ZARATHUSTRA SMITH • • 5 min read
15 Questions That Reveal Your Level of Spiritual Badassery
At HighExistence, we think a lot about how to live an awesome life.
We’re obsessed with the intersection between spiritual development and other forms of self-actualization, such as optimizing your health, doing work you love, traveling the globe, gaining expertise and mastery, becoming socially confident, contributing to a better world, and more.
It struck me the other day that one might say we challenge people to become spiritual badasses. That is, we generally encourage (secular) spirituality, along with badassery/awesomeness in all areas of life.
I then had the idea to assemble a list of penetrating questions—questions that would convince you, dear reader, of the beauty of the path of the spiritual badass and reveal to you your current level of spiritual badassery.
I didn’t devise a formal system to calculate your level or anything, but here’s a rule of thumb:
If you’ve asked yourself very few of these questions and acted on almost none of them, you’re a Spiritual n00b. If you’ve asked yourself most or all of these questions and taken significant action on most of them, you’re a Spiritual Super Saiyan.
If you dare, really ponder these with an open, patient mind, and have the courage to answer them as honestly as possible.
After all, the right question can completely change the trajectory of your life.
The right question, at the right time, cuts to the core of your being. It makes you see your life with new eyes—makes you realize where you’ve been heading and where you could possibly go; how far you’ve come and how much farther you can travel.
That is precisely what all of these questions are designed to do. Approach this exercise with a sincere intention to learn, and the results will likely be transformative. You’ll gain an intuitive sense of where you fall on the Spiritual Badass Spectrum, and you’ll begin to feel motivated to progress to higher levels.
Good luck, fellow human. Here’s to living a life we would happily relive, over and over, for eternity.
How good is it possible for me to feel on a regular basis?
If I really took care of myself—exercised, ate a healthy diet, and meditated regularly—how awesome would I feel? How much more content would I be?
Will it be more fun, interesting, and fulfilling to live a life that plateaus and stays about the same for the last 40 years or a life of perpetual growth and reinvention?
If change is inevitable, am I better off resisting it or embracing it?
To what extent can I overcome suffering through deep acceptance of the human condition?
Through meditation, is it possible that I can learn to simply observe my being from a place of compassion and gentle acceptance?
If I dedicated 10,000 hours of my time to one thing, how amazing could I be at that thing?
How good would it feel to achieve mastery?
Would I rather know only the people I know now for the rest of my life, or would I rather know the people I know now + 1,000 more fascinating, awesome, complex humans?
Do I want to remain timid or become a social badass?
How relaxed, fun, compassionate, and engaged is it possible for me to be in an average social interaction?
What if I admitted that social skills can be developed, rather than assuming that my social skills will always stay the same?
Is it possible for me to get so good at mindfulness that I can “slow down time” at will and make everything but my present sensory experience disappear?
If mindfulness can really reduce stress and enrich my life, why am I not practicing it? What would happen if I slowed down and spent more time noticing the beauty, sublimity, and majesty of nature?
On my death bed, how likely is it that I will wish I had tried fewer things vs more things?
How likely is it that I will wish I had taken fewer risks, learned less, and explored fewer possibilities?
Is it possible for me to be my own boss, set my own hours, work from anywhere, and give up schedules, alarm clocks, work clothes, and commutes?
If I value freedom, flexibility, and self-direction, why wouldn’t I try to become a digital nomad? Above all, what do I need to do to do work I love?
If I realized deeply that it’s never been cheaper and easier to travel the world, how far would I go?
How many unimaginable places would I see?
How much of a positive impact could I actually have on the world if I made it one of my top priorities to improve life on Earth for all sentient creatures?
How much good could I do if I became involved in the Effective Altruism movement?
What can I do today to start becoming a more tranquil, mindful, effective, knowledgeable, badass version of me?
Can I also do it tomorrow? And the next day?
Deep down, what do I really want to learn about?
Where does my natural curiosity lead? Could I become an expert in one or more areas if I made self-education a top priority?
If I hold myself accountable in all areas of my life and stop procrastinating, how many more of my dreams will I realize?
If money were no object, what would I do with my life? What do I truly desire?