Twenty Inspiring Questions

I subscribe to many personal development, self-help, inspirational e-mails provided by bloggers and people with amazing websites intended to help people help themselves have better lives.   My e-mail inboxes are filled with almost nothing but positive messages each and every day. I’m blessed!  

Today I woke up to a wonderful e-mail with this link:

It’s a list of twenty thought-provoking questions designed to help readers look deeper into their lives and selves and really come to understand themselves better. I am so motivated just reading them! I decided to answer them and share my answers with everyone interested! I encourage everyone interested to answer them even if you don’t want to share your answers publicly. They really got me thinking! 😀

The commentary in the parentheses below each question is provided by SCOTT CHRIST, the person who listed the questions.

1.) What beliefs do you carry that may be holding you back?

(It takes guts to call yourself out and question beliefs that just don’t seem right. We’re all ingrained with a set of learned behaviors that may be holding us back. It’s okay to question them and seek a better way. That’s a true sign of growth.)

One belief that I allow to often hold me back is the belief that “It’s not going to happen now” or “not likely to happen.”  For example, about applying for jobs, I know that there are many, many people who are more qualified than me for jobs. There are people with much more work experience and more advanced degrees who are much more likely to get certain jobs than I am.   I know that there are many jobs I would be so great at if I worked there but when considering applying for them, I often think about the many others who will also be applying who have advantages over me.

 Just because they have more experience and more advanced degrees doesn’t necessarily mean they will be better at the job than me. But an interviewer may assume that.  So while I have every intention of applying some day, I just keeping putting it off saying “later.”. 
I have to write a cover letter and fill out an application for each job. Sometimes this can be challenging and time consuming and I think what’s the point of doing this right at this moment when I can be doing something else and probably won’t get the job anyway. 
I also often think “What if I apply for a job right now and forget to add something valuable that I may remember later so I should just wait…”
These are very limiting beliefs and while there’s some truth to some parts, it’s also unreasonable and very destructive to think this way.  
We all have unique abilities, strengths, qualities, experiences, and our own gifts that add value to the workplace, relationships, and the world.   There’s always going to be someone more qualified than me and someone less qualified than me for certain jobs and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.  An interviewer or person reviewing my job application may just see something in me that s/he feels is worth giving a chance even if someone else seems more qualified. This goes for everyone. You may be less qualified in experience and academics but just as qualified or more in other ways, like your interpersonal skills or certain thoughts you have. This is even true for college applications.  I have known kids with excellent grades and attendance who were rejected by prestigious universities and others with less impressive grades who were accepted. It’s a combination of things that help get people where they want to be. Instead of focusing on how others are “better” in some ways, I should just focus on being the best me I can be in every way.
And there’s really no reason for me to procrastinate out of fear of forgetting certain valuable info. Because if that can happen now, it can happen later. As long as I’m thinking clearly and have the time, it’s best to fill out that app NOW and just pay careful attention to it. If I blow my chance, oh well! It’s not the end of the world! There will be many more opportunities for me!

2.) What’s your hobby?

(The things you love to do in your downtime can tell you a lot about how to find happiness in your life. Do the stuff you enjoy doing, and you’ll get closer to finding your true calling.)

I have quite a few that I absolutely love! One of those hobbies I have just become more and more interested in and feel myself becoming more creative with is photography! I have loved taking pictures all my life but now I’m very into it.  I use my bb10 phone and have great photo apps and I love finding quotes to go along with my photos.   I plan to get a camera one day when I get money. I also love writing poetic things and writing blog posts.    
I love reading too. I love personal development and philosophy readings and also novels.   Especially ones with profound messages.
I listen to music a lot and love collecting inspirational lyrics and quotes and applying them to real life situations and sharing them.

3.) What’s your talent?

( One thing that’s even more important than recognizing your hobbies is understanding your talents. What are you good at? If you asked five friends, what would they identify as your biggest assets? The answers can help you find your dream and change your life.)

