The quality of answers that we receive in life is inextricably connected to the quality of our questions. Often, we ask questions that are inside of the box that we are stuck in as we search for ways to escape that box. It's an exercise in futility; because the questions come from within our current confines, they are inherently worthless to our quest.
Imagine instead that you find a way to poke a hole in the side of your box and peak out toward the outside world. What types of questions might you then ask?
Here's an example of an inside-the-box question: Should I quit my job?
It's a perfectly reasonable question, but in my experience, people who ask it end up getting stuck on the question like a hamster on a wheel. Around and around they go between yes and no, weighing concerns like retirement benefits, health, family, money, and gaps on resumes. It's the kind of question that most people can talk themselves into and out of about 60 times in 60 seconds.
Here's a better question: WHY AM I HERE?
Now you're on to something. You are peeking through your peephole into the realm of everything that is possible in this world. Outside of your box, perhaps there's a job that doesn't even exist yet that you can create. Outside of your box are your deepest desires.
Once you begin to answer the question of why you are here, all other questions fall into place because now you have the proper context with which to answer them. Should you quit your job? Well, is that job why you're here? Have you survived everything that has sought to harm you, all of the risks that being human entails, in order to work in this job? Did your ancestors work three jobs and still go hungry during the Great Depression so that you can work in this job? Is this job your destiny?
Here are some more examples of ways that we can use our questions to move forward instead of to spin in circles:
Box Question: Should I break up with him/her?
Better Question: What is my worth?
Box Questions: What have I done to deserve this pain or illness? Why me?
Better Questions: What is this pain or illness trying to tell me? If I let it break me open a bit, what magical things might I find inside?
Box Question: When is that person going to stop disrespecting me?
Better Question: Do I want to die angry?
Box Question: How can I get out of this rut?
Better Question: Here, I must turn to the genius of Mary Oliver. She asks great questions.
As you embark on the adventure that we are calling 2016, may you ask and answer the great questions.
This blog is focused on exploring ideas around yoga, career, intuition, purpose, and passion. Please leave a comment. Namaste.