We’re living in the golden age of technology. We’re hyper-connected to what everyone else is doing, in addition to facing the normal pressures that society, family, peers and life place on us. With all these factors in the back of our heads, it’s easy to lose track of our own identity.
If you’re not mindful of what and why you’re doing something, then you could end up somewhere far away from where you wanted to be.
This was me when I was living in New York City. I was on the path to becoming a doctor, but in the middle of my first year of med school, I felt something was missing. I realized that I was following a script for what I thought I was supposed to do, not what was fulfilling me.
With this realization, I left school to combine my two passions: health and writing. Many can say, “You should’ve done this from the start,” but forging your own path and following your passion is a lot easier said than done.
I couldn’t have done this any sooner because I never took the time to ask myself the right questions.
The quality of your questions triggers their own set of answers. This leads to specific emotions and actions (or inactions on certain things), which become your results. If your questions are limiting, then your results are going to be limiting, too.
Becoming the best version of yourself begins with self-reflection and asking these four powerful questions to get refocused on the path to personal growth.
1. Who do I want to be?
As I was struggling with the decision to leave school for the unknown path of becoming a writer and wellness consultant, I remembered that my time is finite.
We only have so many days to make our desired impact. Being conscious that your days are finite serves as motivation for focusing on what you want out of life and maximizing each moment despite any fear, comparison or expectations of what others think you should be doing.
No matter how overwhelmed and lost you feel, remember that you have complete control over what you do. If you’re doing something that isn’t in alignment with who you are or will cause more regret down the road, map out a plan to work yourself away from that situation and into a more ideal one.
Stay patient and consistent, while remembering that nothing happens overnight.
2. Why do I want this?
Take a moment and ask yourself, What do I want out of life and why?
Be careful here, because often, what we want and the reason for it, along with how we view the world, is an internal script programmed into us.
Through the spoken word, the actions we witness and the unique experiences we go through, these internal scripts provide us with the narratives to how we think the world operates and how we think our lives should be.
Are you trying to make your parents proud by chasing a specific career? Is the comparison game with your peers influencing your decisions in life? Is this life you’re creating actually yours or someone else’s?
Some questions to get you started on the right path:
- Does this work align with what provides me joy and give meaning to my life?
- Does the thought of doing this work inspire me or deflate me?
- What am I hoping to get from the outside world?
- How am I hoping to feel on the inside?
3. What’s my health like?
As a health and wellness consultant, I often see people put their health on the back burner in the name of making more money and chasing career statuses.
When you’re striving to become version 2.0, it’s imperative that you don’t ignore your health. Your health is the cornerstone piece to thriving in all other facets of your life.
With that said, ask yourself, Am I making myself a priority? How do you envision your health? How do you want your body to move? What do you want your body to feel like?
Imagine eating healthier and how this habit is improving your energy, thus allowing you to be more productive, land that promotion and build your dream business while having a higher quality of life.
4. What’s included in my eulogy?
If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy and satisfied with your life?
I know this seems morbid and depressing, but thinking about your eulogy can bring clarity to your life. For my eulogy, I want my character to be of focus, along with the impact I made on people, as opposed to other superficial metrics.
What about you? How do you want to be remembered? What do you want people to say about who you were? How do you want people to feel when they mention your name? When you think about these things, you’re unlocking the best version of yourself because you’re falling into alignment with your true character.
Take 10-15 minutes and write out a brief eulogy, or at least a sheet of character traits and anything else that you want to be remembered for. Let these traits and other things serve as your compass to living each day intentionally.
Related: Stop Wishing for the Life You Want
Julian Hayes II is the founder of The Art of Fitness & Life. He is an author, health and wellness consultant, and speaker operating at the nexus of creativity, health and business. His mission is to help you integrate health and wellness into a life you love while increasing your energy, productivity and performance at work. His book, Body Architect, is a real-world guide designed to help you create a life you love while creating a body you love.