Ever Ponder? Questions That May Change Your Life…
April 7, 2016 by Cathy Brown
“He who asks is a fool for 5 minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” Chinese Proverb
I understand most of us do not have tons of time to meditate or “ponder” potential life changing questions…but ever total up the “wasted” time we spend standing in line at the grocery store, picking up our kids or grandkids from soccer or track practice, waiting in the doctor’s or dentist’s office? Get the picture?
When you have those few minutes on your hands, why not put them to good use? Here’s some questions that could change your life…from Oprah.com submitted by Martha Beck. Ponder Away!
Is this what I want to be doing?
This very moment is, always, the only moment in which you can make changes. Knowing which changes are best for you comes, always, from assessing what you feel. Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you’re doing. If the answer is no, start noticing what you’d prefer. Thus begins the revolution.
These two words, considered sincerely, can radically reconfigure the landscape of your mind. Worry rarely leads to positive action; it’s just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it. Some psychologists say that by focusing on gratitude, we can shut down the part of the brain that worries. It actually works.
How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?
Your existence is already a factor in world history—now, what sort of factor do you want it to be? Maybe you know you’re here to create worldwide prosperity, a beautiful family, or one really excellent bagel. If your impressions are vague, keep asking this question. Eventually you’ll glimpse clearer outlines of your destiny. Live by design, not by accident.
How do I want to be different because I lived in this world?
In what ways do you want your life to have been changed during your brief sojourn here? Make a list. Make a vision board. Make a promise. This won’t control your future, but it will shape it.
What is my body telling me?
As I often say, my mind is a sometimes ditsy—by which I mean that my self-justifying brain, like any self-justifying brain, will happily absorb beliefs based on biases, ego gratification or just plain error. The body knows better. It’s a wise, capable creature. It recoils from what’s bad for us, and leans into what’s good. Let it.
What do I love to practice?
Some psychologists believe that no one is born with any particular talent and that all skill is gained through practice. Studies have shown that masters are simply people who’ve practiced a skill intensely for 10,000 hours or more. That requires loving—not liking, loving—what you do. If you really want to excel, go where you’re passionate enough to practice.
How can I keep myself absolutely safe?
Ask this question just to remind yourself of the answer: You can’t. Life is inherently uncertain. The way to cope with that reality is not to control and avoid your way into a rigid little demi-life, but to develop courage. Doing what you long to do, despite fear, will accomplish this.
Where “should” I break the rules?
If everyone kept all the rules, we’d still be practicing cherished traditions like child marriage, slavery and public hangings. The way humans become humane is by assessing from the heart, rather than the rule book, where the justice of a situation lies. Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you.
Are my thoughts hurting or healing me?
Your situation may endanger your life and limbs, but only your thoughts can endanger your happiness. Telling yourself a miserable mental story about your circumstances creates suffering. Telling yourself a more positive and grateful story, studies show, increases happiness. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, choose thoughts that knit your heart together, rather than tear it apart.
Really truly: Is this what I want to be doing?
It’s been several seconds since you asked this. Ask it again. Not to make yourself petulant or frustrated—just to see if it’s possible to choose anything, and I mean any little thing, that would make your revolution begin.
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
I use my spare moments to think deep thoughts.
My thoughts turn into vibrations that create my future. I chose them wisely.