20 questions that could change your life

My title comes from the headline of Martha Beck’s latest article in the February issue of Oprah’s  O Magazine  and it’s a doozy of a read. I hate relationship articles and  simplistic social quizzes and skip right over them. But this one stopped me cold with some provocative questions I want to start deliberating on. Like what, you say? Let me give you just 3:

4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than I like {people}?
Feel free to switch out the words in brackets: You may like TV more than exercise, or bad boys more than nice guys, or burglary more than reading. Whatever the particulars, every woman has something she likes more than the somethings she’s supposed to like. But forcing “virtues”—trying to like people more than cupcakes—drives us to vices that offer false freedom from oppression. Stop trying to like the things you don’t like, and many vices will disappear on their own.

9. How much junk could a chic chick chuck if a chic chick could chuck junk?
I believe this question was originally posed by Lao Tzu, who also wrote, “To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.” Face it: You’d be better off without some of your relationships, many of your possessions, and most of your thoughts. Chuck your chic-chick junk, chic chick. Enlightenment awaits.

18. So say I lived in that fabulous house in Tuscany, with untold wealth, a gorgeous, adoring mate, and a full staff of servants…then what?
We can get so obsessed with acquiring fabulous lives that we forget to live. When my clients ask themselves this question, they almost always discover that their “perfect life” pastimes are already available. Sharing joy with loved ones, spending time in nature, finding inner peace, writing your novel, plotting revenge—you can do all these things right now. Begin!

All of Beck’s questions/answers are like these– funny, smart, insightful and open-ended. They reminded me that a life well lived requires some intentional thinking by each of us about what actually makes life worth living.

For the full 20 Q’s, go to: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Martha-Becks-20-Questions-That-Could-Change-Your-Life_1/2


  1. I clipped this article last week…I really like Martha Beck’s O column. Now I have to discipline myself into regularly asking myself the questions on the list.


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