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  • Writer's pictureBassam Tarazi

The 3 Most Important Questions To Ask Yourself

I would’ve never thought that three most important questions I ask myself on a regular basis would be inspired by The Walking Dead (TWD).


In its most basic sense, TWD is a human vs. zombie show, but it’s much more about the ties that bind. When the lead character, Rick, was trying to suss out a stranger he came across—a stranger that Rick was usually pointing a gun at—he asked:


  • How many Walkers (zombies) have you killed?

  • How many people have you killed?

  • And why?


Noodling on those three little buggers, Rick could watch this person's ethos unfurl before him, like a personal Hammurabi's Code they didn't know they had.


The more and more I thought about it, those three questions are about values, usefulness, and accountability. And if you remove the zombipocalyspe tint, we can have them make sense in our day-to-day lives by asking ourselves:


  • What am I accountable for?

  • Who am I accountable to?

  • And why?


It’s an exercise I do all the time. At various stages, I’ve had to remind myself:


I’m accountable for my reactions. 

I’m accountable for my mood. 

I’m accountable for my mindset. 

I’m accountable for how I treat people. 

I’m accountable for standing up for myself. 

I’m accountable for my part of the drama.

I’m accountable to my family.

I’m accountable to my friends, my real friends.

I’m accountable to my colleagues (but not all of them)

I’m accountable to the task I committed to.


(What also helps me is figuring out what I'm not accountable for, e.g., I’m not accountable for every message that comes into my inbox.)


To bring even more richness, you can go one level deeper and ask yourself: How do I showcase that accountability?


It’s like, “Are my stated values my acted values?”


Brutal, I know.


These questions can fit in your pocket, but they pack a punch.


Give it a shot next time you’re feeling a little disconnected, unsettled, or overwhelmed in your work or professional life. Chances are you might have some peripheral people’s opinions nestled into your list of things you didn’t know you were accountable to. Best not to have “the thoughts of a rando on Linkedin” above your mental health; zombies or no zombies.

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