Do You Ask Enough Questions Or Do You Settle For What You Know? [TableTopic #7]

This blog post is part of a regular series where I answer TableTopics questions. What's in it for you? Reading this answer may spark a new idea, opinion, or emotion. If this happens I would love to hear about it in the comments!!!

Questions (both asking and receiving) really get my juices flowing. My love for questions is actually one of the main reasons I started this blog series!

The reason I love questions so much is because they are a great way to show another human that you care for and acknowledge them, or to feel cared for and acknowledged.

Of course questions like “why are you such an idiot?” don’t help anyone. But questions that come from a sincere place can really brighten another person's day. Even if a friend who lives far away asks me how the weather is, I still feel cared for. It is the intention behind the question which is so nurturing.

Because let’s face it, my friends in Bali don’t really care about how the weather is in Canada. But they do want to know how I’m doing. And asking that question is how they can show it.

Now, I don’t know if I ask enough questions, but I definitely don’t settle for what I know. For me, the healthiest way to live is to never hold an idea or opinion so dear that it can never change.

I see questions as the sparks which ignite change in my life. Because of this, I think that the important question is not if I ask enough questions. It is, do I ask the right type of questions?

Many a philosopher, academic, and thinker has remarked on this. Here are is my favourite quote about questions.

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
— Voltaire

Questions are so sacred because they determine the direction of your thoughts, ideas, and ultimately actions. If your thoughts were a bullet, the question would be the gun. Just as the hunter has a responsibility to point his rifle in a safe direction, so to do people have a responsibility in asking the right type of questions.

Even though I realize this, I’m not immune to asking myself destructive and unhealthy questions. “Am I stupid?”, and “why don’t I have more money/friends/happiness/puppies in my life?” are questions that I’ve definitely asked myself in the past 5 minutes!

These questions are horrible. They destroy happiness, confidence, and dull the sparkle in your eyes. They are the question equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

For me, the best questions to ask are either those that revolve around gratitude, or will lead to enhancing my life in some way. The good news is that it’s easy to know when you’re shooting yourself in the foot, and when you’re shooting for the stars (one fucking hurts, and the other doesn’t).

Asking “what can I do that’s new and exciting?” is a much better question to focus on than “why is my life so boring?”

So while I wish I could say I have the key to asking the right questions 100% of the time, I really don't. The one thing that seems to work is being mindful.

When you notice yourself asking a question that hurts, acknowledge it, and replace it with something that will actually help you.

Being mindful about how you frame the questions in your head makes a world of difference. And that is why they deserve so much attention and respect.

For the full list of questions + answers go to this post: 365 TableTopics Questions + Answers