Pause To Ask Yourself Better Questions And Make Better Decisions

Published on
April 15, 2024
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All my life I’ve been searching for the answers to life’s greatest questions: why am I here? What should I do with my life? What’s the purpose to all this? I’m sure you have asked yourself the same questions as well. Sadly, I don’t have those answers and I’m still searching for those answers for myself.

I’ve read so many personal development books and taken numerous courses thinking “this one will be the one that fixes me for good.” And I don’t think that is necessarily wrong, however we are constantly striving for more. So even if we do fix ourselves or find that perfect answer then we grow as human beings and will need more answers. It’s cliché but it’s true, we will never be fixed because we are always growing and evolving as people.

Plus we have so many choices and decisions on a daily basis that shape who we are in any given moment that all your hard work can be thrown away in an instant. No matter how many books you’ve read, courses you’ve attended or positive choices you have made in one day or throughout your entire life, sometimes it can come down to one good or bad decision. I don’t want to be so life and death because not all decisions are that dire, however when you accumulate a string of bad decisions together they can lead you to a place you never thought you would end up.

When life is truly compressed down: what makes us happy versus sad, ecstasy versus depression, fulfillment and joy versus pain and regret. It all comes down to two things

  1. The QUESTIONS we ask ourselves
  2. The DECISIONS we make from those questions

That’s it.

If you look back at every single good or bad decision you have ever made in your entire life it came down to these two factors. From something as small as should I eat another cookie to something as big as is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Yes there are outside factors such as advise from friends and family or things outside of your control such as losing your job because of downsizing. Or maybe you had your heart broken and think this doesn’t apply to you. Well it still does, maybe not in that exact moment or you weren’t able to decide to stay in that relationship. However you will ask yourself questions after that breakup and make decisions based on those questions.

If you ask yourself terrible questions, odds are you will get terrible answers and end up making a terrible decision. If you ask yourself “why did he/she leave me” or “what’s the purpose of living without this person.” Odds are you will not make a great decision from these questions.

I think sometimes the best we can hope for is a pause between the questions we ask ourself and the decision we end up making. I always thought I would be fixed or cured after doing all my personal development, however I really believe all that work can sometimes come down to a pause.

We all want to be perfect and never screw up but that isn’t realistic, even some of the greatest men and women I know still make bad decisions on a daily basis. It’s a constant grind every single day to ask yourself better questions then make better decisions with those questions. I think all of our hard work and dedication to growing as a person ultimately leads to pauses in between the questions and decisions.

A pause just long enough to make sure that is really what I want to do. A pause to ask myself a better question and ultimately make a better decision. A pause to not make that huge mistake that can change the course of my life. A pause to confirm I’m making the right decision and it’s not based solely on my emotions in that moment. A pause to just take a breath and enjoy the moment versus rushing into something.

That’s it.

That may seem over simplified but sometimes all you need is a small moment between the questions and the decisions you make. We all want these profound truths and strategies for growth and personal development. And believe I still use those and will keep doing all those things. I think most of us believe that will lead to a perfectly self-actualized human being that will never mess up and will live in harmony on a daily basis. Maybe those people exist but I’m not one of them. I screw up all the time.

I have noticed when I ask myself better questions, take a beat in between, then make my decision my day goes much smoother. I want to believe that it’s because I’ve done all this work on myself and read all these books, and that is definitely a factor. However, I believe all of that leads up to one thing: taking a pause.