5 Ways A Good Question Can Change Your Life
Many of the most profound thinkers throughout the course of human history have recognized the power of a good question. A good question is like an all purpose tool, capable of being used in any situation to shed light on a new way to look at the world. Below are 5 ways a good question can help change our lives.
1. Questions help us find purpose.
One my idols (and yes, you will hear that over and over about this amazing soul) Dr. James Hollis offers that our lives find their purpose "not in answers but in living large questions that are worthy of the soul's magnitude."
2. Questions help us transform ourselves and the conversations we are having.
Peter Block, an expert on organization development, community building, and civic engagement, felt that “Questions are more transformative and are the essential tools of engagement… if you want to change the context, find powerful questions.”
3. Questions offer enlightenment.
Roman-French Playwright Eugene Ionesco said, “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”
4. Questions change the future.
Godwin M.A. Hlatshwayo, a Strategy Development and Implementation practitioner, observed that questions are “the chamber through which destiny calls.” Peter Block noted that “Questions create the space for something new to emerge.”
5. Questions help us get unstuck.
To often, when we get stuck in our lives, it is because we have moved away from living in the question. Most of the time living in the question is the same as living in possibility, and when we stop living in the question it is because we fixate on one possibility.
The system is always sending signals about whether or not it might be time to step into the larger system. When we start focusing on the answer instead of the question, when we get fixed on one possibility, we stop being able to see the unlimited possibilities life offers.
I like to joke that life offers you signals in escalating fashion. First, life whispers in your ear: “You are missing the point.” If you don’t hear the whisper, life taps you on the shoulder, saying, “Hey, do you see that pattern?” And if you don’t hear the whisper (and I never seem to do that), life then whacks you in the back of the head with a 2x4 so you can’t miss the experience. It is a “Bam, don’t miss this!”
When I feel stuck I have to remind myself to sit in possibility, to live in the art of the question. Two of my favorite questions are:
· What pattern wants to rest here?
· What wants to emerge here?
Asking these questions invites me to step back from my resistance, fear, or stuckness to find direction and to see possible next steps.
One of the most important parts of living in the question is don’t try to answer the question. That’s right. Don’t answer it. When we try to answer the question, we limit what life can deliver to us in response. We put our blinders on and are unable to see whatever other possibilities might await us if we didn't try to answer the question.
When we stand in the silence and in the echo of the magic life has to offer, we invite the field of infinite possibilities to bring something so grand that it surpasses our wildest dreams. When we don’t seek to limit what life can deliver, life can choose what it wishes to deliver. And what life has planned for you is so much bigger than what you can plan for yourself.
Living in question means using questions to bypass limited answers your mind provides. The more you live in the question, the more infinite possibilities will show up for you. You can bypass 90 percent of the steps that humans have to go through to create something when you are willing to have the magic and live in the question. (from Gary Douglas and Dain Heer’s Magic. You Are It. Be It.)
Next time you feel stuck or tempted to drop down into the frustration or resistance try asking yourself a question. Something that encourages you to expand your field of vision, something that allows you to see the steps to the next larger system. After all, what else is possible?
Until next week, standing in the possibilities and sending you lots of llama llove.