The New Year brings new opportunities for us all. Not only to bask in the glories of second chances and getting it right, but also to reflect on how far we’ve come as individuals, and to look to the long roads ahead of us.

It’s safe to say that for many, despite our privileges and circumstances, life is not easy. We often don’t know what curveballs will be thrown at us, and often, we get a little lazy or burnt out. We may constantly sit in a state of limbo, with turmoil and confusion stirring internally as we struggle to define identities and discover who we are and whether or not we are truly being the individuals that we set ourselves out to be. The first thing we must remember is that we can only strive to be our best “selves”; role models and personalities drive and exist on major platforms, but we should see them as inspirational agents in our own lives and become aspirants of that ideal “self” who we visualize in our heads. Clark Kent didn’t become superman overnight, and who’s to say that the idea of being superwoman is real or truly desired in life?

As we branch out into this New Year, may hope, encouragement, and strength follow each and every one of us. More importantly, let us be able to free our minds from those doubtful thoughts or underestimations that may keep us from following that corny but oh-so-powerful mantra plastered on the wall of elementary school classrooms: “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” Stay strong, stay uplifted, and remain empowered this year, and let 2011 stand as an era in which, over time, the definition of you is slowly realized. Remember, your words and actions are valued. Every individual has a purpose.

To guide you and jumpstart your self-discovery journey for the year, here are fifteen thought provoking questions to ponder. They can be applied to any aspect of your life: career, family, love, academics, relationships, health and so on. Think about them, and perhaps in your response you’ll fill a spot that may have felt unfulfilled in your mind. As En Vogue sang proudly in 1992, “Free your mind and the rest will follow.”

1. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

2. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

3. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

4. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

5. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

6. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? When will  you address it? Now or never?

7. How patient are you? Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

8. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

9. If not now, then when?

10. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

11. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

12. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?

13. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

14. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

15. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

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  • sunshyne84

    Might need to print these out.

  • African Mami

    #7…guilty of that in the literal sense. Thought provoking questions! Great piece.

  • This is well written article. Great questions!!! Definitely taking some into consideration.