Here we are at week three 2018 already! The next seven questions are again gleaned from Marc Chernoff’s summary, Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Yourself in 2018 (source: Bob Tiede at At Leading With Questions). Let’s see how each question offered by wisdom leaders around the nation and world challenge us with this week’s lifeskill, Relationships & Core Values.
Question 1: Through all of life’s twists and turns who has been there for you?
That’s easy . . . my husband, John, and God. Now, that’s a pair to be proud of!
Question 2: Who do you think stands between you and happiness?
That’s a simple one but not easy. Who stands between myself and happiness? Me! For all life challenges faced over the years since childhood, I could blame any number of people and circumstances. Some of them could be my parents, the bully at school, my illnesses, rejections by publishers over the years, or obstacles that put my dreams on hold. The list goes on.
One thing stands firm. We have a choice to make. We can hold on to a grudge, nurture anger, and harbor resentment. All we really end up with is a life filled with cultivated bitterness eating at our hearts and even bodies. So, I choose daily to be happy. The word, happiness, to me means living in contentment and gratitude.
To grasp what we think is happiness, many of us chase after material gain, power, control, approval of people, even running after someone to love, no matter the warning signs. Holding on to contentment and gratitude in each moment, I find it easier to be kind and helpful to others. My own needs and wants are then more likely to be kept in perspective. Understanding and forgiveness also come more readily and freely. With tomorrow’s unknowns, I will be given the opportunity to once again choose contentment and gratitude . . . happiness that stands the test of time.
Question 3: What is the simplest truth you can express in words?
We have three basic human needs in life . . . to be accepted, safe, and significant. Thank you for that gem goes to Neil Anderson from his book, The Bondage Breaker.
Question 4: What’s the one thing you’d like others to remember about you at the end of your life?
That somehow, despite my own human frailties, I gave others hope, faith, and love that was unconditional.
Question 5: If you looked into the heart of your enemy, what do you think you would find that is different from what is in your own heart?
The heart of my enemy is overwhelmed by their own wounds and words dagger-driven into their soul and spewing out cancer to anyone passing by. I just happen to be the most recent target.
The only reason my heart isn’t spewing the same today rests in God’s mercy in my life. That leaves me with the challenge to “love my enemies.” That means I am to unselfishly seek the best or higher good for them, and pray for those who persecute me. Never easy but essential for my own wellbeing as well as others.
Question 6: What do you love most about yourself?
That I seek to find the good in others and hold on to hope in life. Let me qualify this before you call me a “goody-two-shoes!” This is more a life goal than anything else. Knowing when a moment is focused more on I, Me, and Mine, I would shortly lose what is most important in life and relationships. But when I see the good in others hope rises up in me for us all.
Question 7: What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?
About 53 years ago (year 1965), shortly after I married my husband, my birthday was coming in October. As a surprise, my Mom gave me her old 1949 Singer Sewing Machine with cabinet and accessories. I believe it was Model 15, straight stitch only.
As I unwrapped it, tears were flowing remembering all the childhood years when Mom sewed most all our clothes. Somehow, this hand-me-down gift touched something deep inside me. This durable and reliable classic was one of Singer’s most popular household machine from the 1930s to the 1950s until their zig-zag models forced these classics into the closet.
Mom taught me how to sew, and I definitely used it to make some of my own clothes. When my daughters were born I made many of their clothes, and most all their prom dresses too! That sure was a very different era, wasn’t it? I will never forget how this hand-me-down gift impacted my life and gave me sweet memories of my Mom.
Now, it’s your turn again!
If you missed Week Two questions, click here to follow along.