9 Questions

I recently came across an interesting article – 9 Great Questions to Ask Your Kids After School.

I thought it was interesting as I imagined asking my little niece and nephews these questions and the thought of their answers made me smile.

I believe the questions are meant to start meaningful discussions with your child/children to get them to think about their actions, to be aware of and to hopefully learn about what is going on around them.

As adults, it’s really easy (for me anyway) to switch off and go through the motions of our daily lives/jobs like robots or in Mr Z’s case, zombies.

I wondered, therefore, what my answers would be if someone asked me those questions…..after work?

questionmark

So…here are my answers after a typical Monday…

1 – “Tell me about something you did well today?

I read and actioned all new emails, so my inbox is zero.

2 – “Tell me something you’d like to do better tomorrow?”, “How will you do this?

I would like to not be late for work because I had to spend time unexpectedly scraping ice from the windscreen of my car.

I will do this by leaving the house 10 minutes earlier.

3 – “What was your best question today?”

(to my boss) Do you have a few minutes to discuss my annual appraisal?

4 – “What problems did you solve today?”

Lots of work-related issues.

5 – “Who had the best lunch today?”, “What made it the ‘best’?”

I only saw my own lunch because I ate at my desk while I worked.

It wasn’t ‘the best’ but it was healthy!

6 – “What did you do to help someone today?”

I explained to someone how to do their job (politely).

7 – “What did you wonder about today?”, “Do you have any questions you want answered?”

I wondered who had won the lottery jackpot over the weekend.

I wondered if they were going to remain anonymous.

8 – “Who did something kind for someone else today?”, “How do you think it made those people feel?”

I don’t know anyone who did anything kind today…

9 – “What was the funniest thing that happened at school work today?”

Two guys talking loudly about the entire plot of ‘The Hateful Eight’ film. My friend sat there with fingers in her ears and humming loudly so that she couldn’t hear what they were saying!

A Little Sad

Writing and reading back those answers made me feel a little sad – is that really what my normal day is like, what I spend most of my time doing!?

Gosh, it really doesn’t usually seem that bad but put in writing, it looks terrible, boring and so….mundane! Maybe I’ve just gotten used to it because I really don’t hate my job at all, I actually like it!

I can’t believe however that I couldn’t answer question number 8 – this one actually made me feel a little uncomfortable, that perhaps I should be the one doing something kind for someone!?

And maybe Monday was just a bad day to pick – I’m fairly certain that my answers on a Friday would be different! But thinking about it…why should a Monday be any different from a Friday?

I’m sure if I only made the effort, looked for opportunities and was more ‘aware’, I’d have given more interesting and meaningful answers.

Instead, I think my eyes were ‘wide-shut’ as I went through the usual motions at work.  Like a robot. Or a zombie. Or even a robot-zombie.

I’m still a long way from FI and retiring – this can’t be all that I will do over the next 10-15 years! Can it?

Revisit

Having just set my goals for 2016, I don’t want to add a new one already but I’d like to return to these questions at some point later in the year and hope to have some better answers (to all of the questions), answers which will show that I’m not just stuck in the humdrum of my working life, answers which hopefully show that I’m….living an interesting life!

Maybe I need to answer the questions when I have a day off from work but that would probably be cheating!

How would you answer these questions and how happy would you be with your answers?

 

12 thoughts on “9 Questions

  1. Great post Weenie. Thanks for sharing!

    I love thought provoking questions. You’re right. They shouldn’t be once in a blue moon or on a Monday, but we should be equipped to answer them with hopefully interesting/satisfying responses everyday.

    If we’re answering some of these questions in a way that we’re not happy with, we can take the necessary steps to improve that answer for next time, as you suggested above, by being the ‘kind person’ in the office.

    I have a set or ’empowering questions’ I ask myself each morning as part of my morning ritual. They help me feel better, reframe my mind, and make more satisfying choices more regularly:

    • What am I happy about in my life right now?
    • What am I excited about in my life right now?
    • What am I proud of in my life right now?
    • What am I grateful for in my life right now?
    • What am I passionate about in my life right now?
    • What am I enjoying most in my life right now?
    • What am I committed to in my life right now?
    • Who do I love in my life? Who loves me?
    • How can I get the most out of today?
    • How can I create more energy right now?
    • What can I give today?
    • What can I do right now to bring me closer towards the life that I want?
    • How can I make myself feel good today?
    • What is the most important thing for me to do today?
    • If today was my last day, how would I live it?

    Sorry to bombard your post with this, but I love this stuff and if one other person asked themselves one of these questions today and it helps them, it’s been totally worth it.

    Great post once again, and in response to Q7 “No comment”.

    Best
    Huw

    • Cheers Huw and a big thank you for taking the time to write such a thought provoking comment!

      Even just looking at the first few and mentally answering them made me feel….better about myself!

