The “Quest” in “Question”

For me, life is a series of questions. Little questions like, “What should I have for breakfast?” Big questions, such as “Why do I exist?” And funny questions, too: “What is another name for thesaurus?”

But what’s more important: asking the questions or having the answers? Personally, I give credit just for posing questions, especially if they are invoked in the honest and passionate quest for a wiser way, a brighter life or a better planet—and potential answers are truly pondered. Of course, if you ask some people too many questions, they start to get annoyed. (Ask me how I know this.) So you have to be willing to ask yourself the tough questions before you ask others. Seems fair.

The joy of questioning
A lot of smart people have given props to the act of questioning, including Albert Einstein who said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” And peace activist/quantum chemist Linus Pauling, who shared from experience: “Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.”

I agree whole-heartedly with Mr. Pauling, but find curiosity is rarely satisfied for long. If we find one answer, we just move on to another question. It’s human nature. The real trick is to ask the right questions at the right time.  That’s because, as the American author Ursula K. LeGuin noted, “There are no right answers to wrong questions.”

Questions challenge assumptions
In my work as a coach, facilitator and writer, the right questions are the engine of progress. They make us see the possible roads before us, where before we saw a “do not enter” sign.  Often, that’s just the beginning of something new and promising, whether it’s a job, an expanded way of thinking or the realization that definitive answers are highly overrated.

So what do questions have to do with this new blog called “Flourish”? Everything. In this space, I intend to explore important, interesting or just plain fun questions and invite you to share your own answers and, of course, more questions. Together, I hope we’ll learn something new about what it means to flourish.

It’s a new day. What question is on your horizon?