When I was making my list of 365 Things to do in 2017 I spent a lot of time online looking for events, special tasks, and the like. I came across this questionnaire and the title struck me, 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. So I added it to the list and today I take it on. Here goes:
1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?
22-23. For those that don’t know, I am 32.
2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
I think for the most part it is to make other people happy.
4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
I hope not!
5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
How people treat other people that have differing views in politics, religion… the big stuff. Help facilitate a more understanding world.
6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I would travel more and not worry so much about debt, savings accounts or be financially responsible.
9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
I think I have had pretty good control over the course of my life. I have moved when I wanted to, but work wise I think I am too often a slave to money.
10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
A healthy mix of both.
11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
Defend my friend.
12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
So cliche, but “Life is short. Make decisions that lead to happiness.”
13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
I don’t think so.
15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I think I hold my friends to a higher standard than most people. I have recently come to terms with the fact that not everyone is your friend or has your best interest at heart. I live my life in a way that honors those close to me but excludes those that are hurtful or negative. I used to think this was cynical, distrusting, or being a mean person, but now I see it as a way to be happier.
16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
Everyone has a different idea of happiness and different things that make them happy. That’s no secret. So obviously, things that make me happy won’t necessarily make others happy.
17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
Start a career in art. I just haven’t found the right fit.
18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Yes. It’s a big one and hard to release. I work on it internally but it hasn’t gone away yet.
19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
This is impossible to answer! There are so many places. I guess number one would be England. I was born there but left when I was three, so I don’t remember it at all. Reasons are endless: the culture, the ability to travel easily to other European countries, history, etc.
20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
Hmmm. I think worried genius.
22. Why are you, “you”?
The way I was raised, the people I have come in contact with, but most importantly, events that have happened in my life.
23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
Losing touch with a good friend who lives near me. I have moved a lot so have learned to stay in touch with long distance friends. Sometimes it is harder to keep in touch with those in town because I always think… well, I can call them next week to get together and then time just passes and passes.
25. What are you most grateful for?
26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
This is intense! I think never be able to make new ones…
27. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
This question is too poignant. Yes, I remember. No, it does not.
30. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
I think it’s a cluster of memories. Playing in the woods, riding my bike, playing HORSE until the sun went down with my best friends… It’s special because it was so innocent yet meaningful.
31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
Days that I get to be creative.
32. If not now, then when?
Soon. But I get the point. Now!
33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
Something I relish in everyday. I think it’s just a lack of understanding and compassion.
36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
More work! I’m a workaholic.
39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
I can’t recall.
41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Truly living is living a life that you want not what you think is needed.
44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
I don’t know! I want to say NOW! But it’s hard to let go and just do it.
45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Because we don’t want to be seen as failures.
46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
A yoga class, at least a few years ago.
48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
My family, my friends, art. No, I don’t think they have.
49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
Sadly, probably not.
50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
I think I’m letting others make them for me.
Wow! That was intense. The questions are so simple but they make you pause and reflect. I hope to walk away from this more mindful. For the most part the questions almost seem rhetoric, as I felt answering them was like “DUH”. Yet, it is things I should be reflecting on daily but don’t. It opens you up. I hope to use this as motivation to live more fully.