What’s the right question?
I have learned that asking the right question is more important than getting the right answer. The right question is often the most difficult one to ask, yet it stimulates deeper insights and more lasting behavior change. I’ve noticed my tendency to ask an easier question i.e., one that has an apparent answer. A more difficult one does not have an answer that is readily apparent. Asking a difficult question generates a change in consciousness as I search more deeply for an answer.
The word question, has at its root—Quest. A quest is a journey into the unfamiliar, the uncharted. When we ask a difficult question, we indicate our willingness to go on that journey. We may hope there is an answer, but we acknowledge there may not be one.
The most powerful counseling sessions are those in which neither the patient nor I find an answer. For it is in the unanswered questions that we leave ourselves most open for change.
On a daily basis, I am trying to ask myself more difficult questions. So rather than asking “What shall I do today?” I am shifting to “What shall I do today to make this day special?” Just asking a more profound question shifts my perspective and behavior.
What new question can you ask yourself that will challenge you to further your quest?