Money doesn’t grow on trees… Or at least that’s what my Dad used to remind me about. But he was wrong.
When you wake up today, you’ll go forward into your life taking every step wisely or not wisely toward the future. You will be motivated to do something. Some of you will be motivated by shear fear, like not paying the mortgage or more emotional ideas like not being liked. Others will wake up and go for a jog either to win the Olympics or simply to avoid getting old and fat. And again others will stumble out of bed exhausted from yesterday, wrestle with breakfast, be as happy as possible and go to work looking forward to the end of the day when you can do something you enjoy.
We are all motivated to do something and the quality of that motivation is completely dependent of the quality of the questions you ask yourself. I’ve been blessed to work with people in many fields of life from sports professionals to business entrepreneurs, from artists to those struggling to avoid taking their own life. The Human Factor that separates the winners from those who struggle? The questions they ask themselves.
Life is one long sequence of questions. Here are four that sit inside most people’s mind in some form or another:
The First Essential Question We Are Always Asking Ourselves: Who am I?
This question alone can make or break us in wealth creation, mental performance and relationship. When we do not know the answer we attach to those things that give us what is called an identity – our brand. It’s like putting on certain clothes to go to a party because those clothes project to people at the party what we want them to think. Even naked would be a statement. But there’s a problem. The less we like ourselves, the more this identity will become a disingenuous grip on frailty. Or, spoken in more real language, the less we like ourselves as we are, the more likely money, friends, partner and car will become the attachments we cling to in order to protect our true identity and the more this happens, the more we guarantee that the subject of our clinging will we wrenched from our grasp, including wealth, partnership, health and success. In this first healthy question, who am I, spirituality can save you tens of millions of $. All decisions made out of clinging, seeking approval, gripping, grasping, holding an attachment to an identity are made from fear and fear based decisions breed themselves. “What we fear comes near.” To answer the question “who am I?” without fear or attachment, we need to go internal and know the answer. It’s not complex but it is, what we might call self leadership. We need to like ourselves before we work not because of it.
The Second Essential Question We Are Always Asking Ourselves: Why Am I Here?
Will we ever know? Your role in the propagation of the specie, might go somewhat unnoticed when you’re looking for more specific answers to this life long question, such as “mow the lawn” but we are a part of a massive march toward something and we really do play a role in that march, calculated in billions of years, even though we might look at our life in terms of days and years and ask “why am I here, today.” This earth is flying closer to the sun each year, it will eventually burn up “soon,” give or take a few hundred billion years as we talk about soon in the context of the start and finish of our galaxy. But our little ego wants to know why am “I” here? Why me? What am “I” doing here? It’s sort of the equivalent of a grain of sand trying to individualise and find meaning in itself. And the more we shrink in life to deal with the fears and pains, ingratitude and criticisms, the less obvious will be the answer to the question “Why am I here?” and the more likely it will be that we will alienate ourselves and sabotage our goals, dreams and hopes. The smaller we shrink to deal with the struggles of emotion, stress, anxiety and worry, the less obvious the answer to this question, the more likely we will not have the self-confidence, mental toughness and viewpoint that gets results. The simple question will be “are you driving the bus of your life or sitting on the roof of it, just hanging on, hoping you will find some self-respect, someday?” Spirituality creates the habit of overview, a constant awareness that combats the tendency to shrink to the size of the problems of your life. It therefore prevents, bad decisions and instead, promotes strength and happiness that is sustainable. In other words, wealth, health and performance that you can trust and sustain.
The Third Essential Question We Are Always Asking Ourselves: Where did I come from?
The universe is not made of atoms and molecules, it is made from stories
The story you tell yourself, the history of your life, and how you tell that history, is, without any shadow of doubt, the single most important thing that decides the quality and success of your future. Unfinished stories, stories that still hold you emotionally, stories of loss or gain, victim or victor, missed opportunities or failed relationships repeat themselves. The entire science of the human mind is based on intervention in stories, memories and therefore creating new neural pathways for a new scope of opportunity in life. What we judge in the past, we breed in our children, attract in our colleagues and partner, or we become. But instead of frontal lobotomy or electrical shock therapy across your mind to cause memory to be supporting your wealth creation, financial success, performance and happiness, spirituality offers a very powerful process of defusing the anchor ropes that keep you tied to the past. This spirituality is not meditation or bliss seeking drugs. No, it is the ability to make life so transparent that you can witness for yourself, the beauty that’s hidden, the order in the chaos, the love in your history, and therefore help you create, hold and live that love in the future.
The Fourth Essential Question We Are Always Asking Ourselves: Where am I going?
Seek until there is a future that burns a deep, enthusiasm and excitement in your heart,
The opposite to happiness is not unhappiness, the opposite to happiness is boredom.
There are seven areas of life, seven areas that must each be balanced, seven visions that must each excite us. If we forget one of the seven, we will return to this moment in time to collect it. Spirituality is the process of finding those visions, dreams and hopes for the future, and the answer to the question, “where am I going.”
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. Start with these four.