      I’ve just copied them and intend to print them off. Might not have time to ask them all in the morning (I’m not a morning person lol) but certainly really worth considering them and including them in my life to better myself!

      Q7 – haha!

  2. hi Weenie, I think this is a great post too and offers much food for thought! You’ve reminded me that one of my goals for this year is “do something generous for someone every day” (this could and probably mostly will be something fairly small, such as pay a compliment or refrain from glaring grouchily at people who encroach on my space in the train … and in fact I haven’t been that brilliant so far at managing even that much). I will have a go at answering these questions tonight but I do think you shouldn’t feel too bad about your job seeming routine as most jobs are pretty routine, even the seemingly glamorous ones. Having said that, maybe over time if we all asked these questions every day perhaps our approach to our jobs might change? … I don’t know! It’s an interesting thought.

    • Hi Cathy

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that it reminded you of one of your goals, which incidentally, is a lovely goal!

      I think I need to open my eyes more and appreciate things more instead of just taking things for granted – I’m sure there’s a lot of stuff that I just missed by just being inwardly focused!

      Hope you have fun answering your questions!

  3. Weenie, you should ask yourself them after a day at the weekend, or midway through a holiday and compare what the differences are. Could be interesting 🙂

    @Huw – I like this question a whole lot – “What can I do right now to bring me closer towards the life that I want?”

    Most of the time we can make steps towards the life that we actually want. Just because it’s not an instant change doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, but sadly I feel this is the way many people think. Afraid of change, and sticking with what they know…

    Great post Weenie. Would be interesting to ask yourself them at the end of the day, everyday for a month. See what different it makes…

    MrZ

    • Hey Mr Z

      Yes, comparing regular answers would be interesting!

      However, Huw’s listed some brilliant questions which I would want to ask as they have already got me thinking differently!

  4. A very thought provoking post and I have to say I love Huw’s reply and questions… Huw if you have never posted that on your blog before you should do it (sorry if I missed that one!?)

    It sounds like you could do with reading into mindfulness? I’ve been meaning to read a few books on it for ages and have randomly just started reading one with Mrs T about mindful birthing (hah!). I am by no means an expert as only a few chapters in but it talks about focusing on the present, really drinking in the everyday experience and finding wonder in the mundane. I think if we trained ourselves to do this deliberately each day it would soon become second nature and we would be able to answer these sort of questions a lot easier and with more exciting (to us) answers.

    I was going to write a post about it (mindfulness, not birthing) when I’m a bit further into or have finished the book. I also found this post the other day which has a great analogy, which is well worth a read: http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/11/life-is-picture-but-you-live-in-pixel.html

    I am certainly going to give it a pop this year anyway as it is something that interests me and I believe has been linked to increased happiness… so worth giving it a shot! I think Huw’s questions are a big nod to the world of mindfulness as well.

    Hope the exercise didn’t get you too down and you can take the positives from doing it, as you well should 🙂

    Cheers!
    theFIREstarter recently posted…disastrous(?!) december update – income / expenses and other updatesMy Profile

    • Hey TFS

      Haha, I’m so glad I wrote a post which inspired Huw to write a brilliant reply! 🙂

      Thanks for the link to waitbutwhy – very interesting!

      I will certainly look into this a bit more and try to adapt – even if it’s to just a few, it’ll be a start.

      The exercise surprised me more than it got me down – at least my answers weren’t unhappy ones!

      Good luck with the ‘mindful birthing’ (the mind boggles haha!)

  5. Most people’s days are pretty routine. We grow up and as long as we have the same job, we’d mold ourselves into the old boring lives.

    What separate us from one to another is the activities or the social lives, extracurricular, even that, would get clinically boring after awhile.

    That’s how extremists are created – like rock climbers, extreme hikers like Everest, or divers, extreme sports. But even them would get bored so they keep trying different obstacles and get themselves into more risky challenges. Sometimes die from it.

    The past few days have been super cold here in the East coast, so I’ve been yearning for my tropical vacation in Mexico. I’m looking for some snorkeling and some R&R 🙂 Maybe, you should get away to Thailand or the Mediterranean area Morocco or somewhere warm to reset.

    • Hi Vivianne

      As they say, ‘variety is the spice of life’ – when we’re in full working mode, it’s very easy to just get into routine that can get repetitive and boring, without us realising.

      I guess I’m just glad that none of those questions showed that I was unhappy in any way – they just weren’t very interesting!

      Funny you should mention getting away and extreme sports as next month, I will be going away on my first winter holiday and will be on the ski slopes for the first time!

      Something different to energise me and my mind!

      Hope you get the chance to get away to some warmer climes for a spot of snorkelling! Sounds fabulous!

  6. I am certainly going to give it a pop this year anyway as it is something that interests me and I believe has been linked to increased happiness… so worth giving it a shot! I think Huw’s questions are a big nod to the world of mindfulness as well.

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