Friday, December 9, 2016

WRITE: A More Beautiful Question

“Always the beautiful answer
Who asks a more beautiful question.”
-e.e. cummings

In his book A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger asks readers to think about the art or the science of questioning. He explains that questioning plays a critical role “in enabling people to innovate, solve problems, and move ahead in their careers and lives.”

Instead of pursuing happiness, what if we came up with a questions to think about, grapple with, and work towards? Would we live a more fulfilled life if we worked towards pursuing this question?
more beautiful question.jpg
I'm not sure about you, but I've taken quite a few personality assessments in my life. From the quizzes in Seventeen magazine when I was a teenager to the Myers-Briggs I took as an adult and all the other self-awareness activities I've done in between, I've learned that I'm a do-er. My first thought is, "What should we do?" in most situations and if I'm ever in a rut, a stop and make a list and identify something - even small - to do. Doing feels good. Doing feels like progress.

But a few years ago, I found myself struggling to do it all.

I took a new position which meant I worked longer hours and still commuted an hour to and from work. The change put a strain on how much time I was home with my family and how much time I had to devote to things that were important to me like spending time with family and friends, reading, writing, blogging, running, practicing yoga, and cooking healthy meals (just to name a few…). Finding a way to balance work and home became a struggle.

Here's what I learned from that experience:
I know now that I get cranky when I can’t do all the things I want to do,
I get emotional when I’m not able to take care of myself and fit everything in,
and I’m not helpful or productive when I’m exhausted.

It was an interesting kind of guilt to feel I was not enough in all areas of my life.

What I also learned is:
I can adjust my expectations for myself and others by taking deep breaths and reassessing,
I have a super strong support group of wonderful family and friends,
and I'm not good at communicating to people how much they mean to me.

Without certain people who were there for me when I needed them, I wouldn’t be where I am right now physically, emotionally or mentally. Some of them know how much their belief in me made a difference and others may not realize. Which is how I came to my two beautiful questions:

1. How might I find time every day to show the people in my life that I see them?
2. How might I inspire others by sharing my life as a writer?

I've talked before about the power of being seen and trying to find what what make our lives ideal. I hope to show people that they are seen. Writing is the easiest way for me to pay tribute to the people who inspire and support me. Whether it's notes, cards, social media posts, I try and make time to recognize people in my life who help make me a better person.

Going through those two years of being so far out of my comfort zone helped me realign myself to what's important in my life. It helped me see the people who are there for me but also to recognize how important writing is to me. I hope that by sharing my life as a writer, I can inspire others to follow their dreams...whether they want to be writers too or have dreams of something else they need to work hard at.

Let's Write! Do you have your own beautiful question? (Or two?) Maybe think about what energizes you...or think about what really bogs you down. Can your question help focus you on spending more time with what really excites you? Do you recognize an area of your life to spend more time on? Maybe it's a weakness or maybe it's a strength you can really build up. Write a question (or two) that you can work towards living your life to answer. If you want to share, I'd love to hear your beautiful questions!


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