"50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind"

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Searching through the depths of the internet, I came across this webpage, asking many thought-provoking questions. After reading through the top 10, I decided that the list would make for a brilliant blogpost, and so here we are!

"These questions have no right or wrong answers.
Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer."

#1 - How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
You're only ever as old as you feel. But to answer more seriously - you'd still be the same age, technically.

#2 - Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Definitely never trying. If you don't at least try, how will you ever succeed? I believe that we regret the things we don't do more than the things that we do do.

#3 - If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
We do so many things that we don't like because that's how life works. To end up doing what you want, you have to go through all the bad parts first - that's just life. We like so many things that we don't do because we, as humans, tend to want what we can't have. Either that, or we're just lazy.

#4 - When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
I definitely use 'it's easier said than done' as an excuse to prevent myself from doing certain things far too often. Although it can be true for most of what it's applied to, that doesn't mean that it should stop you from trying anyway. But at the end of the day, we are far more likely to have said more than we've done... but it shouldn't be that way, in an ideal world.

#5 - What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
I'm never sure how to answer questions like this. Should I say that I want world peace? Should I say that I want no more wars? No more prejudice? No more injustice? As much as a world like that would be nice, realistically, a world like that would never work. Human beings are selfish, and that will never change - so maybe that's what I'd like to change.

#6 - If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
Personally, it would be spending time with my friends and family, plain and simple. Nothing makes me happier than spending quality time with the people that I love.

#7 - Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
Honestly, most of the time I am probably settling for what I am doing. We have to accept the way that life and society works, because that's just the way that things are. Despite that, I do believe in everything that I do, or I wouldn't be doing it - it's just my beliefs that are probably shaped by the standards of society.

#8 - If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I'll tell you one thing - I wouldn't spend 21 years of my life in education! It wouldn't be as meaningful with so little time to make your mark afterwards. Saying that, education is still vital to living a happy life, and so some time would be spent learning. Otherwise, I would spend a few years travelling the world, and then settle down with the person I love most, and raise a family of our own before our short span comes to an end.

#9 - To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
For as long as I have known, my life plan has always been to finish school, to go onto college, to go onto university, and then go onto a career. That's just the way that I've always pictured it. I'm sure that plan has been heavily influenced by my family, but the choice of which university I ended up at and what course I studied has been left completely up to me.

#10 - Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
As much as it hurts me to admit it, I am far more scared of failure than I am of immorality.

#11 - You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
Stand my ground and stick up for my friend. No matter how much I love and respect somebody, if they cannot respect my friends, then they are not worth my time.

#12 - If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don't worry. It accomplishes nothing.

#13 - Would you break the law to save a loved one?
This would really depend on circumstance. Right now, I'd like to say that I would never be able to kill anybody, no matter what the situation. Things are always different when you're in the moment, though, so who knows what I would do? It'd be unlikely though, in my opinion, that I would. Something less immoral, however, would probably be a lot more likely.

#14 - Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
I guess in circumstances where somebody works way too hard on a project. Where somebody puts their heart and soul into something, to the extent where they would appear insane, but has been so satisfying come the end of it.

#15 - What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I look for the good in everybody.

#16 - How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
Happiness is very subjective, and what's right for you might not right for anybody else. You need to find what makes you happy, even if it seems like the most bizarre thing in the world to everybody else.

#17 - What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
Go inter railing around Europe. Right now, I'm lacking a travel companion that can afford it. Hopefully, come the end of university in two years, or even one coming Summer, I'll be able to go travelling for as long as I'd like, and visit all of the places that I've always dreamt about.

#18 - Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
My childhood, more than anything else. Half of me loves the idea of independence and the prospect of starting a life of my own, whereas the other half of me doesn't want to grow up; they're afraid.

#19 - If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
I have three places in mind - Italy, New York, or Canada. Italy because it's the one place that I've never been that I've always wanted to visit. It seems like such a beautiful country, and I just feel as though the culture there is a culture I'd love to be a part of. New York for obvious reasons - it's the best place in the world. And Canada, well, I'm not quite sure why Canada. I've been twice, both times to Vancouver, and I can just remember falling in love with it. To me, Canada is the next best thing to America, and we all know that the USA has massive downfalls when it comes to living there.

#20 - Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
The answer, surprisingly, is no! Although I'm not always a patient person, I've never even thought to press the button more than once. Instead, I watch the screen above each of the elevators, that tells you which floor they're currently on.

#21 - Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
This is a genuine question of philosophy! J.S. Mill states, "better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied". After much thought, I've decided that I don't actually agree. However cliché, I believe that ignorance can be bliss.

#22 - Why are you, you?
Because everybody else is taken.

#23 - Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
I'd like to think that I have been. Obviously I can be selfish sometimes - everybody can - but the majority of the time, my friends are a priority, and I try my hardest not to lose contact with those who are most important to me.

#24 - Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
Having experience of both, I can say that losing touch with a good friend who lives right nearby is far worse. Although friendship can be tested when you don't see each other very often, distance will not destroy a truly strong friendship. Losing touch with a friend, however, can be quite heartbreaking.

