Doing the Hard Work

To be someone worth following, you have to first be healthy yourself. While the physical part of your health is critical, I want to focus this week on the emotional state.

What follows are questions I am asking myself so that I know the state of my inner being. I have listed a lot of questions below. The expectation is not to answer all of them, but only those that stick out. Be honest. Do not hide. This is difficult, but worthy work. 

Before diving in, I would encourage you to talk through selected questions with your support groups. For instance, I am talking about them with my Executive Coach, Accountability Partner, and group of men I meet with twice per month. I would also be inclined to get professional help if it was needed. There is no shame in this. The goal is to get real, know yourself, and heal. 

These questions are listed in no particular order. 

What about my past am I embarrassed by? 

What event do I want nobody to know about? 

How often do I think of that event? 

Is it something I should talk to someone about? 

How do my childhood dreams, if I can remember them, compare to the life I am currently living? How does this make me feel? Really?

Who wronged me in the past? 

Who do I need to forgive? 

Who have I wronged? 

Have I forgiven myself? 

What, or who, sets off my anger? 

What does that anger look like (imagine you were just observing it)? 

How does that anger probably feel to others? 

What am I really angry about? Is it really the situation I described above, or is there something deeper going on? If so, what? 

Is anger what I really feel? Or, is some other emotion present (sadness, fear, anxiety, or something else?). If so, what is it? 

What does my eating say about my emotional state? 

How often do I self medicate? 

Do I turn to alcohol, or other mind-altering drugs, for an escape? 


Could I live without my drink of choice for a year? 

Do I need to talk to someone about my drinking? 

How much sleep do I get? 

Is it restful?

Is it enough? 

What would enhance my nighttime routine: Less screen time? Going to bed earlier? Setting the alarm later? 

Do I sleep through the night, or wake up many times throughout? 

Is sleep positively, or negatively, impacting my emotional health? 

Do my credit card statement(s) tell a story about the state of my emotional health? 

Am I buying things unnecessarily? 

Do my thoughts turn frequently to positive experiences, or things, that I could purchase? 

Do I search google for the best deal so that I can justify the need for buying whatever it is that I am buying? 

Do I search Amazon at odd times for odd things? 

Do I buy things when I am also engaging in some other activity like drinking? 

Am I in debt? 

Do I have a plan to get out of debt? 

Do my eyes turn frequently to social media? 

Do my posts portray an inaccurate version of my life (either good or bad)? 

Do I evaluate the posts of others in comparison to my life (their “highlights” to my “lowlights”)? 

Do I get angry, anxious, or sad while looking at social media? 

Have I setup any time limits, or safeguards, around my use of social media? 

Would this be helpful? 

Do I show up to work with energy? 

Does my hard work mask some insecurity? 

Am I judgmental of the success of others on the team? 

Am I secure enough in myself to give others credit? Really? 

Do I want the best for my coworkers, or do I secretly want to be number one? 

Does my work get the best energy I have to offer while my spouse and kids get what is left over? 

Or, is it the other way around? 

Do I have a real stop to my work, or does it just gravitate back to home in the evening? 

Have I informed my mind of the stop time? 

Do I resent those that do not work as hard as I do? What does that say about me? 

Will I be able to really retire? Or, is retirement predicated on some sort of external factors that aim to bring a lavish lifestyle? 

Would I be okay just being? No experiences or toys, just being with others? 

Am I afraid to die? 

Have I come to grips with my own mortality? 

Is this something I should talk to someone about? 

What are my thoughts about what really matters in this life, its origins, God, and salvation? 

Have I decided? 

The list of questions above are not easy. My goal in asking them is to get the readers of this blog to know thyself. Like everything else I write about, I am spending 2021 asking myself these questions. 

It is hard work. 

But, it is necessary. 

To lead others you have to first lead yourself. 

These questions are part of that journey.