I always felt that I have no talents because I never possessed any beautiful artistic skills or anything. I don’t draw good even when I try. I don’t sing well at all and have no natural “callings” that way. But there is one thing. It’s not an artistic skill but it’s very valuable.   I am extremely empathetic and understanding. I always have been but when I grew up, it developed so much deeper. I truly have an uncanny ability to understand people and situations even when I haven’t, myself, experienced the same things those people have and have never been in those specific situations. I don’t believe or claim to know exactly how someone else feels but I do have a very deep understanding which allows me to connect deeper with others and provide consolation and great support to people. I don’t negatively judge and try to get people to “snap out of it” or wonder how they can feel that way. I just know. I know how people can think and feel ways that I wouldn’t think or feel because of my strong empathy.   And I can draw on my own experiences to be even more understanding. 
Even when people have strongly opposing views to mine, I don’t agree but can still see how they can feel that way, even if I’m irked or angry! Lol
Empathy isn’t just about caring and being compassionate either.   It’s even deeper. It’s a deep understanding of someone else’s situation and experiences. It’s somewhat difficult to explain the depth of my empathy.   And I fear that people may think I’m overstepping my boundaries and claiming to know how they feel. But that’s not it at all.  
I don’t know. But I understand a certain way.
And empathy isn’t just about understanding and feeling people’s pain but also happiness and pleasure. I feel almost as if it’s happening to me.   I literally feel their pain & pleasure but I know it’s not exactly how they feel it since I’m not them.   If you win the multi-million dollar lotto, I will feel like I just did too. If you’re in a manic episode, it will rub off on me. If you’re in an accident even if I don’t know you, I will be shakin’ up almost as if I do know you.   I have thin psychological boundaries and unlike most people who just feel sorry or sad for someone or just curious and then go about their day, I feel as if I’m somehow involved, personally, to some degree, in your situation.  Even later.

  One day at 2:00 in the morning there was an ambulance outside my house for a neighbor and I had no idea what was going on or who it was for. My mom was mostly just curious, looking out the Window  but I felt distress, sorrow, and a desperate hope that it wasn’t something too horrific going on. I could just imagine how it would feel if I was in a situation like that.   I am a calm girl and don’t freak out or panic even when stuff is happening to me but I was expressing my deep concern.  My mom said it’s weird how I act over things that don’t involve me one bit.  It’s a true gift but it can be draining and painful and I had to learn to cope with this gift.

4.) Who do you like to work with?
(Think about the people who you work well with. Use your intuition to guide you toward similar people in your work environment.)

I love to work with fun people who are easy to get a long with and also like to do teamwork. Ones who handle difficulties well without wanting to engage in complicated arguments. I like people who want to build up and uplift others and not have negative competitions. And even if there’s like a competition for a promotion we both want, I would like us to still get along and not hold grudges and just wish each other well.

5.) Where do you enjoy working?

(What is the work setting where you’re most productive? Perhaps in group meetings? Or alone in your office? Try spending most of your time there. If you’re stuck in a job that puts you in a setting you don’t enjoy, speak up and tell your boss.)

I want a job working closely with others. I don’t mind an office job as long as parts of the day involve interacting with people.

6.) What are your passions?

( What makes you genuinely happy in life? Identify your passions, and then do everything in your power to spend timedoing the things you love. Then answer this:)

I love inspiring, helping, nurturing and uplifting people. That’s one reason I decided to have a blog. I also love sharing uplifting messages and I want to have a peer specialist or counseling job. I’m also passionate about Nature and love taking pictures of everything outside.   It’s so beautiful. I’m passionate about certain songs as well.

7.) How can you turn your passions into work?
(It’s one thing to pursue your passion as a hobby. It’s a whole different ballgame to do what you love and get paid for it. If you’re stuck in a job you hate, find a way to turn your passion into your career. If you want something badly enough, and are willing to take action and do the things that others aren’t willing to do, you’ll achieve whatever you want in your career and in your life.)

 Applying for jobs working with people and applying my people skills to my work!

8.) What inspires you? 
(Where do you find inspiration to drive you forward? Maybe it’s books, websites, friends, or family members. The point is, harness your preferred sources of inspiration every day.)

Books, blogs, websites, life itself, people, heartwarming stories, random acts of kindness, songs, quotes, photography, sunrises and sunsets, rain, snow, the sky, other aspects of Nature.   Heartache, pain, tears, and healing. Laughter and daylight. Nightfall. Cracks on the pavements, chipped paint, the darkness of night, breathing, my heartbeat….I find inspiration everywhere.

