What do you think offers more value: a good question or a good answer? So many people just want to find out the ‘truth’, the correct answer. I know I lived trying to follow the life rules for many years. Even this blog is often about ‘advice’ on various topics.
For a long time I thought there was a single truth, an answer I should discover. The way my life should go. The way to write my CV correctly. The correct kind of jobs I should apply for. The right way to build my career. The right age to have kids.
But chasing the right answers made me miserable!
Now all I have is questions. How can I have it all? How can I spend time with my family and build a business I care for? How can I help others and do meaningful work? How can I work hard and avoid stress? How can I be happy?
Wouldn’t it be great if there indeed was someone who could answer all that for you!
Questions make us feel uncomfortable. We’d like a quick fix. We’d love someone to tell us what to do next. Finding our own answers is time consuming and it takes a lot of work. Why go through a ton of mistakes if you could just jump start your success! Would be great to get that magic pill, wouldn’t it!
It’s good to take advice from people more experienced than you, but you still have to make your own conclusions, and more importantly make your own decisions. This includes taking full responsibility for your choices.
I can listen to others but I can’t blame them for any of the consequences.
Living with questions can be overwhelming. It feels so much easier to grab an answer or a story you can believe in. It’s easier to follow someone and copy them, than to stand up and say, hey, I’m going to find my own answers.
Let’s take diet for instance. After having kids my body changed and I knew I had to find a new diet. I thought there was one correct diet I should follow. What I didn’t realise was that my body kept changing and I need constantly adjust what I eat. It’s the same with fashion, I can’t get stuck in something that looked great on me in my 30’s! And I look at my relationship and realise that as a couple we change all the time and so we have to do different things to keep things happy.
The answers keep changing, but the questions remain the same.
And on a good day I have lots of answers. And then the next day the answers have changed again, so I’ve stopped looking for permanent answers. Instead, I want to find better questions. I want to get comfortable not knowing what the future will bring. I’m finding security in the questions because I now know I can keep answering them in different ways all over again, and as the answers keep changing the questions become even more important.
So is it bad to look for answers and ask advice? Should we all just go figure out our stuff on our own? Definitely not. For me the only way to find my own answers is to keep reading what other people have to say, listen to their experiences. I take the time to discover and learn, and then I make my own conclusions. I don’t take any advice at face value. I’m the one who has to live with the consequences. There is nobody on this planet that could tell me exactly how I should live and what I should do next. Not the smartest or the richest or the happiest person could do that for me!
My question to you is, could we, as women, become happier if we’d start appreciating questions more? Could we flourish if we’d stop insisting on one correct answer and would take the time and effort to look for our own answers?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. A dialogue with others will help us all to find better answers.