For my eighth birthday I got a book called Tell Me Why. It was full of interesting science stuff. Why is the sky blue? Why is the sunset red? That sort of thing. It was full of the sort of questions only kids think to ask. As an adult, my mum said to me one day “You question everything”. ” Do I?”, I asked. I guess so.

Where will they take me?

Questions are powerful. They lead us somewhere. They are like the next clue in a treasure hunt. Keep following new questions and you’ll end up somewhere interesting. Kids ask a lot of questions, they’re relentless. We’re probably designed to stay that way. That’s how we learn.

The power of questions can be scary though. They tend to lead to the unexpected. Ask a question and you won’t always like what you hear. Do we shut down on the questions because of fear? Questions may lead us into dangerous places, like “the truth”. The unpredictability of that may be scary. Kids aren’t afraid of truth, they haven’t learned to be too afraid of life.

Which questions?

Whenever we  ask a question, our minds supply an answer. Be careful what you ask.

Try these questions:

  • Why am I such a loser?
  • Why doesn’t it ever work out?
  • Why can’t I get ahead?
  • Why can’t I ever do what I want?
  • Why is life so hard?

Our minds come up with convincing answers to whatever we ask. Is there any point to self-torture? Is it useful to be treat yourself badly? Do you want to be your own biggest enemy? What would it feel like to be your own best friend?

How do these questions feel?

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I want?
  • What do I like doing?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What do I have to offer?
  • What do I like about myself right now?
  • What’s good about life right now?

Ask these and our minds supply the answers to these instead. So:

  • What feels better?
  • What’s more useful?
  • How can you best use questions to create good?

The root of the word question is “to quest”, To quest is to search for something. That may be a search for a personal truth. It’s a dangerous but enlivening pursuit. Truth tends to demand change. Change means facing the unknown but that’s how life is. Nothing stays the same. Life is a constant process of growing and dying. Every cell, every atom, at every moment, is growing, dying, changing. Living is dangerous. At any time we might die. That’s ok though, we only live now.

Ask some dangerous and useful questions. Life will never be the same but that’s a good thing. It won’t be anyway.

What are your best questions?