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Dare to ask yourself some BIG questions this week!

I had two conversations last week that inspired me to write this dare, which I think is one of the more important ones that I’ve written to date.

Last Thursday, I did an interview with Maggie Mistal on the Sirius Radio Martha Stewart Channel. We talked about taking career and life risks and Maggie mentioned an interesting finding she recently read about. A researcher asked 1,000 senior citizens to look back on their life and talk about what they wish they’d done differently. The most common response was that they wished they’d stopped and asked the BIG questions more often – did they love what they were doing with their jobs, did they live in a way that they wanted, were they following their passions, were they making an impact on the world, and so on.

This really made me think. Life does rush by faster than I think most of us would want it to and we have to be very conscientious and purposeful about taking a step back from the hectic routines and asking the BIG questions. On top of this, I think some of the BIG questions are also the SCARY questions that we might not want to confront.

Which brings me to the second conversation that inspired this dare. I was talking with a friend who has been working feverishly for the past five years on a non-profit that she had founded. It was an amazing and amazingly worthwhile idea and she did an incredible job getting it off the ground. (I’d tell you about it, but I want to respect her privacy.) She poured every ounce of her mental and physical energy into it and didn’t have time to do much else with her life. She told me that she recently asked herself the BIG and SCARY question of whether she wanted to keep going this way or needed to take a break and do something else with her life for a while.

Wow, I can’t even imagine how difficult this must have been for her – not only was she faced with a decision about her own life path, but about the life path of this amazing organization she had created. After much agonizing, she decided that she did need a break; she converted the organization to a web-based resource that someone she works with can keep going on a part-time basis and will be moving to a different city to do something else for a while. She said she may come back and work on her non-profit again later on, but now she needs some time to live differently, to pursue her creative passions, to spend more time with her family and friends.

I dare you to ask yourself some BIG and potentially SCARY questions this week! They can be about anything – your life, your job, your family, your relationships – but make sure they are about things that are important and have meaning. You don’t have to come up with any BIG answers right away – in fact, I am not sure it’s possible to resolve BIG questions immediately – but just start thinking about them. It will help guide your choices, long or short-term, and it will help you live with a better sense of conscious direction.

Or at least, that’s what I hope it will do for me once I tackle this dare.

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