Two questions

You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.
Eric Hoffer
1902 – 1983

Today, I have two brief questions for you. While the questions are simple, it’s estimated that over ninety percent of the population can’t answer them. If you can answer these questions correctly, you’re among a very rare group of individuals; the ones who can answer these questions are among the happiest people on Earth.

If you can’t answer them right away, I hope you’ll spend some time thinking about them and figure out the answers. Doing so will improve your life dramatically.

The first question is: Who are you? When I ask people this question, they generally respond with some external descriptor. The correct answer is not your name, gender, occupation, educational level, marital or parental status. The question is about your core being. Who are you? What are your values? What do you stand for?

Your values should take precedence over any roles you play in life. Are you clear about your values? Can you articulate them in 25 words or less?

The second question is: What do you want? When I ask most people this question, I get a predictable list of material things: a big house, fancy car, nice clothes, impressive bank account. I remind them of the quote at the beginning of this lesson; getting more of what you don’t need will not bring you happiness.

Your goal should be to live a happy, fulfilling life. Acquiring more material things won’t get you there. Striving for more things we don’t need puts us on the consumer treadmill — running in place, trying harder but never getting closer to the goal of a happy and fulfilling life.

Take some time and think about what you really want to accomplish in life. What are you here to achieve?

These questions are simple, but the answers require a lot of introspection, a lot of soul searching. Most people can’t answer these questions because they’ve never stopped and given them any real thought. We get so caught up in the demands of daily life that we never stop to examine the bigger picture.

Spend some time getting clear on your answers and revisit them often. Make sure you’re living a life in line with your values, and be sure you’re on the path to get what you want.

The important thing is that men should have a purpose in life. It should be something useful, something good.
Dalai Lama
1935 –

Copyright © 2020 by John Chancellor


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