Right Questions, Odd Questions

Episode 2 from the “Magic” Formula for Success

Happiness. Success. Meaningful rapports – with oneself, others, and the world.

As I am sure you recall, last week we started our journey towards achieving these elusive states. In Episode 1 we touched on the importance of clarity as the main ingredient for achieving success in different areas of life, and on the various techniques through which clarity can be obtained. Still and all, the path to clarity that stands out is asking question; not any questions, but the right ones. This brings us to this week’s topic: right questions/odd questions.

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

While doing my research on the topic, I stumbled on the following saying: “There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers”. This may be true, but to get clear about anything, one needs to be able to ask the right questions. If you don’t take my word for it, I have gathered below some questions that will hopefully prove hilarious if not featherbrained by their evident lack of good sense:

  • “Do you think daylight saving time could be contributing to global warming? The longer we have sunlight, the more it heats the atmosphere.”
  • “I see falling stars nearly every night. They seem to come out of nowhere. Have stars ever fallen out of any known constellations?”
  • “When I dream, why don’t I need my glasses to see?”
  •  “I just observed a flock of geese flying in a ‘V’ formation. Is that the only letter they know?”

(This is an excerpt from Marilyn vos Savant list of questions she could not answer. Marilyn vos Savant is listed in Guinness World Records for “Highest IQ”. She writes a column in Sunday’s Parade magazine where she answers difficult questions from readers.  Found in John C. Maxwell, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions)

I, for one, would list these under ‘odd questions’ category if not downright ‘bad’.

Letting fun aside, I truly believe questions like these are the reason we often fail to ask in the first place. It happens to all of us – we are afraid of becoming ridiculous by asking something that might be judged as stupid by others, so we remain silent. However, asking questions is essential. For one, you get answers only if you ask. No questions, no answers. Also, you get clarity only by asking questions.  You get a sense of direction, of purpose, of right or wrong only by asking questions. “There are no stupid questions” can be seen as an encouragement to seek competence and comprehension, even when you are afraid to ask.

The quality of your questions is essential, though. I believe the very quality of your life depends on the quality of your questions. Good questions can change lives and can transform organizations. They help us make sound decisions and inspire us to do more. By asking the right questions you gain confidence in yourself and your actions, you focus on what matters, you prioritize better, and you get a crystal-clear direction in life.

What is a good question? I will gladly delve into this topic next week.

In the meantime, if you’d like to share your experience about right or odd questions, please send me your ideas at: ioana@ioanastrater.com

Keep growing,