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Wise questions to ask about life

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Wise questions to ask about life
July 29, 2019 Anniversary Wishes For Parents 5 comments

There are a wide array of questions you can ask a guy you're interested in. Asking READ 42 Types of Decision Making Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Life.


I enjoy getting to know people, particularly those who are wise. As you and I go about our week we interact with people who are filled with knowledge. We don't tap into their wisdom and experience for lack of time. Time is the best gift we can give and get and I particularly enjoy asking the following questions to wise people: 

1 • What did you learn from your failures? - there's a lot of celebration in success but the best lessons are learned from failures. I want to know what you have learned from your failures. I enjoy details and practical information on how I too can enjoy those hard earned lessons. 

2 • What did your devotional life look like when you had small kids? - I know everyone talks about Susanna Wesley and her 19 kids but there is value in every mother's story. What are some of the things you had to overcome in order to be closer to your God?

3 • How does God speak to you and how do you speak to Him? - I am fascinated by the answers that come out of these questions. I'm telling you, I can listen for hours about the language of heaven heard on earth through dreams, visions and the living Word of God. 

4 • How do you work through frustration in life? - I've been asking this question a lot in the past year or so. I appreciate the transparency of the wise women who lend me their ears and give me Godly advice on this relevant topic. 

5 • How can I help you? - I really want to be of help and encouragement. It's not about taking but also giving of myself to those wonderfully wise people. 

6 • What is your dream as a person? - I've been asking this particular question for 20 years. I'm amazed at the sparkle in the eye of the interviewee. 

7 • What are you the happiest about at the moment? - Sharing another's joy gives me hope and it really refreshes me. I enjoy hearing about someone else's joy and rejoicing with them. This my friends, is very Biblical. We are to rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). 

• How will you make time this week to talk to a wise person? What will you ask them?

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can of your life is in direct correlation to the quality of the questions you are.

Answers Quotes

wise questions to ask about life

Credits: Rawpixel.com – ImageFlow –  Shutterstock

Finding answers is important, but truly powerful questions open our attention and conversation into breakthrough insights and possibilities, evoking powerful life energy. So create powerful questions people can live into in ways that generate change with or without being answered, or that yield answers over and over, like a fruit tree.

Related:5 Capacitance, 22 Enough Time, 33 Iteration, 43 Possibility Thinking, 57 Story Sharing, 66 Well-Utilized Life Energy, 69 Wise Use of Uncertainty

Going Deeper …

This is an edited version of the video on this page.

Usually people think a question is something to get an answer for, and that’s what we do. You have a question, so you find the answer. It is like there is a vacuum there inside the question, an empty space that motivates us to move in the direction that the question is pointing us to.

But the most powerful questions don’t move us towards a point. They open us up into a space. They focus our attention not on a point but on a particular realm of inquiry. We can go there individually with our attention and our thinking and our feeling, or we can enter into it collectively in conversation.

The more powerful a question is, the more it leads us in directions where we discover new understandings and new possibilities. I like to think of it as focusing attention, but it’s focusing our attention into an energized space – a territory or region of life which has energy and mystery and potential in it.

One of the most powerful categories of questions is called “zipper questions”. You unzip the question and remove its specific focus topic and replace it with a new focus topic, zipping the question back up again. My favorite example is from the World Café people who are among the most brilliant question designers. They were working with a school that was in trouble. Instead of asking, “What’s the big problem in your school?” or “How should you fix it up?”, they asked “What could this school also be?”

It is very interesting to study the structure of that question, how it opens up into a space of possibility. It draws your attention into a place where you actually might make a breakthrough. New ways of thinking come naturally out of that question. Since it is a zipper question, you could also ask, “What could a pattern language also be?” or “What could a democracy also be?” You can go into some very interesting and unpredictable places asking a question like that. And yes, a different group will give different answers, but there’s juice and life in there regardless.  The expansion of possibilities is more important than any specific answer.

And then there’s the idea of “living into questions”. What would it be like to spend a day with a group asking, “What could our group (or our community) also be?” You would come up with great ideas, of course. But what if people were then invited to continually think about this and feel into it and share their insights for weeks or months on end?

Many people live into questions without realizing they are doing that. They may ask “What is the meaning of life?” or “What is art?” Some of these questions don’t have any answer you can nail down, but you can live into them fruitfully if they call to you, if they matter to you. You can treat the question like a fruit tree, harvesting new answers from it over and over and over and over again.

