NEWS AND EXPERTS If you’re stuck in a rut or struggling with life— at work, in your relationships, in the way you view yourself— it could be time for a little self interrogation.
Asking yourself probing questions about who you are and where you want to go in life is how powerful change can begin, says Khalil Osiris, author of the book “A Freedom That Comes From Within.”
Those questions can be as simple as “What makes me weep?” or as challenging as “What might other people see about me with clarity that I’m unable to see clearly about myself?”
“For me, deep questioning is something we need to regularly engage in as human beings,” Osiris said.
Once people start digging, they realize that some things they’ve taken for granted about themselves or their lives and the world are in need of closer examination, according to Osiris.
These days, Osiris is a successful international speaker who conducts workshops focused on personal transformation and overcoming self-imposed limitations. But it was hitting rock bottom that motivated him to begin asking himself soul-searching questions. As a young man in prison on robbery charges, Osiris contemplated the choices he made that led him to that point.
“I asked myself questions such as, ‘Was the judge right about me when he said I had squandered my gifts and advantages, and would probably die in prison?’ and ‘What would it look like to become a man my sons could be proud of?’ The questions kept coming and as the questions evolved, so did I.”
The average person doesn’t need to face something as dramatic as incarceration to start asking questions that can transform their lives, though, Osiris says.
“Questions have the power to change the life of anyone who’s willing to look within and to answer as honestly as they can,” he says. “And the process doesn’t have to be painful or torturous. It can be joyful and full of hope.”
Osiris has suggestions for getting started with questions tailored to a variety of situations.
•Improving relationships. Does the way I treat others say what I would really like to say? Do my actions speak volumes to other people about the way I feel about them? What relationship would I like to change, starting with the way I treat the other person and letting my actions speak in a more loving, nurturing way?
•Defining yourself. In my life as it is now, am I an observer or a participant? Am I someone who brings energy to people and situations, or someone who drains it? Do I feel like a victim with no ability to change my life, or do I feel that I have a say in the way my life unfolds?
•Embracing change. How firmly do I hold on to old ideas about who I am and what I can do? Am I gripping too tightly to ideas that no longer serve me? Have I limited myself in what I see as possible for my life?
•Impacting the world through work and volunteering. Do I see my job as simply a way to pay the bills? Can I be kinder and more positive in my interactions with those I work with each day? Can I see myself doing volunteer work that is meaningful to me?
“Deep questioning can transform every facet of your life if you have an honest desire to change the attitudes and misperceptions that need changing,” Osiris said. “But regardless of how, when and where you ask yourself the questions, the fact that you’re even asking them is the most important step of all.”
Khalil Osiris is an international speaker on restorative justice and transformational leadership and the author of A Freedom That Comes From Within. He spent 20 years in prison and transformed his life, emerging with a deep understanding of how to use personal crisis, challenges and opportunities for self-improvement. He also conducts workshops focused on personal transformation and overcoming self-imposed limitations. For more information, visit: www.khalilosiris.com.