Asking good questions is a skill of the wise, the creative and the philosophical; a skill that is significantly underrated.
When you listen to the insights of your favourite thinkers, you will notice that they approach things from different angles.
They don’t think outside the box, they question outside the box.
They ask questions that many of us wouldn’t even consider.
Modern thinkers that come to mind include Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Derek Sivers, Naval Ravikant, Neil Degrasse Tyson and Kevin Kelly, then you have the old age thinkers like Albert Einstein, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca.
Good questions lead to good answers, which in turn lead to good thoughts and good actions.
Here are some of the best questions that I have complied in a relatively short time.
I like to revisit these questions, and you should too.
A new day may offer a new perspective and a new way of thinking.
I will continue to expand and enhance this list as I compile more and better questions.
Please help me by adding your best questions to the comments box below.
I have tried to categorise them as best I can but there will be some overlap.
Use them well:
- Who are you?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What do you do?
- What are the most important things in your life?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are you here for? (What is the meaning of your life?)
- What achievements are you most proud of?
- What makes you happy?
- What are you most grateful for?
- What things do you wish you could do more of?
- How can you do more of those things?
- What things do you wish you could do less of?
- What can you do to automate, simplify, systemise, eliminate, delegate or enjoy those things?
- What principles or values do you live by?
- What do you represent?
- What are the biggest things you have learned in life to date?
- What bad habits do you want to break?
- What good habits do you want to maintain?
- What good habits do you want to develop?
- Where are you living right now – the past, the present or the future?
- Are you living your life to the fullest right now?
- Could you be doing more?
- When are you at your best?
Questions about living a life that you love
- If you had one minute to live, what would you do?
- If you had an hour to live, what would you do?
- If you had one day to live, what would you do? (What would you do today if there was no tomorrow?)
- If you had one week to live, what would you do?
- If you had one month to live, what would you do?
- If you had one year to live, what would you do?
- What advice would you give to your childhood self?
- What advice would you give to your teenage self?
- What advice would you give to yourself about work?
- What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?
- What would you do if you could not fail? (What would you do if you had no limitations in money, time, resources, etc.?)
- Could you do this anyway?
- Are the limitations real?
Thinking outside the box – questions to become more creative, focussed, efficient and effective
- If you only had two hours per week to work on your business or project what would you spend your time doing?
- What would this look like if it were easy? (“This,” being anything you’re doing – it can be a simple task or a whole day – simplify and don’t overcomplicate).
- If this were impossible, how would I do it? (If I could do this, how could I do it?)
- If there is something that seems impossible, is this because it hasn’t been thought of yet? (Could I make that thing happen?) (Is there a business or project idea there?)
- If this is time-consuming, how do I make it short?
Resource: The standard pace is for chumps
- How could you solve problems by taking elements or tasks away? (Rather than adding – simplify!)
- Are you reacting emotionally to this problem?
- Do you need to take time to think about the situation, consequences, statistics, etc.?
Resource: Thinking, fast and low
- What actions can you take now to generate the biggest results – for life or a task? (What 20% of tasks will contribute towards 80% of your results?)
- Are you getting caught up in the small things? (Are you hunting antelope or field mice?)
Resource: Winning secrets from the war room
- What systems could you put in place to allow you to go off grid for four to eight weeks without a phone or laptop?
- Are you making decisions or saying “yes” out of guilt or prestige (to maintain a certain identity)?
- Can you create a blanket policy that makes it easier to say “no”?
- What areas are are you making a lot of decisions, or sending a lot of communication? (Are your decisions or communications duplicated or concentrated anywhere?)
- Can you create a blanket policy that makes it easier for other people to get the message or make those decisions themselves?
- What would happen if you outsourced decisions that wouldn’t cost you that much? (Say £50, £100, £500, £1,000).
- How much time would this save you?
- Would it lead to overall failure?
- How much mental energy and stress would it save you?
- Is it worth it?
- Is there a single decision that you can make to eliminate many other decisions? (Where could you make single decisions that remove many decisions?)
- What are the majority of people doing?
- What if you did the opposite to the majority?
- Would your work be missed if you stopped doing it? (Would people miss what you do?)
- Question everything – Always ask why!
Resource: Why ask why?
Questions to improve your mental state and overcome fear, pain and suffering
- What are the worst things that could happen in your life?
- Can you reduce the likelihood of them?
- Can you reduce the impact of them?
- Can you prepare for them?
- Could you get back to where you are now if these things happened?
- What are your biggest fears?
- Are these fears legitimate?
