For me, life goes in the direction of my questions. I’ve mentioned this before, and I turned toward it again today when I posted this on Facebook:
As always, I wanted to know the answer to my question. (You know, sometimes people DON’T want to know the answer to their question because the there may be an action they don’t want to take. Just saying).
The responses were interesting to me. In my work, it’s common to look for patterns. (Identifying patterns is helpful to clients). Based on the answers people gave, it occurred to me that life transitions were central to most of them: Recovering from cancer, a child’s near-future plans for college, dealing with a challenging period in life and wondering what’s around the next corner.
Clearly, these are natural times for questions, and there is something unknown that wants to be answered regarding life transition. Our worries tend to be about the past or the future and rarely are warranted when present in today.
I appreciate inquiry that runs deeper; something I call “the mother of the question.”
Here’s an example: I’m steeped in strategy by asking questions like “Where will my child choose to go to college”? or “How will I afford to send her to college?”.
The mother of the question might be “What will my identity be when she’s gone”? Or “What’s possible next”?
Do you see the difference? One way helps us navigate the present moment, and the other takes us into our newly possible future.
Either way, questions are useful because the answers send us in a particular direction.
What is your big question today? What are your patterns? What is the “mother of the question”?