If there’s one life-changing principle you need to stick to, it’s this: be honest with yourself.

Over the last few months, I’ve been testing myself with uncomfortable questions that demand answers that force me out of my comfort zone.

Whether it’s dealing with losing a childhood friend, coming to the end of a long-term romantic relationship, or any other major life event I’ve had to deal with lately, I’ve found myself lost and confused.

To set myself back on track, I’ve written up 4 honest questions which help me find the light even in my darkest nights.

These questions are:

1) What the hell do I want?
2) What is weighing me down that I don’t need in my life?
3) What do I already know that will immediately improve my life?
4) How can I respect myself more today?

These questions, when analyzed thoroughly, provide the introspection and self-discovery to face the hard truths that can jumpstart you from your lows and get you back to where you need to be.

Let’s go over them one by one, and examine exactly how each of them is so important.

1) What the hell do I want?

This is where it all begins: the act of learning about the world and learning about yourself comes from asking the question, “What the hell do I want?”

So ask yourself: What the hell do you want? Forget everything for a single moment—your family, your society, your world—and think about what you want, with nothing else involved.

A new job? A better relationship? A healthier lifestyle? A different set of hobbies that provide you with a greater sense of self?

We’re all searching for an alignment; the alignment what we want to be and what we actually are, and the further away these two realities are, the less content we are with our life.

Admit to yourself what you really want, even if no one else would agree that it’s the right choice for you.

Because at the end of the day, you are the only person who has to live in your shoes, your body, and your life. Your decisions should be made to satisfy your existence, not everyone else’s.

2) What is weighing me down that I don’t need in my life?

One tiny word that can change your life in a heartbeat? “No.”

A single “No” at the right time can refocus the direction of your life; a single moment can redefine what you stand for and what you will accomplish.

So many of us are convinced that life is long and we have all the opportunities in the world to do what we want, but this is wrong.

The more time and energy you waste saying “Yes” to every piece of bullshit you have to deal with, the less time you have to accomplish and do what you love, what you want, and what you need to do.

Saying “No” isn’t a crime. If you feel that certain people, hobbies, or career choices are contributing to your regression instead of your growth, then it’s time to say “No” next time you pick up the phone, and start saying “Yes” to something else.

3) What do I already know that will immediately improve my life?

Like the last question, this question forces you to reevaluate the life you are currently living.

But instead of cutting out the external factors that are holding you back, this question is about addressing the internal walls that are stopping yourself from reaching your potential.

Because not everything can be blamed on the people around you; if you aren’t the person you want to be, some if not most of the blame lies on you.

Ask yourself: What do I already know that will immediately improve my life? So often we actually know exactly the right steps that will take us from Point A to Point Z, but we don’t take those steps because of several reasons.

Maybe we’re scared, maybe we’re anxious, maybe we don’t believe we can do it or maybe we’re just too lazy to do it.

But the guidebook to the life that you want is almost always already in your head. You just need to open it, read, and follow your own directions.

Stop saying no to the toxicity, and start saying yes to the positivity. Yes, I will pursue my career ambitions. Yes, I’m going to marry the love of my life. Yes, I’m going to exercise my creativity energy with the hobbies I am passionate about.

4) How can I respect myself more today?

And this is it. The all-important final question that makes the difference between actually fulfilling the introspective insights you’ve learned about yourself or just shrugging it off and continuing on with your regular life:

Do you have the self-respect to make yourself a better person?

Most people will say yes, but do they really mean it? If you respect yourself, you protect your body, your time, and your mental health from toxicity, negativity, and weight.

If you respect yourself, you make every decision with your own perseverance and long-term happiness in mind. If you respect yourself, you always make the right decisions, or try your best to make them.

Start honoring yourself, start respecting yourself. What can you do RIGHT NOW to protect the dignity that you deserve?

What small changes can you start doing in your life that will eventually convince yourself that you are better than the person you see in the mirror, and that you are worthy of the ideal version of you that lives in your head?

Start asking these questions today, and start improving yourself from the ground up.

If you’re looking for practical advice to break the cycle of anxiety, stress and unhappiness, check out Hack Spirit’s eBook on the Art of Mindfulness. Here's what you will get:
  • Learn what 'mindfulness' really is and the scientific benefits to practicing it daily
  • Practical exercises to be mindful throughout the day (even at work)
  • How to practice daily meditations to enhance peace and clarity of mind
  • Learn how to practice Yoga and Ujjayi Breath
  • Understand and implement the 7 key steps to practicing mindfulness
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