Wednesday, June 22, 2011

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind: Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer...

I came across one of these "self-assessment/share more about you with me" kind of surveys today. But this one went a little deeper than "what's your favorite drink?". I jotted the answers down, just so I could read them back. Please share your thoughts below...

1. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?


2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Never trying

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?


4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?


5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

Greed (I believe that all of the world’s problems, every single one of them, stem from greed)

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?


7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

Settling, in a professional sense. Doing what I believe in as “a hobby”.

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I’d take many more risks that could have negative impacts on my family (i.e. – Chase the dream and not worry as much about “providing, long term”.

9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

In one sense, not at all. I’m not that ambitious or disciplined. In another sense, very much so…rather than going for the dream, I’ve always managed to rein myself in and do “what I’m supposed to”.

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

I’m more worried about doing the right things, as in, the things I’m “supposed to do”. I don’t put enough effort on doing them right. I spend more time getting by. Kind of a wimpy self-defeating form of rebellion, I guess.

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?

Ask them if they’re talking about “so and so”….the “so and so who ____ (fill in the blank) ____???” Act as though I can’t believe it. When I do that folks always ask why. And then I get to give them my interpretation of my friend and say that I can’t believe they’re talking about the same person.

12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Take risks. Start taking risks early. Don’t go into debt…that’s the best way to ensure you have to work within the system and can’t take risks. (That’s all one piece, right? It’s all about the same piece, anyway).

13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Hell yes.

14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

Absolutely. I generally recognize them at the same time. That’s the beauty of each.

15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

The way I think about the world and the way I integrate my love of music into my writing on life.

16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

I don’t mean this in a snobbish way, but I’m one of those masochistic people who enjoys wrestling with life. Torturing myself needlessly, some might say. I think people aren’t willing enough to get uncomfortable.

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

Write a book. Lack of discipline and fear that it won't be good is holding me back.

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

Of course!

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

Arizona. I just feel a connection there. I love the beauty and history of it. I feel creative there.

20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

Sometimes. No – I just like to make sure it got done.

21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

It depends. Sometimes I’m one and sometimes I’m another. Whichever I am, I always wish I was the other. I think a lot about the red pill/blue pill choice from The Matrix and how the different characters in the movie reacted to the decision they made.

22. Why are you, you?

“I don’t want to be anyone if I can’t be myself.” – Scott H. Biram
I guess I’m me because of the unique circumstances, choices, and actions that have brought me to where I am. Same reason you’re you.

23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

Up until recently, yes.

24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

Losing touch with one nearby.

25. What are you most grateful for?

Music and my wife and daughter.

26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

I’d rather lose all of my old ones. Old memories can be great and beautiful, but you gotta look forward.

27. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?


28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?

I see two levels of “greatest fears” here. First is the kind I can do something about (failure, for instance). The answer there, is NO. I’ve sold out too many times and sacrificed for too many, probably unnecessary, “insurance policies” for that to happen. The second kind of greatest fear is the kind I probably can’t do anything about (something happens to my loved ones). Thankfully, that hasn’t happened.

29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?

Only as a learning experience.

30. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?

I remember riding in the car with my parents. It was before we knew anything about car seats and seatbelts and safety. I was sitting on that moveable hump that used to be between the passenger and driver seats (the one you could put up to fit someone else up front, or put down for an armrest). I remember me and my family (just my mom and dad, before my brother was born) were going somewhere fun, but I don’t remember where. I remember being conscious of how great it was. How good it felt. That everything seemed right. Just me and mom and dad. Feeling like I had everything I needed. Feeling like everything was going to be OK.

31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

When speaking in front of a crowd, motivating them (to do anything; laugh, learn, get involved, care, danc...).

32. If not now, then when?

If not now then never. Either do it or don’t. I need to take my own advice plenty of times.

33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

Security/safety. Which I hate. I’m not worried about it for me – I’ve said a lot lately that if it were just me in my life, I’d have taken many more risks recently. But I’ve got a wife and little girl to care for. I want to show my daughter that you should take risks, don’t listen to society, etc. But I also want to make sure she has a house to live in and food to eat.

34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?


35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

I’m wrestling with faith and religion right now like you wouldn’t believe. I’ll default to my earlier answer that greed causes EVERY single problem in life.

36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?

I believe so.

37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?

HELL YES. I'd work and stay busy with things. But they'd only be the things I want to work at and stay busy with.

38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

I’d love to have less work in general, but compared to the work I don’t like…I’d be happy to accept a lot more work I do like.

39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?


40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

About two years ago. And the aftermath still stings. But I’m getting closer to doing it again.

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

I’d throw together a party for everyone to get together in one place, so we could all mingle and all see each other, with families, etc.

42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?


43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

Who you choose answer to. Who you try to please.

44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

As soon as you determine that it’s right.

45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

It hurts. Mistakes hurt. Embarrassment and shame hurt. Growth and learning REALLY freakin’ hurt.

46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Not listen to them!

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?

I intentionally listen to it once in a while. Not sure why. The last time it unintentionally caught my attention was when I had H1N1. It sounded really weird. After I’d stopped exhaling I could hear my lungs pushing out air for another second or two. It scared me.

48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?

Music. My family. Writing. My dog.
Yes. But probably not enough. Except for music. I’m pretty good about expressing my love for music. And shame on me for not expressing it so well to the others – especially my family.

49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?

Yesterday and the day before that…yes. I was on a mini-vacation with my wife and daughter. The day before that…nope. I was at work.

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 say the latter, but I know it’s usually the former.


  1. Is that your age....or a question about #40? :)

  2. A question about 40 :) I think I'm still 22 for a little while longer.

  3. Stay 22 for as long as ya can. Anything specific about #40? Whatcha wanna know? :)

  4. Eh. I'll be 22 until July 21. How about that? How about we get together for coffee sometime soon? I'm going to be in the St. Louis area after July 4. I'll get a hold of you as soon as I know my schedule.

  5. Sounds good. Just let a brotha know.