Activist author Fran Peavey created a practice she called strategic questioning – asking questions that have leverage for change. In the morning she would sit and meditate with a globe and ask “What is the greatest service I can do today for the world and for future generations?” She was living into that question. She is also one of the first people to point out that questions can generate change without even being answered in the usual way. For example, she was working in India and trying to help clean up the Ganges. It was an awkward thing to try get people to clean up the Ganges. The Ganges is considered sacred but it’s also full of dead bodies and human feces, so it is a real mess. So how do you talk about it? She noticed that she was the only woman in all the meetings about this. So she asked, with real curiosity, “Where are the women?” She did that two or three times. And a day or two later – without anyone answering her question – suddenly there were a bunch of women at the meetings. She wasn’t judging the men or evaluating their culture. She was just strategically curious. The men – who respected her tremendously – had to go through this patriarchal dynamic in their heads and work through it to the point where they recognized there was a problem, and then they brought the women in.

So these comments hint at the power of questions, and suggest maybe there are things to know about the how to create powerful questions that evoke energies out of people and creative approaches to situations. Here are a few simple, powerful guidelines for designing powerful questions:

  • Don’t ask questions that can be answered with yes or no. Ask questions that cause people to think – and to feel.
  • Don’t ask a question that has one answer.  Ask open questions with many possible answers.
  • Don’t ask a question that is trying to move people in a specific direction, like “Why don’t you do it this way?” That’s barely a question. It is more of a statement, a strong recommendation masquerading as a question. Ask questions that deepen people, like “What would it feel like to take the various actions you are considering?”

Learning how to ask open questions that draw people out, that deepen their thinking and feeling – that’s what this this pattern is largely about.

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40 Cute and Funny Questions to Ask a Guy

wise questions to ask about life

These deep questions are the perfect questions to get to know someone. If you meet someone you feel an immediate connection with, ask them these deep questions to get to know them on an intimate level as quickly as possible.

Questions To Ask If You Want To Get To Know Someone On A Deeper Level

1. What’s your philosophy in life?

2. What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself?

3. Are you religious or spiritual?

4. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

5. Which parent are you closer to and why?

6. What was the best phase in your life?

7. What was the worst phase in your life?

8. Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?

9. What makes you feel accomplished?

10. What’s your favorite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much?

11. What is a relationship deal breaker for you?

12. Are you more into looks or brains?

13. Would you ever take back someone who cheated?

14. How do you feel about sharing your password with your partner?

15. When do you think a person is ready for marriage?

16. What kind of parent do you think you will be?

17. What would you do if your parents didn’t like your partner?

18. Who is that one person you can talk to about just anything?

19. Do you usually stay friends with your exes?

20. Have you ever lost someone close to you?

21. If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?

22. What’s an ideal weekend for you?

23. What do you think of best friends of the opposite sex?

24. Do you judge a book by its cover?

25. Are you confrontational?

26. When was the last time you broke someone’s heart?

27. Would you relocate for love?

28. Did you ever write a journal?

29. What are you most thankful for?

30. Do you believe in second chances?

31. What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?

32. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?

33. What did your past relationship teach you?

34. What are your thoughts on online dating or tinder?

35. What’s on your bucket list this year?

36. When have you felt your biggest adrenaline rush?

37. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again?

38. If a genie granted you 3 wishes right now, what would you wish for?

39. What’s your biggest regret in life?

40. What do you think about when you’re by yourself?

The remaining bonus questions were written by a collective author, and not Rania Naim

Questions To Ask Someone If You’re Just Starting To Get To Know Who They Really Are

41. Does your job make you happy?

42. What did you want to be when you were younger?

43. Why did your last relationship end?

45. What’s been your biggest mistake so far in life and what did you learn from it?

46. Where is your favorite place in the entire world to go?

47. What are your top five favorite movies?

48. What are some of your favorite songs?

49. What qualities do you admire about your parents?

50. How would you describe your best friend?

51. What’s your favorite hobby to do alone?

52. What’s something you can’t go a day without doing?

53. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done lately?

54. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?

55. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

56. Why do you think you’re still single?

57. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

58. What is one dream you have yet to accomplish?

59. What is your greatest fear?

60. What are three things you value most about a person?

61. Who are five people you are closest with?

62. What is the greatest struggle you’ve overcome?

63. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

64. What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened this past year?

65. What’s your favorite beer?

66. What’s one thing that bothers you most about the world today?

67. Who are you closer with your mom or your dad?

68. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

69. If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

70. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

71. What sport did you fall in love with?

72. What is the weirdest thing about you?

73. What was your longest relationship?

74. What would your best friend say is your best quality?

75. Who is your favorite historical figure?

76. What made you choose the college you went to?

77. If you could tell your former self one thing right now what would it be?

78. What food could you not live without?

79. Dogs or Cats?

80. What’s closest you’ve ever come to being arrested?

81. What was your best birthday?

82. What’s one thing you wish you knew how to do?

83. Where’s one place you’d like to go that you haven’t been?

84. What was the last book you read? And When?

85. Where do you usually get your news?

86. What are some of your own personal goals in the next 5 years?

87. What would you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?

88. If you could get away with anything that you do?

89. Who is your greatest hero?

90. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?

Questions To Ask Someone If You Want Them To Bare Their Soul

91. Why are we here?

92. If heaven is real and you died tomorrow, would you get in?

93. Do you believe in fate?

94. How do you think people see you?

95. If you had the ability to erase something that you did in the past, what
would it be?

96. What song makes you unconditionally happy?

97. If you could have anybody else’s life, who’s would you take?

98. What fictional character do you most relate to?

99. If I asked you at age 5 what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would you say?

100. What is your biggest irrational fear?

101. If you could take us anywhere in the world right now, where would you take us?

102. What is your biggest regret?

103. If you died tomorrow, what would you wish you had done?

104. Can you pin point the moment in your life where you were the happiest?

105. What song makes you unconditionally sad?

106. If past lives are real, what was yours?

107. Have you ever seen something you can’t explain?

108. What is your biggest accomplishment?

109. If you could do one thing without suffering the consequences, what would
you do?

110. What is the strangest dream you’ve ever had?

Questions To Ask If You’re Ready To Know Dig Even Deeper

111. What is the darkest thought you’ve ever had? What about the darkest thing you’ve never told anybody?

112. Is there something out there, a thought, an idea, a current event, or a fear that you find deeply unsettling?

113. What would you consider to be your deepest fear? (This question can be really telling of the depth or lack thereof of a person.)

114. Is there an activity that calms you? A place or a thing that makes you feel at ease?

115. What makes you feel uneasy? Overwhelmed? Anxious?

116. What is your favorite song and why?

117. Do you have a favorite book? A line in a piece of literature? A poem? Why do you relate to it?

118. What scene in a movie has evoked the most feelings out of you?

119. What do you do or where do you go when you need to be alone?

120. What makes you feel like you need to be alone?

121. Can you remember a time in your life you felt the most alive? Tell me everything about that memory.

122. When have you felt the lowest in your life?

123. Where have you felt the most failure? The most success?

124. Tell me about the facts or harsh truths you choose to ignore but know you shouldn’t.

125. When have you felt like you were living life to the fullest? When have you felt like you weren’t?

126. What is the first lie you ever told? Which is the biggest?

127. What is the first secret you ever kept from anybody? Which is the biggest?

128. Are you a religious or spiritual person? Tell me why and tell me how.

129. Have you always had the same political beliefs? Is there something that impacted them?

130. Where do you find meaning in your life?

131. Have you ever been in love? Tell me about the times you have been.

132. Tell me about the times someone broke your heart.

133. Why did you cry the last time you did so?

134. Have you ever cried tears of joy?

135. What did you do when you hurt someone the most?

136. If your life was a movie or a book what would be the title to it?

137. When have you caused the most harm to yourself?

138. What has been the biggest change you ever made that made you the most proud of yourself?

139. Think about the people you love the most in your life, what do you do for them?

140. Is home for you a place or a feeling? Describe that place or describe that feeling.

141. If you could be anywhere other than where you are right now, where would you be and what would you be looking at?

142. Have you ever questioned your sanity and why?

143. What is your most cherished childhood memory?

144. Have you ever had dreams about a past life?

145. Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?

146. Do you believe more in fate or that we are the creators of our own destinies because we are governed by free will?

147. Do you believe in extraterrestrial life? Elaborate on why or why not.

148.

