“Most of us have given very little thought to it; we have hardly inquired into the nature of what life is and how to live our daily life with all its ugly turmoil, passing pleasures, and a great deal of entertainment, both religious and otherwise. We have studied academic subjects, spent years to become a doctor, a surgeon, or an engineer, and never at the end asked how to live a life without any conflict, without any of the problems that are involved in our daily unfortunate lives.” ~ J. Krishnamurti
Asking questions is more important than having answers.
But often we are too scared to ask the hard questions, because we hate the feeling of not knowing the answers.
Unfortunately, even though asking questions has nothing to do with having a correct answer, grade school ruined the ability for most of us to allow ourselves to be answerless.
Everything is uncertain.
All thoughts, in many ways, are just opinions.
That is why simply being open and asking the hard questions about our lives, and the universe in general, is so empowering. We are opening to the mystery when we are willing to ask with no need for an answer.
Looking for questions to ask about your own life and the world in general? Here are four suggestions:
1. Why am I here?
In many ways this questions seems juvenile and basic, but in other ways it is the deepest question we can ask ourselves—and perhaps the only one we need to ask.
It is important to remember that the answer to “why I am here?” is probably not straightforward. The answer probably combines feeling, memory, imagery, sensation and belief. This question, asked sincerely, will open us up to a myriad of new experiences that may include grief, regret and the need for forgiveness. It might feel a little rough while we are processing the reality of this question, and we might wonder what is the point of even asking it if everything is going to be confusing.
I hope you will trust me that it is worth it. When a felt sense of our own meaning grows, life becomes much more comfortable, abundant and full of ease. But we will never find this alignment of meaning if we don’t first ask the hard yet essential question of “Why am I here?”
2. How can I be of service?
Caring about the world and others is amazing and painful. We want war to stop so badly. We want suffering to end; however, at the same time we feel powerless to be of any help to anyone. We need to accept that we are one person, and that if we don’t care for ourselves we won’t be of help to anyone else, but still we need to contribute.
When we ask ourselves how we can be of service, answers start to arise. The answers might point to small contributions we can make once a year or something we can do each and every day. We are all capable of contributing; we just need to find our own way of doing it.
3. How do I want to feel?
The cognitive mind takes over our lives at times and tells us what we need to do to survive. It looks for logical answers to our life’s most precious needs. But it can’t answer the question about how we want to feel. This comes from someone lower in our body. Or many places lower in our body.
Do we like feeling outgoing? Do we like feeling quiet? Do we like the feeling of concentrating? We are the only ones who can answer this question.
Once we start to pinpoint the feelings that we want to have, we will naturally migrate towards activities that bring these feelings about. We don’t need to suffer. We are here to feel good, but we first need to figure out what feels good to us. It is different for everyone.
4. How much of a day job do we want?
Not everyone is going to work for money full-time. This is just the reality, so let’s be empowered about it. This comes back to the first three questions.
Once we know why we are here, how we are going to be of service and how we want to feel, we can come clean to ourselves about how much we actually want to work. This does not mean getting serious about how much money we realistically need to earn or complaining that the company we work for refuses to give part-time positions. This is about asking for what we really want in our own consciousness, so that the opportunity can come about in an unexpected way. Some people want to work 60 hours a week. They feel alive when they are working and they love being dedicated to a project and a team, and this is how they want to spend their earthly time. Others only want to work 20 or 30 hours or less or more.
The answer doesn’t matter. This is personal for you. But we will never know how much paid work is appropriate for our own human system if we don’t ask ourselves this question.
Many times we don’t ask the hard questions, because it is scary not to know the answers. Sitting in the uncertainty of having no clue how we will ever get what we want can be infuriating.
But we need to be brave and courageous.
We will never have the lives we desire if we don’t put our best foot forward and try. And we won’t know what we are trying for if we don’t ask these four essential questions.
Start with question one, take your time, be patient and persistent and the answers will come. They might come in their own strange and unpredictable way, but I promise you the answers will come.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Toby Israel