Summary – A question that will change your life if answered properly
Once upon a time, there was a wise man. He was a very popular person then. Not popular for his wisdom, but because he was known to go to a village and single-handedly brought out the best of every person in the village. Everyone suddenly became more productive, more focus and happier.

All he did was only asking one simple question. One of the most powerful question ever created. The question is this

Is what you are doing right now, making your life any better?

/end story

I just made up the story. There was no wise man, no village. There is the question though. A very powerful question and I truly believe that this question is one of the most influential question ever. Just think about it.

If you are window shopping at the mall, ask that question. Is this activity making your life any better. If you were actually thinking of buying a computer and you need to survey which gives out the best price, then it is definitely will make your life better.

But if you are just killing time, you will immediately know that what you’re doing is just pointless. So why are you still there loitering?

Be honest. You are not answering the question to anyone. You are answering for yourself.

There will be two type of respond to the question. Both have opposite effect but equally life-changing and if we are not careful we may fall into the negative type. So identifying these two types is very important.

Type 1 – The one that actually become better.
These are the type of people whom the question is designed for. When they know that what they are doing is pointless, The first thing that will come to their mind is “why bother doing it”. They will immediately renovate their activity to achieve something from it.

One example is when you are spending time chatting on the net 10 hours a day. Yes, it is bringing you closer to so many people, but you are losing on so much more like real relationship, or socializing with neighbour. What you should do is to maybe limit the time of chatting to about half, and adjust from there.

Type 2 – The one that will feel more depressed with the question.
These are the pessimist approach. They will answer the question by saying that nothing they do can make their life better. When they study and they fail, they just assume that the whole studying is not making them any better. This is of course wrong. The failure itself is making them better. They should study what is wrong in the first place. Maybe their study method is ineffective, or they are friends to the wrong crowd.

Conclusion – Such a powerful question can bring so many different result if used wrongly. We are all smart people. Decide how you are going to benefit from the question 🙂

– I wonder –
What other question that you think can change a person?

———- Personal Note ———–
I once chat with a friend about self development in general. He has an interesting view. According to him, self development is rubbish. We are who we are and we should not change it.

I of course disagree. If we are who we are, we should be lying on the bed, naked, crying to be fed like a baby 🙂

p.s. Thank you Glen Allsop for the correction.

Photo Credit – Jamuraa

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This post has 13 comments.

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  1. 07 Aug 08 8:12 pm

    That is a very powerful statement for conscious people.
    There is another one. If somebody is doing “dirty” things. Ask them:
    Why you want it so much?

  2. 07 Aug 08 8:20 pm

    it’s true. not many ppl know what are they doing and why.
    like going window-shopping. it’s not that I dislike it, but I don’t understand some girls going window-shopping to kill time, because I don’t.
    the same like you go to a meeting. suddenly the meeting becomes something else because the speaker speaks something else that is not related at all with the meeting’s purpose.
    Probably I’m a simple-minded person, so I like things go simple and straight 🙂

  3. 08 Aug 08 12:07 am

    Brother – A new blog? Good for you 🙂 doing “dirty” things? hm I wonder what that would be?

    Azuwachan – I actually love window shopping. I love seeing how people actually market their product. Usually I will have a lot of comment on what can a shop do to increase its visibility. But of course I keep that opinion to myself 🙂

    Simple minded.. that’s a very rare quality nowadays. It’s true that our mind is complicated. We will have no idea. But we can always simplify it. That’s one of the mystery still left unexplained.

  4. 08 Aug 08 2:52 am

    Good question Banji,

    I like it because it is simple and it will always keep you moving forward.

    Sometimes a resting place, even window shopping, can move us forward by allowing us to regroup and relax, but asking that question will ensure you do not stay too long in these comfort zones.

    Stumbled 🙂


  5. 08 Aug 08 4:06 am

    Everything that you are at this moment today is the sum total result of everything you have thought of to this period.

    Everything you are or will ever become will come as a result of the content of your mind.

    Everything you do to improve the quality of your thinking must by extension improve the quality of your life.

    Does this mean that the more you know the more successful you will be? No

    Discipline then takes over and becomes the bridge between thought and accomplishment.

  6. 08 Aug 08 5:11 am

    Like that, it doesn’t make sense; it should be…

    Is what you are doing right now, makING your life any better?

    I do like the idea behind it though, thanks for sharing!


  7. 08 Aug 08 8:37 am

    John Rocheleau – I agree, it’s not that we must always work and never taking the time to enjoy ourselves. It’s just that we must know that comfort zones is just a pit stop, not the destination 🙂

    I like that word — comfort zones

    Jdill – Well said. Everything we did all our life is contributing to what we are today. Maybe that habits of consciously forgetting to switch off the tv is making us more ignorance towards power saving. It will all adds up.

    Just like you said, knowledge alone will get us nowhere. We need to have that discipline to make success happen.

    Glen Allsopp – It’s ironic, the one sentence that is supposedly powerful, has a mistake in grammar 🙂

    Thank you Glen for the correction. I will ammend immediately.

  8. 08 Aug 08 11:18 am

    Life will be meaningless, if you make it so. ANd you life can be rich, and full of meaning doing what you love, even if it’s just window shopping (altho’ to us women, it is heaven:-) ). To some it may look like loitering, but if you look at the the side of the coin, it is “lesson in life”.

    Meminjam kata2 sifu ek…

  9. 08 Aug 08 6:17 pm

    AkakPokPek – well, there’s always another way to look at things. Thanks for sharing yours 🙂 kata2 sifu?

  10. 15 Aug 08 10:40 am

    The question make me…erm…”termenung panjang”…

    There are those people who have a motto ” go with the flow” in life..
    But I do thing it is just not quite right..
    we determine our own destiny..

    that is why we need to ask
    Is what you are doing right now, makING your life any better?


  11. banji
    16 Aug 08 9:05 am

    Nolee – Very true.. we make our own destiny. And what ever life give us, we adapt.

  12. lee
    09 Sep 08 6:48 am

    Whats the meaning of life… I still didnt find my answer. So there is no way I could know if its making it any better or not.

    And we can simplify our toughts, but can we think about how we think? Come on, we need that to make artificial inteligence. One out of our 6 billion ppl must have the answer, tell us if you know!!!

  13. 09 Sep 08 10:20 am

    Lee I guess you are of type 2.

    If we want to hold off everything until we know the meaning of life, why bother living at all. The meaning of life is a process. You will discover new meanings as you grow older.

    “Can we think about how we think?” – People have been researching about our thinking process since they know the word “think”.

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