Life can get busy! Busyness can then breed busyness to the point that we’re not sure why we’re doing what we’re doing or indeed who it is we have become. Very few people can fully answer these questions, but the important thing is to keep asking them!
In fact, to keep me grounded, I ask myself a series of beautiful questions every morning. I don’t necessarily answer them all, but I do ask them. These are a number of my current questions:
- Remember I died yesterday. How do I want to live the first day of my rebirth?
- Where might I find more moments of rest?
- What significant decision can I make today to shape my legacy?
- What small change might I try today?
- What can I do less of today?
- What can I do better today (1%+ improvement)
You might be wondering – what really sets these questions apart? David Whyte, the poet, thinks of beautiful questions as being those questions that can help shape one’s identity. I prefer to think of them slightly more broadly as those questions that make us take stock and think about who we are, what we are doing and where we are going. In a way, all of the questions in this Nurturing Curiosity series could be beautiful questions, provided they speak to you.
And that is what sets beautiful questions apart. They are questions that deeply connect with your current needs and circumstances. They help you cross the thresholds that are in front of you.
This practice could equally well be done as a form of evening practice, a reflection on the day of sorts:
- What help did I walk past?
- Where did I find rest today?
- What excited me most today?
- What am I carrying after the day that I might set down?
- How did I make the world too small?
- What was missing from today’s experience?
What questions are calling you?
Questions in the Image:
- What beautiful questions am I asking?
- What are my intentions for today?
- What am I assuming about today?
- What am I training myself to do today?
- What am I afraid of today?
Want to Read More Around This Topic?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (link to Amazon.co.uk). As the subtitle “A Fable About Following Your Dream” suggests, this enchanting novel explores the themes of pursuing one’s dreams and listening to one’s heart.
Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day – a friendly visit from a neighbour made me wonder What sort of neighbour am I really? Could I be doing more?
About Tom O’Leary
My mission is to help others think differently – meaning more broadly and deeply – and thereby make better decisions. The key to thinking differently lies in our curiosity.
The more we question, the more possible answers we uncover, and the more we expand what we thought possible. Life has taught me that possibility lies not so much in seeking answers but in learning to ask better questions – the ones that help prioritise what is truly essential.
And yet, in a culture obsessed with efficiency and productivity, the paradox is that much energy and resources are wasted by a bias towards action over contemplation. If you are answering the wrong question, it doesn’t matter how ‘hard’ you work, you are still answering the wrong question.
That is why I am a big advocate of nurturing curiosity and innovative thinking at all ages, particularly amongst leaders because of the impact they have on us all. In my vision, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are curious, open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning.
What Thoughts Would You Like to Share?
I welcome your thoughts, feedback, or personal experiences related to these questions or any insights they may have sparked.