Meg Heppner is a life coach (https://www.realexcellentliving.com/). Her favorite questions in Proust's Questionnaire are questions number 1 and 23.
“For me, happiness is living in tension because tension is where growth is. And for me, happiness equals growth. As long as I am growing, I am happy. And the minute I stop growing, I feel stagnated and unhappy. So, in my work, I challenge people with what they think happiness is. It isn’t actually a Utopia. But being able to handle the tensions of life without becoming overwhelmed; without getting into anxiety. And there always will be contradictions. There will never be a place where there is no contradiction. Where everyone is in perfect harmony. But it’s the contradictions that make life pleasant and interesting.”
Questions 1 and 23 go hand in hand. That’s why Meg likes them so much. “Any time I suffer, any time that I have been miserable or I have felt hopeless, it has always been because I refuse to accept what is in front of me. And the moment that I accept reality, it’s almost like a pressure relief, like this is what I have to deal with. When I realized that you can accept and take action at the same time, I found acceptance and surrender so much easier. And also this idea that in every acceptance is a lesson that the Universe has decided that I need to learn. So no matter how far I will push it away, or control or manipulate it, it will keep coming back into my life until I surrender to it. So why not do it now?”
Proust’s Questionnaire Meg
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Living in contradiction/tension without wanting
it to go away or change.
2. What is your greatest fear? For sure death.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? The deep desire I have to be right!!
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Lack of Self-awareness.
5. Which living person do you most admire? Richard Rohr, Peter Rollins, & Tony Robbins.
6. What is your greatest extravagance? Books - I buy them all!
7. What is your current state of mind? Reflective.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Success, being the best or the expert.
9. On what occasion do you lie? When I don’t want to hurt someone.
10.What do you most dislike about your appearance? I’m a bit plain, with no real striking
11.Which living person do you most despise? Despise is a strong word…I’m not a fan of
12.What is the quality you most like in a man? The ability to stay calm.
13.What is the quality you most like in a woman? The ability to anticipate the needs of
14.Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Live your best life lol!! (I’ve been guilty
of using it smh).
15.What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband!! We’ve been married 20
years - he’s pure gold!!
16.When and where were you happiest? In Paris with my husband for our anniversary.
17.Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I was athletic in some way.
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d love to be more
patient…I get bored easily:)
19.What do you consider your greatest achievement? My Sons<3
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Mother
Teresa or someone like her!
21.Where would you most like to live? In Europe - France or Rome.
22.What is your most treasured possession? I don’t think I have one - I am not
23.What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Not accepting what life is placing in
24.What is your favorite occupation? A psychotherapist.
25.What is your most marked characteristic? My ability to accept everyone.
26.What do you most value in your friends? Being supportive and challenging me.
27.Who are your favorite writers? Todd McGowan, Tad Delay, Slavoj Zizek, Peter Rollins,
28.Who is your hero of fiction? Jane Eyre.
29.Which historical figure do you most identify with? I honestly have no idea!
30.Who are your heroes in real life? People make great sacrifices for the sake of others.
31.What are your favorite names? Rohn and Harrison:)
32.What is it that you most dislike? Small talk.
33.What is your greatest regret? Wasting time in my youth when I could’ve been doing
34.How would you like to die? In my sleep.
35.What is your motto? Wherever you are - be a beneficial presence.