Instructions: Give each question no less than 10 minutes of thought. Each question brings its own unique challenges and addresses a distinctive aspect of your life. Don't just think about the answers in your head - write your answers down in detail on a piece of paper, your phone, or your laptop. Finally, don't answer more than 3 questions in one sitting - instead, save this article (or copy the questions into a note) and come back to it when you're ready to continue.
Here are 27 questions to live more true to yourself:
1. Am I everything I want to be? Am I everything I could be? Where's the discrepancy between my current self and my ideal self? What's missing?
2. What are my life's 3 most significant & defining stories? How can I best craft these stories to share them with others? Think if someone were to meet you for the first time — how would you tell them your stories?
3. Why do I share what I share on social media? To educate, to entertain, to inform? Is it of any value to others? How do I want to curate my content and engagement on each of the various digital platforms?
4. If I had a billion dollars in the bank, what would I do? i.e. not what would I buy/spend money on — no — but more so how would I spend my time if I didn't have to worry about money? i.e. what am I naturally happy doing?
5. If I were to look at my schedule and how I'm spending my time, would it reflect my values, purpose, and ambitions? If not, why? Also, if not, how can I more consciously spend my time?
6. What's the one thing I can do that will dramatically change my life for the better? What will "change the game?"
7. What lesson or skill can I effectively teach someone in under 2 minutes?
8. What will my life look like 3 years from now? What would need to happen for me to get there?
9. What do I look for in the people I spend time with? Who are the 5 people in my life that I spend the most time with? Why do I spend time with those people? Do I find what I am looking for in the people I currently send time with the most? If not, who are the 5 people in my life that I should be spending the most time with? What are the steps that I need to take to start surrounding myself more with those who I should be spending the most time with?
10. What's my biggest value-add for other people? i.e. Fill in the blank: People say, "Talk to my friend [Insert Your Name], he's/she's really good at (or an expert on/in) ____."
11. In my eyes, what are my greatest accomplishments? Why do I consider them my greatest accomplishments?
12. Success - if not defined - can never be achieved. What are my success objectives for the 9 different areas of my life (adventure, health, capital, business, community, creative, self-development, faith, and philanthropy)?
13. How do I perceive myself? Describe [Insert Your Name] in a short paragraph.
14. What good habits have I consciously or unconsciously instilled in my life? How am I going to maintain them in my life? What bad habits have I consciously or unconsciously instilled in my life? What bad habits am I going to eliminate and how am I going to do so?
15. What are my 5 most impactful actions, whereby doing them will make everything else either easier or unnecessary? What's my 1 most impactful thing? How much time am I spending on my 1 thing? If I am not spending enough time on my 1 thing, how what plan will I put in place to start doing so?
16. What are the things that I am doing that are secretly distractions? (The things that I'm only half-a**ing and are, in the grand scheme of things and of my happiness, unnecessary) How do I eliminate these things from my schedule to make room for what's necessary?
17. What do I want the following people to say at my funeral? A family member, a friend, a colleague, an imam/priest/rabbi, a stranger.
18. What's my definition - not society's definition - of fun? What are the activities, events, or environments that I consider to be fun? Am I actually spending time having fun by my standards, or other people's?
19. What makes me come alive?
20. What do I want my life to look like in 20 years? If it's 2019, think realistically about 2039 (How old am I? How does my day flow? What do I spend my time doing? What are my priorities? Who are the people I'm surrounded by? Where am I living? How am I living?) i.e. what does my ideal life look like if I were to draw it in a "perfect day?"
21. What are the things that I want to do in life that I don't yet have the money for, and how much money do I need to do them?
22. What was the single best day of my life? Why? What happened? How can I live more days similar to that?
23. What person in my life - other than family - has had the most positive influence on me, my behavior, or my ambition? How have they positively influenced my life? When was the last time I thanked them for it?
24. What 3 words would I use to describe myself? What 3 words would my family, friends, and colleagues use to describe me? Ask 15 people and analyze the results. Am I happy with the results, or do I want to shift them?
25. Who are my 20 champions? (i.e. who are the people I can count on to have my best interest at heart and mine theirs? Who are the people who have my back and mine theirs?) What am I doing to foster my relationship with my champions?
26. What's my ideal time allocation for a 24-hr day today? If I could choose how to exactly spend my 24 hrs, how would I divide up my day?
27. Beyond the well-being of my family, what am I most afraid of? Why? If what I'm afraid of became my reality, how would I deal with it? How would I use it to thrive?
Why I wrote this:
In my very humble opinion, and in my years of Earthly experience, I believe that the key to genuine happiness in life is self-awareness. And how does one become self-aware? It's really, really simple. Seriously... it's really simple. Ask yourself questions and answer them in great detail while being fully present. That's it, folks. That's really it. And to push you in that direction, I'm sharing with you the questions I've used. Please answer them... in great detail...while being fully present.
About the author: Molham Krayem is a Bain & Co. business strategist, Forbes writer, and charting hip-hop artist.