The Quality of the Questions

No one ever has all the answers. However, it is the quest for answers that is fundamentally important. Albert Einstein once said that, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” His words emphasize something that is extremely important: It is not so much the answers you already have, but rather the quality of the questions you ask that determines the direction of your life.

For example, what sort of questions do you ask when calamity strikes? Do you ask, “Why me?” or “What’s the use of living if this is what happens?” Or, do you ask questions like, “How can I use this to learn and grow, maybe even to help others?”

What kind of questions do you ask your kids? Do you say, “What’s the matter with you?”  “Why are you so stupid, or lazy or mean?” Or, do you ask, “What are you looking forward to?” or “How will you show your teacher how smart you are?”

When it comes to your relationships, do you ask questions that can be answered with just “yes” or “no” or do you ask open-ended questions that encourage people to tell you more about themselves? And finally, what kind of questions do you ask yourself? Do you say, “How am I going to get through the day?” or “What can I do to make today really great?”

Do you ask, “what if” questions that help you explore possibilities? How about asking questions that encourage you to think about the purpose of your life and your reasons for doing what you are doing? Change the quality of the questions you ask, and you will be changing the focus of your attention. Change the focus of your attention, and you will change the results you get. Go ahead. Try it and see.