Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” He also said, “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.” This has inspired my thinking not only in my research but also in everyday life.
I ask myself some general questions almost every day. Iyanla Vanzant has compiled a list of some of these questions in her book Yesterday, I Cried: Celebrating the Lessons of Living and Loving.
Asking these questions help me discover my fears, their source(s), my failure and its reasons, my success and happiness, my future and what needs to be done to get there.
Here are the ten questions and my brief answers.
1. What is your most valued possession?
My books, my room and my cologne.
2. What is your greatest strength?
Resilience in the face of hardships. Coping with depression. Humility. Kindness.
3. What is your greatest weakness?
Exaggerating and jumping to conclusions that things will be worse. But I am learning how to use my frontal cortex (modern brain) more and calm the hindbrain and medulla (primal brain). If you don’t know, the former is responsible for reasoning while the latter for survival.
4. What is your greatest fear?
I am afraid of death. Aren’t we all sometimes? But more so than death, I fear the loss of life, the loss of opportunities to read and write and have fun.
5. What is your best skill?
I am a thinker. I show that in my oral communication and interaction with people and in my writing. I have also been told by friends and new people I meet.
6. What was your greatest mistake?
I have broken hearts. I should have known better.
7. What is your greatest accomplishment?
Fulbright scholarship and M.A. from the University of San Diego. My Ph.D. admission at Rutgers University.
8. If your life ended today, what is the one thing everyone who knows you would say about you?
He was a good listener.
9. What would you want them to say?
He was a man of good character.
10. Why wouldn’t or couldn’t they say what you would want them to say?
It is difficult to say but my best guess is that they don’t know me well enough then.
What type of questions do you ask yourself? Let me know in the comments.