Asking the right questions can be one of the most powerful ways of finding solutions to almost every problem you face in life. Children learn by asking questions. Students learn by asking questions. When you are lost and stuck in life, you can find out the purpose of your life by asking questions too. And of course, when you feel a lack of energy, you can ask motivational questions to spark your drive and kick-start your day again.
Eric Schmidt, who was once the CEO of Google said, “We run this company on questions, not answers.”
Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple said in his autobiography that he asked himself this one question each morning:
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to be doing what I’m doing?”
This question has led Jobs to reflect on his life and what he did daily. He said, “Whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
This is the question that directed Jobs’ life and made him one of the most successful business leaders in the technology industry.
How to Get Driven by Asking Motivational Questions
No doubt that asking questions is a very powerful way how we can change our thoughts.
And because whatever questions we asked in our mind, our mind will search for the answers, hence, asking the right motivational questions allow your mind to focus on finding the right answers that motivate you into taking action.
Our mind works exactly like how Google works. You can type whatever you want into Google and Google will come up with results that you are trying to search for.
When you ask questions, your mind will search for answers that are already inside you.
Highly successful people ask the right questions, and thus, they receive the right answers that help them move forward in life.
On the other hand, unsuccessful people ask the wrong questions. As a result, they receive the wrong or poor answers that lead them to live a mediocre life.
Here are a few lousy or negative questions that most people often ask themselves:
- “Why does this happen to me?”
- “What if I fail?”
- “Why didn’t I?”
- “What if I’m not good enough?”
These are the lousy questions that make your mind search for lousy answers that make you feel inferior. Often, when you ask these questions, you will make yourself feel lousy and get yourself into the slump mood.
Change your questions. Ask something more empowering. Better yet, ask yourself motivational questions that will boost your mood and put you in the right state of mind.
Here are the 10 motivational questions you can ask yourself whenever you are not feeling motivated.
1. What are the recent accomplishments that make me feel proud and successful?
Asking this question is powerful because it sparks your mind to search for your previous accomplishments, big or small.
One reason people often not feeling motivated and quit on their goals because they focus on the wrong things. They choose to focus on the failures and mistakes, which make them feel inferior and quickly lose their motivation.
Rather than thinking about your mistakes, failures, and what you have done wrong, choose to think about all the good that you have done.
Dan Sullivan, one of the most successful entrepreneurs called this the ‘reverse gap‘ thinking.
While it is good to have goals, you don’t have to wait until when you have successfully achieved your goals only to feel happy, proud, and successful.
Visualize and see all the accomplishments and victories you have achieved, no matter big or small, and learn to celebrate all your wins.
Constantly remind yourself of what you have done and how far you have come. Measure and track the small victories and little victories that you have achieved, and then celebrate.
This will make you feel good and motivate you to achieve more in life.
2. What is the one step I can take right now to move closer to my goal?
This question allows you to discover the one thing that you can do right now so that you can get rid of all distractions and focus on doing just one thing.
Most people lack the motivation usually because they are bombarded with too many options and they have no idea what they can do right away to move forward.
They feel lost because they are presented with too many choices. So when you ask this question, you allow yourself to identify the one thing that you can do right away to move closer to your goals.
This question is powerful because it helps you focus on what can be done and what you can do right away to move forward.
Once you have identified this one step, it is all up to you if you want to do take action right away.
Usually, when you are absolutely clear with what you want and you know exactly what you need to do to achieve it, it gives you the power to act and you will have the motivation to do it.
Clarity is power, my friend. And asking this question gives you the clarity that you need.
Read this article from James Clear if you want to understand more how being specific can help you achieve greater success in life.
3. If I fail to achieve my goals, what will be the consequences?
When you ask this question, you want to use your imagination to think about what will happen if you stay the same in the years to come. What if you fail to achieve your goals and live the same life you are living right now for the next 10 years?
How will you feel? Answering this question requires some courage because you are going to use the fear created in your head to motivate you to take action.
Really think about it. What will happen if you fail to reach your goals and you’re not going to live your dream life?
Unless your goals and dreams are something that you don’t really bother to achieve, answering this question will create the eustress and fear that will drive you forward.
4. If I successfully achieved my goals, what will my life be like?
This question is similar to the one above, just that it is asked from an opposite perspective.
Motivational question #3 uses fear to move you forward, and this question uses the positive side of achievement to drive you into taking action.
So what are the great things that you are going to get if you achieved your goals and are living your dream life? How will you feel and what will you be doing?
Again, use your imagination and think about all the great things that will come to you when you achieved your goals.
Close your eyes and imagine you living your dreams. See yourself achieved all the big and bold goals, so how will you live your life? What will you do?
When you think about all the positive and amazing results you are living, you will feel motivated.
5. What is the biggest obstacle or roadblock that is stopping me from reaching my goal, such that if I get rid of it, I will become unstoppable?
Many people dive straight in after they set their goals. They want to take as much action as possible, but if you spend a little time answering this question, it will give you a clear picture of how to get to your destination.
Asking this question allows you to see clearly where and what is your number one weakness or obstacle that is stopping you.
And when you know what is the thing that is stopping you, you can then formulate a better plan to overcome it.