9.) How do you motivate yourself to take action?
(Being inspired is great. But if you don’t have a method and plan to motivate yourself to make positive change in your life, you’ll remain in the same place you’re in today.)

Inspiration is beautiful and I’m often inspired and it drives me to do many things. But I view inspiration itself as more of a feeling inside while motivation is more action associated. Inspiration can lead to motivation and help maintain it. I have random bursts of motivation that I can’t explain. They come out of nowhere then I start applying for jobs without holding back. But the motivation then wears off and I’m back to the problem I discussed in response to question #1. It’s great to be randomly and inexplicably motivated but since it’s not a conscious decision or habit, it likely won’t hold up. So it’s great to come up with a conscious plan to maintain general motivation. One thing that does motivate me is vividly imagining what I truly want and what it would be like to have that. I still have to make this a habit though because it’s not yet. Also sometimes I read things that get me pumped and motivated. Talk therapy sessions also help me get motivated.  

10.) What do you dream about?
(Dreams expose truths about our lives we often have trouble seeing. Keep a dream journal to record your subconscious thoughts. Whenever you wake up in the middle of a dream, write down exactly what occurred. Then analyze the dream the next day and look for signs and signals from your subconscious mind.)

My dreams are frequently about interacting with people, new friendships, and wisdom/life lessons. I have a lot of strange dreams, some ordinary ones that are just like an extension of my days, and I hardly ever have scary ones. But yeah, one common theme is people and connecting with them.

11.)  What have you overcome?
(Most of us have struggled mightily and overcome great obstacles. Don’t take this for granted. Thinking about the massive obstacles you’ve overcome already should convince you that you can accomplish anything you want in life.)

One thing I have overcome is succumbing to my crippling shyness. I have always been shy to the point of it being like a disability but not anymore. I’m still shy, just not as much and I open up much quicker.   Feeling shy isn’t my choice but I often now can choose to speak up even when I’m feeling very shy. As a child, I couldn’t do that. Even as a young college student it was hard. The more I interact with people, the less shy I become around those people and even in general. After I got a job at a store, I became much less shy.   It will never go completely away and some days I’m more shy than others but being around people, opening up, and interacting pushes me to be less shy. 

12.) How do you respond to what others say about you?

(You can choose to react negatively to what others say about you, or you can choose to ignore it. Even our friends and close family members can say and do things that are extremely hurtful. Words others say don’t define you though. Your actions and thoughts define you. Don’t ever forget that.)

When people compliment me, I accept those compliments very gratefully. When I am criticized constructively, I am also thankful for the helpful feedback and will use it effectively if it will be helpful. About uncalled for negative comments, I have learned to mostly just let them slide.   They’re not worth the time they demand. I used to often seek revenge on people who said bad things about/to me. I would say something back I knew would offend them, sometimes even trying to “get them” worse than they “got me.”. Lol!   I used to try to spread gossip about girls who did that to me.  My general love & compassion would take the back burner and my desire for revenge or to be right would become dominant.  But that accomplishes nothing worthwhile.   It’s ridiculous and I can’t believe I once engaged in that. To know me now, you would never know it. I have come a long way.  Love should always prevail. Now when someone unnecessarily criticizes me or expresses uncalled for negative views about me, I suck it up, wish the person the best, and move on. I won’t deny though that there are seldom occasions when I struggle to hold my tongue. But after practicing conscious lovingkindness for so long, I usually don’t even feel like coming back with retorts and little petty remarks to offend or anger. We can all rise above that.

13.)Why are you here?

(Want to know how to find your dream and change your life in one simple step? Then answer this question: What do you think your purpose is? It’s a deep question. But it’s an important one. You may not know the answer right now, and that’s okay. You’ll find it when you’re ready.)

I’m here because my mom gave birth to me and I never died.
 That’s all there is to it. I don’t believe in a “life purpose” or “ultimate purpose” or anything of that sort. I am here just because. Randomly.   Some people say and I have even said that “we create our own purpose” for living but I don’t even believe it. We create our happiness and things that make our own lives interesting, fun, and feeling like we have “reason” or “purpose” but I don’t believe that anything other than life itself gives me purpose.   If I say my “Life purpose” is to do something I’m passionate about then all of a sudden that thing is no longer something I’m passionate about OR I can no longer do that for some reason, maybe because I become permanently disabled or something, I would STILL have a purpose. Nothing outside of me gives me reason. I am the reason.   I, myself am purpose.

