I believe a question that hurts ego but maintains accountability might go something along the lines of: “Yeah, it’s cool that you were a [military/spiritual/artist/author/businessperson/quirky/quarterback/prom king or queen/etc.]…but what are you doing to improve yourself TODAY? And then tomorrow? And the day after that?”
That question keeps us from hiding behind labels, and forces us to hold ourselves accountable for the time we have left.