#25 - What are you most grateful for?
Living in the era that I do. Because it's all I've ever known, I'm use to being able to afford luxuries and not having to worry (much) for my safety. I've always said that if I could travel to any point in history, I'd like to live through one of the World Wars, as it'd force me to be so much more appreciative of my life as it is now.

#26 - Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
Never being able to make new memories doesn't seem like a life worth living - in fact, it sounds like death itself. But losing all my old memories? I will never be ready to let those go, even if it prevented me from having any more.

#27 - Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
Another question from philosophy, and the answer is no! Much like the fact that we would not know happiness without sadness, I believe that we would not know truth without lies.

#28 - Has your greatest fear ever come true?
I wouldn't say my greatest fear, no, but a lot of my fears have become a reality in my lifetime. The fear of change, the fear of growing up, and the fear of being alone, all of which I've had to confront in the past year.

#29 - Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
5 years ago - June 2009. I was just finishing year 9 at school, and I have no idea what was going on in my life. Maybe a friendship drama? Maybe a boy drama? Maybe a 'omg I'm starting my GCSES!' drama. Truth be told, I couldn't tell you, which is quite a nice feeling to know that problems that seem huge at the time are non-existent 5 years down the line!

#30 - What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
If I'm honest, I can't really place my finger on any one memory. My whole childhood is one happy memory, but if I had to chose anything specific, I would have to say anything that involved my beloved dog, Otto. He was the light of my childhood, and is the only thing that I can remember for definite. For me, he symbolises my childhood.

#31 - At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
Probably last Summer. I had finished my A Levels, which drove a massive hole in my social calendar for 2 months, and so I finally had the sweet taste of freedom. I felt positive, although terrified, about my results, and so I enjoyed my Summer without a worry in the world. When Results Day rolled around, I don't think I've ever felt more alive. Getting into university is one of the best feelings I've ever experienced - it was something I had accomplished all on my own. It was mine.

#32 - If not now, then when?
Never. Do it now.

#33 - If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
The phrase "what do you have to lose?" is in my everyday advice vocabulary. Although I'm a worrier myself, I feel that too many people spend too much of their time afraid of the consequences of an action. At the end of the day, if it's something that you want, why don't you just go out and get it? Really, what do you have to lose?

#34 - Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
Not yet, but I'm hopeful.

#35 - Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
If there was an answer to this question, I'm sure we'd all be religious.

#36 - Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
As much as I'd like morality to be that simple, it never will be. Not everything is black and white.

#37 - If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
For my actual job, as a part-time sales assistant at French Connection, the answer would be no. The reason I applied for my job in the first place is to get to know more people in Manchester, and money can't buy me friends. For university, the answer, again, would be no. I want a career - I don't just want money and nothing to do with my every day. There are things far more important than money, but people seem to forget this from time to time.

#38 - Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
More work that I actually enjoy doing - I'm far happier when I'm being productive.

#39 - Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
This particular day as I'm writing this? Some parts, such as the bus journey into town, or sitting in my living room with my Mum watching TV. Not everything though, as each day is different and brings new challenges.

#40 - When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
When I went back to university in January. I was not in a very good mindset, and I was ready to pack up and quit. Instead of giving up, though, I marched into the dark with the knowledge that I had to fight through to the other side if I wanted to be happy... and I won that battle.

#41 - If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
My brother.

#42 - Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
Not at all.

#43 - What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
You could easily cruise through life, never really doing anything extraordinary, and you'd simply be existing. To exist is not to live. To live, you must follow your dreams, you must come face-to-face with your biggest fears, and you must do the things that make you happy. What would be the point in simply existing?

#44 - When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
When you ask yourself this question.

#45 - If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
At the end of the day, even if we learn from our mistakes, they still represent failure to us, and failure is most people's biggest fear.

#46 - What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Probably quite a lot, actually - I care about what other people think of me far too much.

#47 - When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
Right now, reading this question!

#48 - What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
Writing - hence why I started this blog! Shopping... I have spent a lot of money on holiday clothes recently. My family and friends, which I try and make feel loved each and every day.

#49 - In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
As I am writing this, yesterday is the day that I moved out of my first year university flat (blogpost here), and so I'm sure that I'll remember that in years to come. My everyday life, however, is probably not as important. Usually, I can't even remember what I've done the day before, so how can I be expected to remember it in 5 years from now?!

#50 - Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
I'd like to think that I've started to make them for myself. I am actually growing up and becoming more independent, with a big decision I've made just recently of staying in Manchester over the Summer. Over the past year, I've come to realise that as much as I love my parents, they can't be the people that run my life anymore. I have to do it for myself, and I have to make the decisions that are going to make me happy. Prima facie, that sounds pretty simple - who knows what makes me happy more than myself, right? It's not quite that simple, unfortunately, as life has a way of surprising you when you least expect it. Despite this, life is all about overcoming your problems and finding new and innovative ways to find your own peace of mind, and to get there, my decisions have to be mine from now on.

Feel free to comment below any of your answers to these questions! Do you agree with what I've said, or do you have thoughts of your own? Let me know!

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