1. Who do I spend my time with?
If a child is friends with peers who don't aspire to anything, we think he won't get anywhere in life either. But for some reason we don't consider that this extends to adults as well. If your buddies put up with unloving jobs or unhealthy lifestyles, you too are likely to make similar decisions. Think about your friends and co-workers: do they inspire and support you or, conversely, pull you down?
The same goes for what you read, what you watch, what you think about. Our lives begin to resemble our surroundings over time, so choose it carefully.
2. Can I influence it?
According to Epictetus, the philosopher's main task is to discern what he can and cannot control.
We usually spend an enormous amount of time on things that do not depend on us in any way. We can control our own actions, thoughts, feelings. Other people, the weather, external events - no. But our attitudes to people, the weather, and external events are within our control. By learning to discern this, you will stop being upset about things that are not in your control.
3. What does my perfect day look like?
Without knowing this, you simply won't be able to build your schedule in a way that makes you feel comfortable. Think back to the most enjoyable days of your life. What have you been doing? Ideally, your work, personal life, and home should help you live as many days as possible in this way.
Lead a lifestyle that allows you to be you, not force you to constantly pretend to be someone else.
4. To be or to do?
That's the question military strategist John Boyd asked his potential aides. Which path will you choose? Will you strive for success or focus on a higher goal? Will you fixate on your position, the number of fans, the size of your paycheck, or will you focus on truly meaningful accomplishments? What have you chosen so far?
5. What am I missing out on when I waste time with anxiety and fear?
Different problems in life cause us to feel sad, anxious, and fearful. The only way to get through these problems is to try to keep these feelings under control. So the next time you notice that you are immersed in negative emotions, remind yourself of the high price to pay for them. After all, when you're distracted by them, you're missing out on something important.
6. Am I doing my thing?
Do you even know what your business is? You can work tirelessly, to the point of exhaustion, and still not do your thing. We often get bogged down in small things, do other people's work, or just procrastinate. All of this makes us feel busy, but it doesn't bring us any closer to what is important to us.
7. What is most important to me?
If you don't know what's important to you, you can't know if you're devoting enough time and energy to it. Whatever it is - family, money, work - you have to know and accept it. Only then will you stop comparing yourself to people who have completely different priorities. Only then will you be able to give up the race for "success" and achieve that state of calm that Seneca called "the certainty that you are on the right path and do not stray, looking at the footprints of people crossing your path."
8. Who is it for?
If you're creating something, selling something, or trying to attract people, you absolutely must know the answer to this question. You need to know your audience. Think, "What do these people want? What do they want? What can I offer them?" Don't rely on luck. Ask that question and try to find a clear answer.
9. Does it really matter that much?
Given the transience of life, does what I am thinking, worrying, arguing about matter at all? Unfortunately, more often than not the answer will be no.
Remember to ask yourself this question so you don't waste your time. Take the example of Marcus Aurelius and remind yourself that at this very moment you could die. Let that define your actions, thoughts and words.
10. Am I who I want to be?
We are what we do. So when doing something, ask yourself: "Does it reflect the kind of person I want to be? The way I see myself?"
How we do one thing also says something about how we do everything else, about who we are. So try with every action you take, every thought you think, every word you say, to ask yourself if it matches who you want to be.