101 Thought Provoking Questions
published: (updated: )
by Harshvardhan J. Pandit
I found this great set of 101 thought provoking questions. I answered them the best I can, not thinking much, answering whatever came to my mind the first time around. It was a great exercise in knowing what I think about many things. It made me feel like an interview, and I was really tempted to write this as one. But in the end, I decided it to keep it in the Q&A format. I highly recommend all of you to at least try and think about your answers to these questions. The link to the questions is at the bottom. Enjoy!
1. Do you like who you are?
Yes, I do. I love who I am. There have been times when I’ve doubted myself, but then I’ve always come around. For me, there are only two ways one can go from here. Either you like who you are, with full conscious measure. Or else, you start working on the parts you don’t like and turn them into those you do like. I’m always at the latter stage.
2. What would people say about you at your funeral?
If I had it my way, they’d each recite their favorite verse from my poems or a quote from my stories.
3. What would you regret not doing in your life?
A great many things, though I’m sure many more are yet to come. My most strongest regret is that I didn’t study computer science from a very young age when I had both the genius and the time.
4. What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard someone say?
I’ve actually read it rather than hearing. It was about worrying. If you can do something about it, why worry? If you can’t do anything about it, why worry?
5. What lessons in life did you learn the hard way?
Perhaps, all of them. Most important of them might be to cherish and keep carefully what is precious. And I don’t mean that in the materialistic way.
6. How often do your biggest worries and fears come true?
Every few years. I fear people I’ve opened up to, drifting away from me. But with person, I get a little more used to it happening.
7. If you had one year left to live, what would you try to achieve?
Nothing! I’d simply live my life traveling and idling about lost dreaming about something or the other.
8. Do you serve money or does money serve you?
Money serves me. Money is only the means for ends for me. I long for money to do things I’ve always wanted to do. But having money does not define the sort of person I am, or want to become.
9. Are you afraid of being your true self around others? Why?
A part of me is always secluded inside, and its something I’m not comfortable sharing with almost everyone. But beyond that I’m very much an extrovert and am my true self around everyone.
10. What are you grateful for?
If I have to chose one thing, it would be my parents, and then my zeal to read books during growing up. Both helped me be what I am today.
11. Have you done anything you are proud of lately?
If you ask me this in a few more months, I’d have completed a thesis based on something I’m really passionate about. I’d be really proud of myself then. Until then, I can only dream about it, and keep working.
12. Have you made any recent acts of kindness?
I do not believe in charity. But I do believe in kindness. I’ve taken to helping friends and considerate person whenever the need arises. I try to help them in any measure possible, and make sure I learn something along the way.
13. If you knew that you would die tomorrow, what questions would you ask yourself?
I’d ask what’s the best way possible to create a life-journal in one day. And I’d ask what each page would contain. Basically, it’d be a recollection of my entire life.
14. If your biggest fears came true, would it matter in five years from now?
Yes. Anyone who said no, would be lying. My biggest fear is losing the people. Everything else I can manage or control. But if I lose my people, it would matter five, or fifty years from now.
15. How would you describe yourself?
I’m not sure how to answer that in a short manner. But there’s a very carefully chosen set of words in the ‘About Me’ page of my website. They’d be the best possible answer.
16. Do you take people’s advice?
Yes, and almost repent it afterwards. Sometimes I forget I’m not supposed to blindly follow someone’s advice.
17. Do you get quickly offended?
Yes, I have a short temper, and very little patience. But I often try to ride out the anger. Unless it’s something serious, or blatant and malicious, I can quell my anger away.
18. Do you consider yourself to be a likable person?
In the most sociable way, no, I don’t think the average person could like me. I’m crude in a way, and only people who can understand crudeness can like me. Every other like is superficial.
19. ‘We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give’ – What does this mean to you?
The get here is everything life throws at us. It’s something beyond our control, and we have to learn to accept it, to adapt to it, and to try and live our own way. That’s our giving, living our way. What we give is purely ours, and it’s up to us whether we want to give something true of us, or live a false pretense.
20. Are you enriching the lives of others?
Frankly, I don’t live to enrich life of others. It’s not my goal, and I cannot go out of my way to do that. There’s a big difference between doing something for someone and enriching their lives. I’d rather live my own life, than live for someone else.
21. Are you living a meaningful life?
Yes, and thankfully I am capable of realizing that. Life isn’t meaningful by itself. It’s only when we realize and act on it can we make our life meaningful.
22. What makes a meaningful life?
To live a meaningful life, one must first know the meaning of life. It’s purpose. One finds it as one grows and matures. To live by and for the purpose it to live a meaningful life. For me, my purpose is to remain true to myself. I cannot curtail my dreams, or passions because that would be lying as to what I want to do. Living a meaningful life for me is to follow my dreams and passions while trying to become the man I see myself to be.
23. Would you ever give up your life to save another?
Yes, if it’s worth it.
24. How much would you be willing to sacrifice for people in poverty?
I won’t sacrifice anything for poverty. I don’t believe in charity. But I do believe in kindness. And I would help along for improving social conditions if I can. But it has to be towards meaningful results and not be stuck in a loop of doing it again and again expecting it to change by itself.
25. If you could live one day over and over again, what would you choose to do?
It’s a few days actually. The day I looked into her and found myself. I know it’s cryptic, but really personal, and I don’t really want to disturb lives of other people. A few other days are hand-picked ones with friends and family. The usual.
26. Do you think you are important and worthy of affection and love?
Whose affection and whose love? If I can answer that question satisfactorily, then yes, definitely.
27. What would make you feel more worthy? What do you believe needs to be different about you?
For one, achieving a lot more than what I already have. That would really give me a self-boost. And that’s precisely what I need to really change about myself. I need to do more to achieve something. I need to take small steps instead of waiting for a long jump. I’m working on it.
28. What brings you down the most often?
My work. There’s nothing else that can wreck me like my work can. Every few days I break down and freeze thinking that I am doing the shittiest work I ever have done. It’s ok, it’s natural, it helps me evaluate my work and do course correction. Earlier it used to be people’s behaviors, but with time I’ve learnt to deal with that.
29. Would you rather work less (and do the things you enjoy) and have less money?
You’re asking me as if I have a choice. I’m already living that life. If I cannot enjoy something, I won’t do it for money. That’s the main reason I’m doing research, because I’m really passionate about it. And currently, it’s paying me nothing back except joy.
30. Where do you find peace?
Within myself. All other places are temporary.
31. What is the most important quality you look for in another person?
Honesty. Integrity. Without either, there can be no trust. And without trust, there can be no relation between two people.
32. What is your biggest dream in life?
It’s weird actually, but I don’t dream that far, or that big. I’m always dreaming about the next few steps.
33. What is your biggest fear?
I think I’ve answered this before. I fear people drifting away. Leaving me. I also fear not being able to work, or to not achieve. It’s not a fear of failure, but rather a fear of not giving my best.
34. How would the world be different if you had never been born?
How would I know!
35. What life lessons do you wish you knew 10 years ago?
To let things go, and that most things that we are disturbed about, don’t really matter.
36. If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
To really buckle down and start working on my passions. I was a very confused kid 10 years ago. I had everything in me back then, all the capabilities and abilities. I only needed a little more focus and clarity. And a little guidance.
37. If your life was a movie, what would the title be?
Stop deciding, and start doing. My life would be a good demonstration of why that’s necessary.
38. If your life was a movie, would you enjoy watching it?
If it played out with exactly the same images, and persons from my memories, then yes.
39. What does success mean to you?
40. If you could be a different person, who would you be?
Me, but without all things I don’t want in me.
41. What was the best day of your life? Why?
I already answered this when I was asked what day I would like to relive again and again. I’ll just answer the why here. I’ve always had a mirror image, perhaps of myself, as the sort of person who would come along. It’s an innocent dream, and the best day is when you realize it has come true.
42. What do you look forward to most in life?
At any given moment, I’m always looking forward to doing all the things I’ve decided to do at the moment. There’s no specific moment I keep looking forward to. I’m always too caught up in whatever is going on in near time.
43. What bad habits do you want to ditch?
I could make a list of 101 things. But to name a few, letting things go, specially negative emotions. Life is really peaceful and serene without them.
44. Who do you look up to and why?
There isn’t one person who’s everything for me. I look up to many things in many people. My parents, my friends, a great many leaders and inventors.
45. Do you know your partners love language?
Sure. We wouldn’t be partners otherwise.
46. Do the people you love most know how much you love them?
I don’t really know. I don’t want to go out of my way to show them that. It’s something one has to realize on it’s own. Trying to show someone how much you love them is an insecurity and I cannot afford to have those.
47. Are you satisfied with the depth of your relationships?
Never. I always want more. Which is why they grow deep very quickly.
