Friday, May 8, 2009

Ten Tough Questions To Ask When the Going Gets Tough

This song title says it all: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going. The question is, how do we become tough?

Does that title ring a bell to you? It's the title of the song by Billy Ocean in 1985, which made it to the charts in US and Europe. It was also the soundtrack of the movie Jewel of the Nile.

Most of those who are between 35 to 45 years old today may have loved that song 24 years ago. Most have their own families to take care of. By now some of them may already be in managerial or executive positions. Others may have started their own businesses in the last 10 years.

Are you one of them?

If you're around 40 today, and you still have a good grip of your sanity, you deserve a tap on the back.

Congratulations! You made it this far. You're tough!

But the journey continues.

Let me offer what I believe are the top ten tough questions that tough people ask when the going gets tough. I believe those who answer the questions well, in a very coherent fashion, will be the happiest people 20 years down the lane.

Here we go...

1. "Am I willing to ask tough questions?"

Asking questions require courage, especially if they're questions about assumptions you have about yourself and life.
Is my health ok? If I continue to do what I do now with my body, will I live until age 60?

What will people say about me if I die today? When was the last time I fully expressed love to my loved one?

Am I living the kind of life I want? Am I happy where I am? Am I living a life of bliss? or a life of mediocrity?

Do you have the courage to ask these sort of questions?

2. "Do I have the nerve to seek for and listen to answers?"

Asking questions is one thing. Listening to answers is another. Listening takes courage too.

Some of these answers may elate you. Some of them may drive the hell out of you. Will you listen nonetheless?

Read more about Listening here: What Everybody Ought to Know About Listening

3. "What do I really want?"

Have you decided on what you really want out of life?

Granting, have you written them down?

Again, granting, how often do you review what you have written down?

4. "What are my non-negotiables?"

Some people list down relationship with God, personality integrity, strong family bond, and the like among their non-negotiables. They won't exchange these things for anything. They're not up for sale.

How does your list look like?

Read more about "non-negotiables" here:
What Are Your "Non-Negotiables"?

5. "Am I climbing the right ladder?"

Is your job or business leading you to what you really want in life? If not, what are you doing about it?

6. "What needs to happen in my life right now?"

Your answer to this question can range between, "nothing I'm completely fine" to "oh, I need to change my job or business."

How seriously do you want what needs to actually happen?

Read more on this question here:
Here Are Two Quick Ways to Move Forward

7. "Do I willingly embrace necessary discomfort?"

Change can be uncomfortable. How willing are you to get out of your comfort zone?

If what needs to happen in your life is to devout an extra hour of your day at home, what are you willing to give up to get that one hour?

8. "Am I getting necessary support?"

Do you recognize your limitations? If so, are you engaging the support of family, friends and professionals?

Are you delegating tasks well? Or are you attempting to do everything all by yourself?

9. "Do I celebrate my victories?"

Do you recognize your little victories as much as the big ones? Do you celebrate for each victory?

When was the last time I was whole-heartedly thankful for something?

10. "Do I give back?"

Do you feel the urge to return the fortunes you received to your community or country?

If so, how do you plan to do that?

- - -

I pray you have the courage to ask these questions to yourself...and listen to the answers from your heart.

Great rewards await for those who do.

May you live a great and fulfilling life!

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