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Akanna Okeke: 5 Important Questions to Ask Yourself

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dreamstime_m_53777415What really matters to you? This is the one broad question you need to answer and then begin to drill down from there, in order to identify your life purpose.

My first article on this platform was on Gifts, Talents and Skills and how a combination of those 3 was the recipe for ultimate fulfillment and accomplishment.  I got very positive feedback on that article, but one that really got me was when a reader asked the question “how do I discover myself?”

My quick answer to that would be “lookout for your talents and develop them into skills and then you might stumble on your gift (or life purpose) in the process”.  But thanks to John C. Maxwell who, in his book “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions”, listed 5 questions to ask, to help discover yourself:

  1. What makes you sing?
  2. What makes you cry?
  3. What makes you dream?
  4. What makes you excel?
  5. What makes you different?

These 5 questions border on the broader question “what really matters to you?” and we all need to find that out.  I took the time to answer these questions for myself and I will share a bit on here just to guide and encourage those who are willing to do the same.

What Makes Me Sing?
This is a question of what brings me joy.

A few things bring me joy such as: teaching what I have learnt –I love explaining concepts to people and watching their faces as they begin to unravel the truth behind a long time misconception; writing –which I use as a teaching medium; learning and singing new songs; being with very close friends and sharing ideas with them; making people laugh and laughing along with them; traveling; and experiencing luxury.

What Makes Me Cry?
This is a question of what touches my heart.

I hate to see people dominate over other people especially to the point of taking their lives.  I am very uncomfortable watching those police killing videos and the likes. I doubt I have ever watched any fully.

I also hate to see or be around complacent people who don’t want to try anything.  Another is when people don’t know as much about life as I do and are living a lie as a result.  This touches my heart so much that I sometimes want to cross boundaries and offer unsolicited advice to them.

Then the one that really gets to me is when people make a mess!  I can’t stand this because I am a very tidy person. Lots of roommates have suffered in my hands in this regard.

What Makes Me Dream?
This is a question of what sparks my imagination.

These are things such as: traveling; watching teaching videos (or listening to audios) by people like Myles Munroe, Daniel Lapin and even the Oprah Life Classes; watching interviews and documentaries on successful people; reading inspirational materials; being alone (in solitude); and aristocratic lifestyles (as seen in movies/documentaries)

What Makes Me Excel?
This is a question of what reveals my strengths.

One of them, for me, is likability –people enjoy my company and are usually willing to open up to me.  I know how to make them laugh too; to down-play the vulnerability they feel by opening up.

Another is explaining to people whatever I have truly understood. I am a great teacher but once I don’t truly understand something, I may use sound grammar to explain it and look smart, but you’ll leave me thinking “I don’t think he actually answered my question”.

Other strengths of mine are singing, writing and public-speaking.  At the time I answered these questions for myself, I had not started harnessing these strengths but now I have – just because I wrote them down! I take weekly voice lessons, I write articles every week, and I was even the Master of Ceremony at my dad’s 80th birthday party this weekend.

One strength people close to me have helped me identify is humility. People say I am humble; I just think that I prefer to be myself, which to me is the definition of being humble anyway.

What Makes Me Different?
This is a question about what reveals my uniqueness.

I have a weird ability to switch off and disconnect from people who are either out of sight or with whom I want nothing to do anymore, without feeling guilty or attached.  It probably is a weakness as I’ve been told that I can be “cold”.

I have the ability to stay on at something and not dart around.  Even if I choose to ‘diversify’, I would hardly leave the one thing I had started to jump to another.

Another thing that reveals my uniqueness is that I am not usually intrigued by what usually intrigues most guys such as fast cars, ‘slutty’ women, sports, partying and drinking excessively.  Of course, in order to gain friends, I have previously acted like I do like them.  I wanted to be like everyone else but I just advised myself that “you can only be you because everyone else is taken”.

Lastly, I love class! A classy lady turns me on. I love being able to enjoy fine wine and if I were to have a favourite sport to participate in, it would be something as fancy is fencing – weird huh? Well, that’s my uniqueness and I don’t exactly know what it has to do with my life purpose.

So there you go! Now you know what things really matter to me; not like you really needed to know but I hope you answer these questions for yourself.  You will begin to wonder why you haven’t pursued the things that really matter to you, and maybe eliminate all excuses and start to pursue them.

For me, it was hiring a voice trainer for singing, writing weekly articles, traveling more and putting myself in positions to teach people a thing or two that I have been learning.

I dare you to answer these 5 questions in the comment section below! And if you’re not bold enough to, please answer them privately at least – take your time to do so too. The important thing is to discover who you really are and what really matters to you.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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