48. What do you owe yourself?
Honest efforts and labour.
49. Based on your current day-to-day life, what do you expect to achieve in 5 years from now?
If I’m right about myself, one of these things would have happened. I would have completed my PhD research, would have earned a job in some exciting company, and would be working away in delight. Otherwise, I’d be working for a few more years in some exciting company anyways without a PhD. I have no idea or expectations about anything else.
50. Do you say ‘yes’ too often when you really want to say ‘no’? Why?
I say no a lot more times than saying yes. At the risk of sounding negative, saying no at the risk of alienating is better than saying yes and burdening yourself with extra duties and disappointments. I can always change the no to a yes if I feel like it, but its not as easy the other way round.
51. What did you learn yesterday?
I learnt how little I knew about Android memory management, or design patterns in general. I learnt the effects of a large dose of caffeine to my body. I also learnt that Georgia dies, and Shaun lives, but that’s irrelevant to others. I also learnt that I have grown in patience and control over my emotions.
52. What do you like about yourself?
The one thing above all, my deep, branching, analytical thinking. It’s both an asset and a liability.
53. Would you consider yourself to be a generous person?
No, I’d rather hold out until I’m sure about the need and the merit of giving things.
54. Do you really listen when people talk to you?
Yes, I listen, I draw mental maps, and I remember a lot.
55. What is the number one change you need to make in your life this year?
I already have the resolution, to give my best. Somehow, such resolutions are never fully kept.
56. How many hours per week do you spend on the internet?
Almost all of them. My devices are online when I’m sleeping. Otherwise, on an average, anywhere from 14-18hours of each day. And still, I can safely claim that I’m not addicted, because I’m perfectly capable of channeling my activities to other things.
57. What are your most common negative thoughts? Are they logical?
They are about why, or how, someone hasn’t bothered to reply back, or answer, or acknowledge, or even be nice. I’m very critical of people’s responses and behavior. The more closer to me a person is, the more critical I become. I call this anal-retentive-disorder. I realize it’s not logical, which is why I try to discard them from my mind.
58. Do you think it’s too late to do certain things in your life? Why?
A few of the things can never really be changed. Because one doesn’t have the time or the age or the opportunities to do the same again. However, I am a staunch believer of taking my life forward from this point onwards.
59. If you could be the most influential person in the world, what would you change?
The attitude of people towards social norms and customs. It’s bizarre we hold each other back so much just out of social fear.
60. How much time do you spend with your family and friends?
Depends on what we all are doing. I’m very absorbed in my work. But I do like taking time out and going with friends, or talking to them, but I’m not conscious of how much time I’m supposed to spend.
61. Where do you want to be in 5 years from now?
Hopefully in a better place. As I said earlier, with a PhD and an exciting job. Anything other than that is a bonus.
62. Is your life complicated by unnecessary things?
No, I complicate things by choice. What appears complicated to most other people, is actually a very neat and efficient system I have. When one has a system, it’s complicated, but efficient. Therefore, I don’t have to worry about it much. Simple things have more reasons to fail, while complicated things can be sustained. But other than that, I absolutely do not indulge myself in things that I do not want to. So one could say that in that sense, I live a simplified life.
63. How can you simplify your life and focus on the most important things to you?
One can simplify life by simply not doing what they don’t want to do. The other important thing is realizing what one wants to do, and planning for it. That’s the only way to know for sure that all the things are taken care of.
64. What stresses you out?
A bad result or a test failure. I’m talking about my work. Other than that, I think when I’m overwhelmed by how much I want to learn, and do, and how little time or patience I have, it totally stresses me out.
65. What makes life easier?
Patience, and courage. It may seem difficult, but once you learn to live by them, life is really easily.
66. How often do you give without expecting anything in return?
Most of the time.
67. What is your greatest challenge?
Keeping on improving myself and actually achieving good results.
68. What is most important to you in life? Are you giving it the time it deserves?
The most important thing in my life is myself, my passions. And I always give it the time it deserves. I take great pains to make time for them.
69. If you could send a message to the world, what would you say in 30 seconds?
Stop. Take a look at yourself, at what you want. Live for it. Nothing else matters.
70. What do you most regret never telling someone?
How much they meant to me, and how much I wanted to be with them. It doesn’t matter now. They already know.
71. When was the last time you tried something new?
A few hours ago, when I tried to use text expanders. I’m always trying new stuff everywhere.
72. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?
Never. Unless I know it’s not valued, or it’s going to be thrown out the door without consideration. I don’t waste my energy then.
73. Do you give into others too often and feel resentful because of it?
No, I try to do something only because I feel it’s right by me. But sometimes I do something based on someone’s actions, and I regret not giving it a second thought.
74. Are you holding onto something that you need to put behind you?
Everyone does. It’s a gradual process. You put something behind every day. You say a little more, and continue ahead.
75. How often do you let your fears hold you back?
I try not to. But sometimes it becomes inevitable.
76. Do the people in your life bring the best out of you?
No, not all of them do. The people who criticize you, motivate you, or support you are the ones that have the ability to bring out the best in you. One should surround themselves with such people.
77. How often do you make excuses?
Not that often.
78. What is one mistake that you will never do again?
I will never, ever give up on something without trying everything I can.
79. Which is worse, failing or never giving it a shot?
Of course, never giving it a shot. By failing you’ve achieved at least one way you know that fails which you can avoid the next time. By not even trying you’ve achieved nothing at all.
80. What has grown you the most as a person – your challenges and trials or the comfortable yet enjoyable moments in life?
One’s challenges and troubles are the ones that define a person. It helps a person grow, and realize the incompleteness within themselves. Then they know what they need to act on.
81. If you could choose to have no more challenges or obstacles in life, would you?
No, it’s simply not possible.
82. In one word, what is standing between you and your biggest goal?
Hard-work. If I can conquer that, all my goals are easy.
83. How often do you go to bed feeling angry?
Rarely. The only times I do, is because I use sleeping as a cooling mechanism when I’m too angry.
84. Would it be wrong to steal in order to feed a starving child?
Wouldn’t it be also wrong to let a child starve? There’s no such thing as absolute right or wrong about anything unless both sides are considered in their entirety.
85. If you paid more attention to the sad things in this world, would you feel more conflicted about it?
No, suffering exists. One must learn to accept it, and look for ways to end it by the source.
86. If we learn from our failures, then why is it so bad to fail?
If one has to walk 5 steps to reach the top, one might fail several times on each step. But if one is in a hurry, one failed step is much more devastating. We live in a world caught in a great hurry. That’s why failure is looked down upon so much.
87. What could you pay more attention to in life?
How I’m spending my time. I’m great at wasting my time. Because I’m a much more efficient user of my time than an average person, I’m also much more efficient at wasting it away.
88. Why do we think of others the most when they’re no longer around?
Human nature, or psychology if I’m right. The human minds tries to go back to known places and people.
89. What does it look like to make the most of your life?
I think it looks like a very pretty life.
90. What have you given up on?
A great many things. TV shows, movies, books, and loads of stuff that I do not have time for. Anything relating to them is strictly considered before being consumed. I never watch videos online if I can help it. If a series or a movie has a book, and the adaptation isn’t really great, I prefer to read the book. I don’t have the same notions of entertainment and enjoyment as a party animal. But that doesn’t mean I don’t do parties. I do them wild style.
91. How many people do you truly love and what are you doing for them?
Should I really keep a count? I don’t think so. I do whatever I can whenever I can.
92. Do you ask enough questions, or are you happy to settle for what you already know?
I ask enough questions to annoy someone into killing me. I think those many questions are enough.
93. What were you doing when you last lost track of time?
I was reading Blackout, a novel by Mira Grant from the Newsflesh trilogy.
94. Do you think you would be happy if you never had to work again?
I’d be the most miserable creature to have ever lived.
95. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I could say around 30.
96. If you could ask for one wish, what would it be?
To help me with my life, to fulfill my dreams and passions.
97. What inspires you in life?
That I can choose to do whatever I want. That also scares me the most.
98. What can you not live without the most?
My thoughts. If someone asked me to do mind-numbing things, or managed to distract my mind for long enough, I’d not be sane again.
99. What do you enjoy doing over and over again?
Creating something. Engaging my creativity. Or dreaming, that’s creation at its purest form.
100. When did you last laugh so much it hurt?
I don’t really remember when the last time was. I never do.
101. What is stopping you from living the life you want to live?
Fear. And the lack of courage.
Questions originally taken from : a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/101-thought-provoking-questions-ask-late/#X8TeEEV1zF1rhTeu.99">http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/101-thought-provoking-questions-ask-late/#X8TeEEV1zF1rhTeu.99