14.) Who do you admire?

(Seek inspiration in others whom you admire. Despite all the bad things going on in the world, there are still millions of heroes, dreamers, and leaders that can inspire all of us to live better.)

The people who always have my heart are ones who go out of their way to love & help others. I believe people in general are basically good and help people sometimes and most people care to a certain degree. But there are those more rare people who go above and beyond to help even strangers. Ones who are beyond compassionate and loving and just embrace everyone. I love people with hearts that are open books and they warmly welcome anyone who wants to come into their world.   They melt my heart.  I love animal lovers too who value their lives and believe they are worthy of love and compassion just like humans.  

15.) What are your weaknesses?
(Nobody’s perfect. And acknowledging thethings you need to get better at is a crucial step to find your dream and change your life.)

I’m horrible at math. Even simple basic math. I sometimes still struggle with feelings of worthlessness. I don’t have those thoughts and feelings as frequently and usually not as deeply as I used to but still have them occasionally. They used to be my life but not now.

16.) What are your goals?
(Think about what you aspire to accomplish in your life. These goals should drive your actions. Speaking of action…)

My number one goal is to be the best me I can be. For myself and everyone. Not to be a perfectionist but to be as loving, compassionate, accepting, tolerant, understanding, kind, and open-minded as possible.   To be the light in someone’s darkness, to inspire, uplift, encourage, and help empower.

17.) How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?
(Goals without a plan are meaningless. Once you figure out your goals, write down action steps that will help you achieve them. Most people don’t do this, and it can mean the difference between getting what you want and failing.)

Yeah well I won’t say that I agree that they’re necessarily “meaningless” but I do agree that a goal paired with an active plan is much more likely to be a success than a mere goal or empty plan alone. The goal is the first step and a great start! ;-D

I’m already doing a good job. And the more I am this way, the more it reinforces it. Sometimes I catch myself not being as kind as I can be and I remind myself that no matter what someone does that I don’t like, I can still be loving and kind to that person. If someone isn’t loving and kind towards me, I don’t have to sink to that level. Instead of focusing on someone else’s lack of kindness, I can just focus on my goal to be the best me I can be. Also, I share uplifting and inspirational things on social media outlets for anyone who may see and need a splash of sunlight.  

18.) What are you grateful for?

(Be thankful every single day. And show your gratitude to others too. Say, “Thank you.” Return acts of kindness. Be grateful for what you have.)

This life of mine which is the thing that allows me to experience all the other great blessings. And I’m thankful for everyone else’s life. Wow! How amazing it is to be alive!   To have a pulse, a heartbeat, a body that functions so well! :-O

19.) How can you make yourself better?
(We all have problems. But you can either give up and accept your circumstances or you can choose to find ways to improve. Are you unhappy with your body? Then learn how to eat better and form consistent exercise habits. Hate your job? Then start taking action to develop a new skill.)

Learn. Practice. Apply.   Keep an open mind. Pay attention. Formulate positive habits. Admit to myself, my weaknesses and when I’m wrong. 

20.) How can you make the world better?

(Last, but certainly not least, is figuring out your ultimate goal. How can you change the world? If you don’t know the answer just yet, combine all the answers above and you’ll have a much better idea. You have the power to do amazing things. Don’t take that for granted.)

This is a fantastic question because it provides the opportunity for deep thought. Contrary to what many people think “Making the world a better place” IS possible for even just one person to do. The world is a very large thing composed of many, many smaller things and aspects.   “Making the world a better place” can refer to any magnitude, whether  at a  local level or global level. You don’t have to be the president of some country or working in some international affairs organization to have a great impact. Working for the environment is amazing but you don’t have to necessarily do that to help either.  Just touching one individual life for the better, whether  animal or person makes one aspect of the world better. And not only is that, alone, an incredible thing but it’s possible for it to have a ripple effect and that one life consciously or unconsciously will go on to positively impact another…..
Right now, I don’t have the resources available to me, that I know of, to make the world a better place at a global, international, or national level. Maybe not even at a local level. But I can touch as many people as I can in small ways which can have a great impact on each life I impact for the better.

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