- Do they pose you harm?
- What’s stopping you from facing them?
- Are you hiding or running from anything?
- If so, why?
- Do these things pose you harm?
- What’s stopping you from facing them?
- Are you settling for less than you’re worth?
- If so, why?
- How do you change that, starting now?
- Are there things that you’re still holding on to? Is it time to let go?
- How do you talk to yourself? (What’s your inner dialogue like? What stories are you telling yourself?)
- Are you optimistic?
- Are you pessimistic?
- Do you have any limiting thoughts or beliefs that do not serve you?
- What limiting thoughts or beliefs are you holding on to?
- Are they helping you in any way?
- Are they holding you back?
- Do you think you can only do what you’re qualified to do?
- How do you let your limiting beliefs go?
- How do you turn your limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs?
- What empowering beliefs can you nurture to help you achieve your goals?
- Do you believe that you can do anything if you put your mind to it?
- Could it be that everything is fine and complete as is?
- What are the biggest lessons you have learned in your life?
- What failures have you had in your life?
- How have you learned from these failures?
- How can you do better?
- What can you control?
- What can’t you control?
Questions for planning your future
- Where do you want to be (or what to you want to achieve) in 1 year?
- … 3 years?
- … 5 years?
- … 10 years?
- How do you create habits to get there (achieve these goals)?
- How important is this development (are these achievements) to you?
- What if these achievements were magnified? – Doubled? Tripled? 10x?
- Who are the people who have reached similar achievements?
- What can you learn from them?
- How can you get in contact with them?
- How much could you live on comfortably? (What’s your target monthly income?)
- How can you make that target monthly income without working as hard?
- What do you want written on your gravestone? (How do you want others to remember you?)
- How many people will attend your funeral?
- How many people do you want at your funeral?
- Who will attend your funeral?
- Who do you want to attend your funeral?
- What would people say about you at your funeral?
- What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?
- What do you spend most of your time on now?
- Will this matter in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years?
- What things will you do today that will matter in 1, 3, 5 or 10 years?
- What does the future look like?
- How can you place yourself in that future?
- What opportunities are available to you now based on your vision of the future?
- What opportunities can you create now for your vision of the future?
- What threatens your future position? (financial, emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, etc.)
Questions about people, teachers and mentors
- Who are your mentors in life? (formal or informal)
- Are they serving you?
- Do you have room/time for more?
- How can you find/contact more?
- Who are the 5 people you spend the most time with?
- Are these people serving you or holding you back?
- Do you need to distance yourself from some of these people?
- What qualities do you want to embody?
- Where can you meet people who embody these qualities? (Who can you learn these qualities from?)
- Who inspires you the most?
- How can you meet them?
- What are their good traits?
- How can you replicate their good traits?
- What is your ideal life partner like?
- Where can you find him/her?
- Where do they hang out?
- How can you get to know him/her?
- Are you afraid of letting others get close to you?
- Is this based on past events that have now departed?
- Does this hold you back?
- Are you missing out on life by not opening up?
- Who are/is the most important people/person in your life?
- Are you spending enough time with them?
- Are you treating them like they are the most important?
- How could you treat them better?
- What will you do for them today?
- Who do you enjoy spending time with?
- How can you spend more time with them?
Questions to find your calling and serve your medicine to the world
- What is your medicine to the world? (What do you need to give back?)
- How can you change someone’s life for the better today?
- What are you looking forward to? (What would you still like to experience?)
- Why are you waiting for these things?
- Can you bring these things into the present moment?
- If you were to die tomorrow, what would be your biggest regrets?
- What can you do now to make sure that you don’t die with these regrets?
- Do you wake up every morning feeling energised and excited for the day ahead?
- What, in your day, do you not look forward to?
- What can you do to automate, simplify, systemise, eliminate, delegate or enjoy the things you don’t look forward to?
- When are you most inspired, motivated or charged up?
- How can you replicate those feelings or do more of those things today?
- Where does your mind go when it wonders?
Questions that inspire action
- What will today look like for it to be a great day? (What would constitute a perfect day for you?)
- How will you make today your best day ever?
- What kind of person are you going to be today?
- What can you do for someone else today?
- What are you going to do change your life for the better right now?
- What one thing are you committing to doing differently after reading this?
Add your own questions
There you are my friends. I hope you enjoyed my list of questions.
Please add your own to the comments box below and I will add any that I like to this list. Leave a link, I will reference any that I use.
Continue to look for simple solutions and remember: if the answer isn’t simple, it’s probably not the right answer.