delusional and a waste of time.
One last advice, never argue with someone about their answers. Let’s say you love the color blue and the other person loves the color orange. There is no need to have an argument about it. Both answers are correct. You do not have to prove anything. Perhaps your answer is based on a feeling but for some answers that is all it takes. You do not have to prove feelings. It comes from the inside of you and you know it is true because you feel it. How could someone else feel what you feel? If you love blue and feel happy about it, then do not try to expect someone who loves orange to feel the same way as you do. It is about mutual acceptance. Learn to appreciate without having the need to self-doubt. If I believe in god and feel there is a god then there is a god. If someone believes not in god and does not feel that there is a god, then there is no god. Both are right and both are wrong and both do not really know because it is about faith. It is up to you. You decide. Life depends on what questions you ask, how you answer them, and what actions you take. Make sure you are aware of this. Furthermore, feel free to comment with a question that you think is missing here.