3 Questions Everybody Asks Themselves
“At the center of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are, and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu
In life, you will ask yourself many questions: “Which university should I attend?” “Should I marry her/him?” “Do I accept this job offer?” “Should I move geographically?” or “Do I want children?” are just a few major questions that shape your life experiences. The thing about each of these questions is that they eventually get answered.
However, there are three questions everybody asks themselves but seldom answer. They are: “Who am I?” “What do I want?” and “Why am I here?”
There are perhaps several reasons why we don’t answer them, but three stand out most to me:
- We don’t think the questions are answerable. They are.
- We don’t think they need to be answered. They do.
- We don’t know where to begin. Fair. Most people don’t.
To get started answering life’s biggest questions, go within. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “At the center of your being, you have the answer…”
Tips to Answering the 3 Big Questions:
“Who am I?”
Think about the many identities that make you, you (personal, role, social, and cultural identities). Then, go beyond those consciously constructed identities to your essence.
Essence is defined as “the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character.” If you are the embodiment of a quality, energy, or feeling, what is it?
“What do I want?”
First, distinguish between needs and wants. Needs are universal and instinctual. They are required for survival or healthy functioning. Wants are desires that are personal to you and reflect what matters most to you. They are not needed for survival, but they are needed for true fulfillment. Our deepest desires are usually not material.
“Why am I here?”
This question probes into what gives your life meaning and purpose. Think about if this is your last day alive. You reflect on the good you did in life and the impact that others will feel because you were here. What is that?
I hope you see that by answering these three big questions in life, you can live a happier, more intentional, and more fulfilling life. You will know who you are, what you want, and why you’re here. What an awesome way to go into each day.
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