Many of us have mission statements, but we should really have mission questions.
Because good questions work on us, we don’t work on them. Each one is a small experiment. A mirror into which we can see what’s possible for us. And if we learn to love questions themselves as if they were locked rooms, there’s no telling what me might discover inside.
Several years ago, my company launched a search engine, indexed with five thousand questions from my personal database. It’s crude and simple, but it’s also a helpful resource for writing, reflecting, conducting meetings and even facilitating team brainstorms.
What’s interesting is how the questions naturally clump together. Almost like galaxies. The questions are related, like members an extended family of ideas around a general topic, gradually forming into a whole.
One example I recently discovered was a collection of questions centered around misinterpreting past performance. They challenge us to rethink our experiences through the lenses of maturity and perspective and distance.
And so, reflect back on a past relationship or job experience or period of your life, and see which of these questions resonate with you.
- Were you smart, or just lucky?
- Were you innovative, or merely opportunistic?
- Did you fix something, or simply change the problem?
- Were you really growing, or merely rearranging your prejudices?
- Was there true joy in the act, or was it just anesthesia?
- Were you standing up for your integrity, or just full of pride?
- Were you making a serious change, or just going through a phase?
They’re certainly not the most comfortable questions to answer. But that’s point. The confrontation with self might create an episode of unusual mental clarity.
And once you taste that understanding, you will become much more aware of when things are not clear in the future.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When everything is gliding along fine, do you still question things?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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