If you want to be a professional writer, and you ask yourself this question and then you discover that your writing skill is not as good, you have just identified a roadblock that limits your success.
What you can do then is to improve your writing skills. You can attend classes, take courses and spend an hour each night to polish your writing skills.
After a few months or a year later, you will notice that you have totally removed this roadblock. Your writing skill has greatly improved and it is no longer limiting your success anymore.
In fact, your writing skill has improved a lot and that it has become an advantage to you in your writing career.
Do you see how powerful you can become by identifying and overcoming your roadblocks? But first, you must ask yourself this question in order to know what is stopping you.
6. Who do I want to be in the next 5 years?
One of the most motivational questions you can ask is not what you want to achieve, but who you want to be.
When you ask this question, you allow your mind to come up with models and idols that you want to be like.
The key is that when you want to become someone that is worthy of success, you will have to act like one. And this “acting” like one will develop the necessary characters, habits, and traits that will make you successful.
Many people set goals to build a multi-million dollar business, but the problem is that they didn’t change. They are still who they are. They did not possess the necessary skillset, the characters, the traits, and the habits that will make them a multi-millionaire.
If you want to achieve your goals, you have to develop yourself into the person who is worthy and who has the characters and traits of reaching the goal.
You can’t get rich thinking poor. You can’t be successful if all you think about is failure.
It is who you become that truly counts. And when you become the right person, the goals will come to you, automatically.
Highly successful people are able to achieve outstanding results in their lives because they have the characteristics, habits, and traits that attract amazing results.
Hence, ask this question and find out who you want to be.
7. What is the one goal that if I achieve it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
Asking this question helps you find your clarity. When you are clear about what you want to achieve, you can become unstoppable.
Most people are not getting ahead in life because they have no idea what they want out of their lives.
They feel lost and are directionless as of where they should be heading and what they should be doing.
And when you have no idea what to do, you will procrastinate, you feel bored, and you find that life is without zest.
Thus, find out what is the one thing that you want to achieve by asking this question. Usually, this question will lead you to discover the ultimate goal that you truly want to achieve in your life right now.
8. What is the good advice that the 50 years old me will tell the 20 years old me?
Imagine you are at age 50 right now, what kind of advice will you be telling the 20 years old you?
If you are above 50, imagine that you are 70, and what will you tell your younger self?
The point here is to imagine that you are much older right now and what will you tell your younger self.
Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent years working and caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives wrote a book called, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. And here are the top 5 regrets:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
The #1 regret is the most common of all. When people realized that they are at the end of their life and look back, it is easy to see that they still have many dreams left unfulfilled.
And this is what Ware said in her book:
“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
You can read the short excerps about the 5 regrets in this article from BusinessInsider.
You don’t have to wait until when you are 90 only to regret over the dreams that you didn’t pursue.
What you can do right now is ask this question and listen to what your older self will tell your younger self.
Take the advice and do what you still can.
If this question doesn’t seem to be working for you, try out the one below.
9. If I could turn back time, knowing what I now know, what will I do differently?
If you have the ability to turn back time, what will you do differently? Are you going to make a different decision? Are you going to invest when people tell you not to? Are you going to quit your job and start your own business? Are you going to express your feeling to someone you love?
We all have regrets in life and we wish that we can somehow turn back time and do things differently.
The truth is that we can’t turn back time, but what we can do is to heed the experience that we have and do our best at this present moment.
When Malaysia’s real estate was booming back in 2009 to 2012, I regretted that I did not invest enough.
Is it too late? Well, yes and no.
Yes, it is too late and I can’t change history.
And no, it is not too late because I know what I should be doing that right now. I’m wiser, have more experience and know better. As long as I take good care of this current moment, my future will be brighter.
Thus, when you ask this question, you are giving yourself an idea of how you should live your present moment at your best.
This question motivates you to do your best in your life right now, not 20 years later.
Always remember this quote:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
So now that you can turn back time, what will you do differently? Choose to do it right now. You don’t have to go back time because you can’t.
But you can do it right now and make a difference. And when the next 10 years arrive, you can stand proud and say that you did it.
10. What will people say about me when I die?
This question may sound awkward, but it is a very empowering one.
Robin Sharma, the successful author wrote a book with the title, Who Will Cry When You Die. It is a book about the awakening. The same goes for answering this question. It gives you an awakening.
When you think about the end of life, it gives you awakening and ideas about how you should live your life right now so that at the end of your life, you and your life matter.
What will you want people to say and think about you? Do you want people to say that you are lazy, good for nothing, and someone who failed in life?
Or do you want people to say good things about you? Do you want people to have the memory of you that you are hard-working, successful, and someone well-respected?
The choice is yours. We cannot control what others say or think about us, but we can do something about how we live our life right now.
If you want to get motivated, ask this question right now. Feel the motivation and take massive action so that at the end, you leave a positive legacy and you make a good impact on the world.
Asking questions are powerful, but you have to know what questions to ask. And if you want to get driven to take action and act on your goals, ask these motivational questions.
Treat these questions seriously. Spend time thinking and imagining your answers. Feel your answers and allow your emotions to flow.
Are you feeling motivated right now? What do you think about these questions? Which one is the most impactful? Do share your opinion in the comment section below. Cheers.