years that ask



The quote above — “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” — has always been one of my favorites. For me, as for most of us, so much of life is about questions. It’s about trying to figure out who I am, what I want, what I can bring to the world, what the world can bring to me. It’s a daily pursuit of whywhenhowwhere, and who. For awhile now, I’ve felt like I’ve been more in the “question” part of my life, not the “answer” part, and it’s gotten me thinking about how perhaps the best way to find more answers is not to seek them, but to ask more questions. 

It sounds counterintuitive, but when you don’t know something, often the best way to discover the answer is to keep asking questions, particularly about the initial answers you receive. Earlier this year, I wrote 75 Questions for Cultivating Self-Awareness, and not only was it really well-received, but it got me thinking more about what it means to be me, exploring the ways I can cultivate a better understanding of myself (which ultimately helps me bring the best possible me to the world).

Self-exploration, just like self-love, isn’t selfish. It’s actually selfless. The more you learn about yourself, the more you question your beliefs and the world around you, the more open-minded your mind becomes. And the more you open your mind, the more open you are to new experiences, new people, new ideas. All of that openness leads to lots of goodness in the world. With that in mind, this week I decided to round up some more questions to explore my own life, beliefs, and self-knowledge. And I thought you might like them too! 

  1. Is there a purpose to life? If so, what do you think it is? 
  2. How to you define what is art and what is not?
  3. Do you closely identify with your immediate surroundings?
  4. How would you define the term “a good life”?
  5. Where does your self-worth come from?
  6. How do you feel about the concept of religion?
  7. Do believe that you’re completely and truly free?
  8. What’s the best way to achieve lasting happiness?
  9. Do you value intelligence or wisdom more highly?
  10. How do you contribute to your society?
  11. What are the standards you use to judge humans?
  12. Do you desire to be in a position of power?
  13. What types of things or topics do you tend to avoid? 
  14. How important is health in your day-to-day life?
  15. Do you often feel jealous or envious? 
  16. What do you imagine your future self to be like?
  17. How much of your life do you spend online? 
  18. Do you believe the future is real? 
  19. What is the best possible way to discover truth?
  20. Does everything have order or is it all random?
  21. How would you define yourself in three words? 
  22. What impact does language have on your beliefs? 
  23. Do you think creativity has a limit? 
  24. Why do we resist doing what’s good for us? 
  25. How accurate do you think your memory is? 
  26. Does morality apply to animals, or just humans?
  27. What obligation do we have to improve ourselves? 
  28. How does the concept of beauty influence you? 
  29. When do you label something as “evil”?
  30. How do you measure the productivity of a day?
  31. Would you want to live in another time period?
  32. Do you highly value your personal privacy?
  33. What would the world be like without laws?
  34. How many kinds of love have you given or received?
  35. Is it ever okay to do the wrong thing? When? 
  36. How do you envision your life will end?
  37. What are the best parts of human nature? 
  38. Do you consider your work to be purposeful?
  39. How much money would a year of your life be worth?
  40. Are emotions more positive or negative for us? 
  41. Do you believe in the concept of fate? 
  42. How much does your name impact your life? 
  43. Is it possible to create something completely new?
  44. What would you like to be remembered for?
  45. Do you feel you’ve accomplished a great deal so far? 
  46. How far do you go to avoid personal suffering? 
  47. Is the concept of “you” always changing? 
  48. When do you feel most alive and present in your life?
  49. What would an ideal world look like to you?
  50. What question would you like someone to ask you?


If you feel comfortable sharing any of your answers, I’d love to hear them in the comments below! But, either way, I hope these questions inspire you to think differently, to explore what ideas and beliefs matter most to you, and to consider how the concept of questions — and the act of questioning — can positively impact your life.  



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Comments (4)

  1. These are all great questions to ponder on. I recently wrote a blog post on questions that can help us on our path to self-discovery. Asking myself a lot of questions has helped me change my perspective on life and to strive at becoming a better version of my self. Please, check out my blog at

  2. I want to answer all the questions in short story! Haha! But will spare everyone from that.
    1) I feel the only purpose in life individually is to live it. How each human being chooses to do that keeps us curious and at times uncertain of that purpose.
    8) Lasting happiness is a thought. So the only way to achieve that is through acceptance. Easier said then done.
    15) Jealous and envious thoughts flash through my mind daily. I merely make myself aware of those thoughts and what they mean. Then try to revert back to the present moment and away from thought. Positively Present! 🙂
    19) There is only one truth. That is “now”. The truth cannot come to you from another person in a story.
    23)I believe creativity has no limit.
    48) When I’m alone I feel truly the most alive and present
    Thank you for allowing me to share. I will be answering each and everyone of those questions in a self exploration.

  3. These are all great questions and ones that make you ponder the answer. I notice that someone up above already made my comment- great blog and one that I recently became aware of too. I can’t wait to read what you post next. Thanks for writing it.
    Take care,
    Kelli Riebesehl (

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