I can’t remember how or why I stumbled on the list of “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind”; but if answering a mere 50 questions will result in liberation, I’m totally willing to do that work! So, over the past several months I addressed each question on the list, thinking briefly about each item, but mostly answering the questions with relative spontaneity. I wanted my responses to be thorough, certainly; but I also wanted to leave room to learn whatever information the answer to each question might have to show me or teach me.
Today I completed the final question on the list. I’m slightly disappointed to report that I am not a fully enlightened being (even after responding to all of the items); but I did gain some insights into parts of myself that I didn’t really want to look at before. While not liberating my heart from all fear, hate, and delusion that can cover or cloud it, the process did confirm that overall, I am quite pleased with the life I have lived thus far. While my soul is still not fully ‘whole’, it doesn’t have a huge gaping hole, either. All in all, I’m doing okay. And that’s pretty darn good, actually.
Below is the list of the 50 questions. I’m not going to include all of my responses in this post, because 1) that would turn this into a REALLY long entry, and 2) the answers to some of the questions are quite personal, and cut pretty close to my heart. If there is a question you really want to know my answer to, let me know (comment below, or send me a private message – your choice), and if I feel that it would be appropriate for me to share my response then I will. But, I think it might be more interesting if perhaps you took a peek at the questions, and maybe answered a few for yourself. Who knows what you might find. 🙂
- How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
- Which is worse, failing or never trying?
- 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?
- When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
- What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
- If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
- Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
- If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
- To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
- Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
- 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?
- If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
- Would you break the law to save a loved one?
- Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
- What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
- How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
- What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
- Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
- If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
- Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
- Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
- Why are you, you?
- Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
- Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
- What are you most grateful for?
- Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
- Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
- Has your greatest fear ever come true?
- Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
- What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
- At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
- If not now, then when?
- If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
- Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
- Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
- Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
- If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
- Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
- Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
- When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
- If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
- Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
- What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
- When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
- If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
- What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
- When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
- What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
- In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
- Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
Wow, interesting and thought-provoking questions, thanks for sharing this!
You are very welcome! I was truly challenged by quite a few of the questions – which surprised me. I’m quite introspective, so I thought I knew a lot about myself; but through these questions, I uncovered/discovered even more. Pretty wild, and pretty cool.
I would like you to know that I have chosen you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”! 🙂
Thank you so much Sharon! I appreciate the very kind recognition. I’ve included this on my “Awards & Thanks” page, along with a link to your blog. 🙂 Thanks again!
“What is the difference between being alive and truly living?” I hope when the correct answer to this question is found it voids this one, “Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?”
I feel like since I have truly learned to live I have increased my life expectancy by, at the very minimum, 10 years! This is a great list. Thanks for sharing it!
I think a good answer to the first question makes the second one irrelevant. 🙂
And I agree, when a person lives fully, their life somehow “magically” extends…
I’m glad you liked the list!
AH! too many questions. Wouldn’t life be less complex if we just live to our fullest? or if we accepted what came and learned from it? Making a plan? Being nice without the fear that others will be mean? What am I doing?!! No more questions!. Life comes through action. Let’s live (with all the words) life and learn from it as long as our intention on acting does not hurt anyone around. said it! 🙂
I agree that life would be beautiful if we were all able to simply live, laugh, and love (as the saying goes); but many people need to be nudged (or pushed) into introspection in order to live that way. But bless the people who are able to exist this way ‘naturally’ – it’s a gift!
As far as #49 goes, I don’t have to speculate. I already don’t know what I did yesterday. Or the day before. Or the day before that.
Live long enough, no problem. It happens!
You’re funny. 🙂 Did you have any answers that were surprising to you?
Rounding the corner to eternity? No, not really! I’ve lived my whole life with a few questions to which the answers changed as I went along. Now even the questions begin to drop away —
Serenity? Not exactly. But something resembling it. And mostly very, very nice.
Wow! It’s really interesting.
It certainly is. Did you answer any of the questions? All of them? Did you discover anything new?
I did this a few years ago, and I have to agree, I didn’t find it very enlightening either. Some of the questions seemed like they only had one “correct” answer, while others just seemed trite. I do think self examination is important though, and it was a good practice.
I agree that some questions seemed too leading, and others seemed to “empty”. But a few did make me pause and really reflect/think; so it was still a good exercise for me to do. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting – I appreciate it!