They may ask “What is the meaning of life?” or “What is art?” Some of these questions don't have any answer you can nail down, but you can.

Ask Powerful Questions

wise questions to ask about life

“Why are you asking such a difficult question?”

That was my dad’s response during a family dinner when my sister asked him what he thought the purpose of life was.

Perhaps you’ve also asked yourself at one point or another what the point of it all is. Why are you here? What’s life really about? To get paychecks and pay bills?

Why study 15 years of our lives, work 80,000 hours, and then reproduce so the next generation can do it all over again if we don’t even know why we’re doing it?

There’s got to be a greater purpose, right?

To get some more clarity, I questioned 16 people who seem to know their life purpose. They were all asked the question, “In one sentence, what do you believe to be the purpose of life?” (Many gave a lot more than just one answer.)

1. The Dalai Lama

Who is he? His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He has been described as a doctor of the soul, and his message is always one of peace and compassion for people all over the world.

I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.

Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.

–Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

2. Steve Pavlina

Who is he? At the age of 19 and locked up in a jail cell, Steve decided to pursue personal growth. He went on to become one of the biggest blogging successes in the field of self-development. A small warning before you visit his site, make sure you have plenty of time (his content is rather addictive).

The purpose of life is to explore and experience.
–Steve Pavlina

3. Byron Katie

Who is she? The severely depressed and suicidal Byron Katie ended her suffering one day when she experienced the life-changing realization: when she believed her thoughts, she suffered, but when she didn’t believe them, she didn’t suffer.

If you haven’t tried her simple but oh-so-powerful process The Work, I’d highly recommend it.

To understand that what is, really isn’t.
–Byron Katie

4. Chris Guillebeau

Who is he?Chris is a living example that you don’t have to live life the way others expect of you. This rebel against conventionality proves to us that more can be found outside of our comfort zones.

Well, a man who has visited every country in the world (all 193 of them!) should know a secret or two about living.

Hmm… boots and cats?
–Chris Guillebeau

5. Christie Marie Sheldon

Who is she? Christie has an interesting skill. Just by looking at someone, she can determine if they are living their life purpose or not. She is one of the world’s leading energy healers and experts on intuition. Her mission? To get everyone on the planet vibrating at an energetic frequency of Love or Above.

The only Soul-Filled purpose of life is to love and let what makes you soulfully happy guide you — it’ll all work out if that’s your guiding force.
–Christie Marie Sheldon

6. Matthew Silver

Who is he? If you’ve ever been in New York City and seen a man roaming around in his underwear with stuffed animals, making funny sounds, and telling you to live in the now — you already know Matthew.

This well-known street performer is often mistaken for a raving lunatic, but with his messages of love and living in the present, in a city like New York, Matthew might be the sanest of all.

God gave you free will. That’s for you to decide. But I’d use your heart to find it.
–Matthew Silver

7. Ralph Smart

Who is he? Ralph dives deep into life and encourages us to look beyond illusions and perceived boundaries. Through his YouTube channel Infinite Waters, he helps us expand our consciousness and unlock our true potential.

I believe it is to become our greatest version.
–Ralph Smart

8. Parker Heuser

Who is he? Parker and his friends Alexey Lyakh, Ryker Gamble, and Max Gatfield are high on life. Through their social media channels, people all over the world are inspired by their adventurous videos and appetite for fun.

Make sure to check out their “3 Years of Travel in 3 Minutes” video. It’ll get the blood pumping through your veins.

The purpose of life is to discover your surroundings (learn about the world, visit as many different countries as you can, take in lifetimes of knowledge by reading the work of brilliant minds), discover yourself (what do you love? What are you good at? What are your greatest passions? What makes you truly feel alive?), follow your heart (do all those things that make you feel happy, that lift your spirits, that give you butterflies, that make you feel light, as if you’re floating) and evolve spiritually (some call this enlightenment).

You are not a body, you are a soul. Life as we know it is just a step in spiritual advancement. So the purpose of life is to do everything you can to better prepare yourself for the next stage: enlightenment.
–Parker Heuser

9. Barrie Davenport

Who is she? Barrie’s passionate about passions — especially about helping others find theirs.

Looking for more passion in your life? Barrie’s practical and actionable advice will help inspire your soul and move you in the direction you desire.

