Stop Looking For Answers. Do This Instead

When I was in graduate school, I dreaded writing papers. I don’t know why exactly. I loved my classes and the whole experience of Seminary. But the process of a determining a thesis and research and rough drafts and rewrites seemed well, like a lot of work. So maybe the obvious answer to why I didn’t like writing papers was l was just lazy. The truth is I would much rather write test…even a 4-5 hour exam was more welcomed than a 10,000 word paper. Papers seemed subjective while tests were concrete…there was a clear right and wrong answer with tests.

alphabet pile

Our education system is based on having the right answers. From what is 2+2? To, which African capital lies at the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile? (Yes, I had to look that one up).

Today, answers are easy to come by…we are seconds away from them…with wikipedia, youtube and google (which is now used as a verb…”why don’t you google that?”) anything we want to know is just a few clicks away. And the education system is still trapped in the model of collecting answers and memorization. The key to success used to be having more answers. 

“Knowledge is no longer power because everyone has it” Jack Welch, SUCCESS Magazine 2014

Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

“Great ideas are birthed from the labour of asking great questions.” Peter Drucker


Here are some, just to get you started: as you consider your relationships, work, health and finances…

  1. What were the most important lessons I learned this year?
  2. What did I put off this year?
  3. What am I most grateful for?
  4. Who do I need to express gratitude to?
  5. Am I physically healthy?
  6. Am I using my personality, strengths and abilities on a regular basis?
  7. What can I do to improve today?
  8. What will be my greatest challenges in the next month?
  9. Am I living my best story?
  10. How do I want to be remembered?
  11. If I was living a balanced life, I would be…?
  12. What am I afraid to do?
  13. How can I do it anyway?
  14. If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?
  15. If money was not an issue, I would…?
  16. What gives my life meaning?
  17. Looking to next year, I am most excited about…?
  18. Looking to next year, I am most apprehensive about…?
  19. Looking to next year, my priorities will be?
  20. What are three things I want to accomplish next year?

Action Step

As you consider your relationships, work, health and finances, what questions come to mind? What are they telling you? What will you focus on in 2016?


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply