I confess, I love questions.
A good question can elicit answers, stories, insights and a whole pandora’s box of content. One of my favourite authors, coaches and podcasters is Jerry Colonna. He writes and speaks in the voice of a gentle soul… but his questions reveal his courage to go places that most other interviewers won’t go. One of my favourite questions by Jerry is, “How are you complicit in creating the conditions that you say you don’t want?”
That is a question that pulls people up short, it makes them acknowledge that they have responsibility for their lives, including for the things in their lives they say the don’t want. It also has within it the optimistic seed of hope for the interviewee, that if they take responsibility for their shit, they can take responsibility for cleaning it up and not creating it again. Doing so means they will create a life absent of those things that they say they “don’t want”.
Cheryl Strayed the author of Wild shared some of her writing prompts with Tim Ferriss on his podcast. One of the prompts was; Write about your darkest teacher. How about we turn that into a question… What did you learn from your darkest teacher? Cheryl explained that her darkest teacher was her father who she hated but by working through those feelings she learned to feel forgiveness, acceptance and even a sort of gratitude. The teacher doesn’t have to be a person, it can be any kind of challenge that someone has overcome. The question asks us to rediscover challenges or failures and to discuss the lessons we have taken from those experiences.
Finally another couple of mind opening question for you… “What has the death of a loved one taught you about life?” And “How would your life look if you applied those lessons you said you were taught?”
Ok enough for now.