I have a fondness for questions.  Not all questions.  Not “what’s for dinner” or  “where is the ___ “, or  “Are you sure you wish to permanently delete?”,  but rather questions requiring some reflection and introspection. 

So this week when a client was telling me about the challenging questions her son was trying to answer for a college application, I got excited.  “oooo – I love questions”, I thought to myself.  Like a kid in a candy store. 

I thought the questions were fun, and it was clear that this school wanted applicants to demonstrate a deeper knowledge of themselves than their grades, SAT scores, and athletic ability.  Time to go deep, young man.   

I was thinking about this later as I was working on a new project which is based on inquiry.  What is it that I like so much about questions?  

It has taken me a while to see clearly that I am happiest when I am living in accordance with my own values, interests, and temperament.   I spent many years living my life as I thought I “should”,  without questioning whether it was true or right for me.  I was anxious, depressed, stifled, confused.  Eventually, my own personal rock bottom. 

Then I started questioning. The who am I, what’s important to me, what do I really like kinds of questions. Basics. Then went deeper.  Over a decade later I’m still asking myself questions.  (And I’ve become a coach, who asks a lot of questions.)  My questioning, and my answers,  brought me an identity all my own.  And confidence. And comfort. And strength.  Ultimately, questions represented my freedom from external “shoulds”.  Life by my principles, my desires, and therefore my design. 

As e.e. cummings said:  “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”.  For sure, questions asked earnestly in search of “who you really are” require willingness, openness, and honesty and sometimes that’s hard.  We might not like what we see. But is has been my experience that this search has built me a happier life. My life.  At the very least, when I face something hard, I know who I am and what I bring. And if I don’t, I’m not afraid of the questions to ask. 

 

How well do you know the true you?   The Circle TIme Forum is a private, online community of women who want to answer some questions, dig deep, and get to know themselves better.  If you’re trying to make yourself genuinely happy, wouldn’t it help to know your genuine self?  Here  for more details.