“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” – Francis Bacon
I receive a fair amount of feedback on my weekly “food for thought” readings — it’s usually in response to the reading itself, but not always. Sometimes, folks respond to the list of “questions for self-reflection” following the reading. These latter comments can take the tone of: “interesting,” “different,” or “provocative.” However, from time to time someone comments that some these questions make them feel uncomfortable. It’s to these commenters that I reply, “Good!” Why do I respond this way?
Fundamentally, no true and real growth or lasting change can take place while one is in their comfort zone. For true and real change to happen, one needs to experience discomfort in some way, shape or form – a discomfort that awakens them to an “Oh, this is me and I never saw or felt this part of my self before”-type of experience – an AHA moment, an intuition, a “seeing, ” knowing or discovery. And, the process of seeing, knowing and discovering can often be uncomfortable, even painful (physically, emotionally, psychologically, and/or spiritually). But, change does not usually arise without it. Change is about becoming comfortable with your discomfort.
The beauty of self-reflective questions is they draw us out — support us to go deeper and deeper inside (if we choose) to see what our truth is below the surface — and it’s not always a welcome sight. Self-reflective questions introduce us to the parts of us that are unfamiliar — parts that live in our subconscious and in our intuitive self — parts that need to be seen, acknowledged and explored if we choose to experience true and real change and transformation.
A while back, I came across a book that blew me away – a book with questions. It’s called If — Questions for the Game of Life and is authored by Evelyn McFarlane and James Saywell. (I have no connection with these folks in any way.)
So this week, rather than writing my usual pieceand, and my “questions for self-reflection,” I want to offer you 20 self-reflection questions from their book. See where they take you, and enjoy the journey.
(Hint: once your initial, perhaps even knee-jerk, response comes up, consider taking some additional time – self-reflection time – to see if that’s really, really your final answer, i.e, the truth Maybe even ask yourself each question a number of times). Here they are:
1.If you found out for certain there was a Heaven and a Hell, how would you change your life?
2.If you had to name the one most important ingredient of human beauty, what would you say it is?
3.If you could rid your family of one thing, what would you choose?
4.If you were to prescribe a cure for grief, what would it entail?
5.If you were to select a moment when you were convinced an angel was watching over you, when would it have been?
6.If you could have had one person in your life be more candid with you than they were (or are) who would it be?
7.If you were going to die in ten minutes and could confess only one thing in order to pass with peace of mind, what would you say?
8.If you could change one thing about the way you were disciplined as a child, what would you alter?
9.If you had to eliminate one emotion from your life, which would it be?
10.If you could stop loving someone, who would it be?
11.In retrospect, if you cold have been nicer to one person in your life, who would it be?
12.If you could free yourself from one burden in your life, what would it be?
13.If you had to name the single most important thing in your life, what would it be?
14.If God were to whisper one thing in your ear, what would you like Him/Her to say?
15. If you could tell your mother or father one thing that you haven’t, what would it be?
16.If you could have your spouse(partner) say one thing about you to friends, what would you want him or her to say?
17.If you had to describe yourself as a child in one word, what would it be?
18.If you could go back in time and undo one injury you inflicted on someone else, what would it be?
19. If you could change one thing about your marriage (relationship), what would you alter?
20.If you could be emotionally closer to one member of your family, who would it be?
“We accept many notions because they seem to be the logical answers to our questions. But have we asked the right questions?” – Harold L. Klawans
(c) 2017, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful. Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.
What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”
I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.
I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.