7 Hard Questions You Must Ask Before You'll Have The Life You Want

Most people want success, but very few know why.

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You probably know what your dream life would consist of, what you'd do if money were no issue, or what you hope your life evolves into over the next 10 years.

Yet, you probably don't know what pain the idea of your "dream life" combats, or why money is an issue in the first place, or why we desire this concept of success in an effort to console ourselves.

This isn't to say that all aspirations are rooted in something negative. Logic can tell us that this obviously isn't the case.


It's aspiring minds and hearts that ultimately push humanity to evolve. It's crucial, but when we talk about living up to our full potential, it tends to err on the side of "how we can appear" as opposed to "what we can be."

"Success" tends to come with the undertone of who you are to someone else, and "being" comes with the undertone of who you are on your own.

So here are a series of very important (and potentially very difficult) questions every person should take the time to answer for themselves.

It's important to know where you're headed, but it's even more important to know why you're headed there.


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1. What's on the other side of success?

What's the objective of reaching "the top"? To be admired? To be "untouchable"? To prove to other people that you are, in fact, capable and competent and everything else? "Success" comes with a lot of ridicule, a ton of responsibility, and the constant fear that you'll give up and look like a failure. When you only care about attaining a measurable form of success, it makes the rest of your life, by contrast, "less than."

2. Why do you want to be rich?

If you had a billion dollars, what would you do with it? Would you put it away so you could live comfortably and work less? Would you indulge in extravagance? What do these answers tell you about your current slot in life? Are you overworking yourself? Are you feeling as though nothing is enough (or that you're never enough)?

3. If you never received recognition for your success, what kind of success would you strive for?

If you knew you could succeed at anything, but you wouldn't be recognized for it, what would you do? Who would you help? What would your goal be, then?


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4. What scares you the most about not being successful?

Are you being called toward your purpose or pushed from your fears? Does your work ease your anxiety? Do you create and sustain that anxiety because it fuels you, or motivates you?

5. Who are you still trying to prove yourself to?

When you imagine yourself being "successful" in your life, what do you see? Likely, you're projecting an image you imagine other people see. Who are those other people? Give them names and faces if you can. If it's just an essence of the type of person — say, people from high school — that can tell you what you need to know right there. 

6. What uncomfortable feeling does the idea of being successful eliminate? 

Does it make you feel more worthwhile? More lovable? As though you finally matter? 


7. If you weren't worried about being successful, what would you do with your life? 

If you gave up on everything — the desire to be different, better, richer, more distinguished, more advanced, more accomplished — what would you do? What would matter if this didn't consume all of your time? Consider that your answer is a part of your life that you may be neglecting the part of your life you actually want to see success in. 

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Brianna Wiest is the bestselling author of 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think, The Mountain Is You, and more. Follow her on Twitter.