The point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer
—Rainer Maria Rilke
Last weekend, I had breakfast with my dad. I explained that I feel particularly satisfied on days when I create something—a blog, a drawing, or a beautiful graph—and share it with someone. My dad smiled. Then, he replied, “I have a good day when something unexpected happens.”
As he said this, I realized that how you evaluate your days determines the person you become.
There are many questions we can ask ourselves daily, such as:
- Did I create something meaningful?
- Did I learn something new?
- Did I make someone smile?
- Did I get better at my craft?
- Did I meet someone new?
- Have I become a wiser person?
- Did I encounter something unexpected?
- Did I help somebody?
- Did I do something that scared me?
- Did I work on something that can change the world?
- Did I invest in the people around me?
- Did I work with amazing people?
It’s worth asking yourself: am I asking the right questions? There is no one-question-fits-all, but each question reflects certain values. Asking, “have I helped someone?” means you value compassion and kindness. Summing up what you’ve learnt at the end of the day indicates a commitment to personal growth.
Which questions do you ask yourself at the end of your day? Do they reflect what you truly care about, or are they merely a product of your environment and the past?
Thanks to Jan Overgoor for reviewing an earlier version of this post.
Hey Titiaan, I like this post. I am always try to ask myself questions, but I’ve never really thought about how the types of questions we ask ourselves affect what we work towards. On any given day, I try to ask myself, did I improve today? It’s bit general, but it helps focus me.
Alex, thanks for your comment. Do you track your answers, in other words, do you have an overview of all your answers in the last month(s)?
the only one question I keep asking myself every day over the last decades of my life, is “Have a been a good (i.e. “kind hearted”) person today? It helps me to live in a mindful and caring way. Love itself makes you grow and expand and encounter the unexpected. By being kind towards others you become happy too, and the character is improved automatically.
I typically have a weekly reflection where I write down my improvements in the week, but I do not do day-to-day reflections. Maybe I should allot some time each night to do just that.