The purpose of life is to live mindfully and passionately in the present moment, to love unabashedly, to be a lifelong learner, to seek adventure and growth, and to spread kindness and peace along the way.
–Barrie Davenport

10. Gary Vaynerchuk

Who is he? Gary is a loud serial-entrepreneur and social-media master who loves the hustle of turning passions into reality. He demonstrates that in this Internet era, with all the possibilities that come with it, you have no excuse not to do what makes you happy.

To leave Legacy that is a North Star for all my family in the future.
–Gary Vaynerchuk

11. Justine Musk

Who is she? A car accident became Justine’s wake-up call. After eight years of marriage to super entrepreneur Elon Musk, she realized she had turned herself into a side player and trophy wife. So, she made the decision to stop living in the shadows, take the lead role of her own story, and step into the fiery, talented, and powerful writer she is today.

To cultivate your gifts and inner knowing in your lifelong quest for soul: that point in place and time where what you do is who you are and whom you serve, and to take care of yourself is to take care of the world.
–Justine Musk

12. Alex Blackwell

Who is he? On the brink of divorce, Alex found himself needing to make some serious changes in life. He not only managed to save his marriage (and to turn it into a very happy one!), but he also decided to invite others to benefit from his experience. On his blog, he shares openly and honestly about his journey of making positive life changes.

To give love without being asked and to believe you are worthy to receive love always.
–Alex Blackwell

13. Will Mitchell

Who is he? Will is an Internet entrepreneur since the age of 12 when he started skipping school to build his own businesses. Today he’s running StartupBros with his best friend Kyle Eschenroeder, with the purpose to help “wantrepreneurs” build their first successful business.

The central message of these two bros? You don’t need a job.

The purpose of life is self-actualization – shaping the world in our vision through reaching our full potential.
–Will Mitchell

14. Joshua Becker

Who is he? A few years back, Joshua and his family got rid of over 70% of their belongings. They discovered that less stuff meant more life. The minimalist guru now helps others simplify their lives to leave more space for the things that truly matter.

The purpose of life is to give it away in the service of others.
–Joshua Becker

15. Luminita Saviuc

Who is she? Luminita is all about purpose. Her words of wisdom are like a magic wand that touches the hearts of people all over the world.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to check out her insanely popular article “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy” (which got shared over 1.2 million times on Facebook).

What is the purpose of life?… To love. To truly love. To become one with love and then to radiate that love outwards… To love those who love you, and also those who don’t. Not necessary because they deserve it, but because love is the only thing we have to offer… To get to a place where, no matter where you look and no matter what you do, you can’t help but feel an overwhelming love towards that which you see and for the things you do.

That’s the purpose of life…

The way I see it, life is love and love is life, and the more love flows through our veins, the more joyful we become, the clearer our vision gets, and the easier it becomes to connect not only with our own heart and Soul but also with the heart and Soul of every living being that inhabits the planet.

On the surface, we might all look very different from one another but at the core level, we are all the same. At the core level, we are all ONE, connected with each other in a very deep and powerful way. At the core level, we are essentially the same, all members of one human race.

There is no separation except the separation we created in our minds because of our attachment to fear, and if we allow love back into our hearts, becoming one with it and allowing ourselves to live our lives from that place, then we will recognize ourselves in the world around us and we will finally understand that we are in the world and the world is in us… We are ONE.

16. Brendan Baker

Who is he?Successful at his job at a young age, Brendan was early to realize that what is considered success isn’t necessarily equate to happiness. This wake-up call set him on a mission to help others turn passion into profit.

That could mean a difference to a person, to a community, to the environment or to the world. When you connect to a higher purpose that is beyond yourself that’s when life truly begins.
–Brendan Baker

The Big Question In a Simple Answer

The purpose of life might seem like an overwhelming and difficult question (my dad wasn’t the only one without an answer). Most of us probably spend more time contemplating what series to watch next on Netflix than thinking about our reason for living.

But looking at the answers, it might not be so complicated after all. To be of service to others, to love unconditionally, to watch a Youtube video about boots and cats, to see through illusions, and to realize our full potential. It all comes down to one thing — feeling good.

AuthorMaria Stenvinkel

Maria Stenvinkel is a corporate drop-out with a mission to help people get a career they truly love. Want to learn more? Check out her free worksheet to help you get a clue to your calling.

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Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, What the results might God answers the mess of life with one word: 'grace.

wise questions to ask about life
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