Four Daily Questions for Growth

By Javier Munoz
Posted on: April 26, 2010
2 comments so far (is that a lot?)

Four Daily Questions for GrowthDavid Coolridge said, when discussing his ideas on Appreciative Inquiry, that we grow in the direction of our most persistent questions. Undoubtedly, the content of your daily questions is important for your growth. As a child, you went through a stage of intense questioning of all that surrounded you. Sadly, as we become accustomed to the various labels we have given to things, the questioning gives way to conditioning. However, the rebel in you may never stop asking “what if…” Constant questioning is a labor of love for artists, engineers, visionaries, and others that remain unsatisfied with the current state of the world. I invite you to explore what questions are part of your day. Are they purely practical questions or do you contemplate questions on subjects of interest that may seed a new vision or idea?

I suggest four daily questions that may help you get started:

One

What did I learn today?

If you go through the whole day without learning a thing, you must surely change this routine. This applies to all ages and circumstances; we are all capable of learning something every day. We all have something unique and valuable to offer. I try to ask this question over dinner every night. What has everyone learned today? What are the different perspectives over an issue? You could also share it on your Facebook wall as I do on a daily basis.

Two

What did I “unlearn” today?

In a recent post, Jack Uldrich discussed how our brain recalls an object as originally recorded even if this object was changed many years ago. Memory works as a series of connections that build relationships in patterns. Those patterns provide a foundation to build greater depth into related concepts. But, what happens when the first lessons don’t apply anymore? You may be building on top of a foundation that does not support current reality. As such, the information you are knitting is not coherent, but based on a faulty belief system. This is why the early years of a child’s life are so important. Undoing those faulty patterns requires: 1) Awareness of the mechanics of learning and memory. 2) Courage to question your foundational belief system and values 3) Energy to unlearn and relearn through play, exploration and experimentation. This childlike curiousity keeps you young and enthusiastic about life.

“Knowledge is learning something every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.” – Zen Proverb.

Three

If today were the last day of my life, would I do the things I am about to do today?

Steve Jobs, gave a now famous commencement speech in Stanford in 2005. In that occasion, he talked about how crucial it is for you to do something you are passionate about. He mentioned that if you marry someone you love, then, why wouldn’t you work on something you love as well. If you are going to spend much of your life at work; you might as well do something that you are passionate about. It is brutally logical, so why is it that most people settle? The answer is found in your belief system, which you are questioning already with the previous question. In that commencement speech, Steve Jobs said that when he asks this question, and the answer is NO for too many days, he knows it is time to change something. As he says, pursue your passion relentlessly, don’t settle.

Four

What is my out-the-box thought for today?

The realm of your unthinkable potential is out of the box. These thoughts propel you to stretch the boundaries of what you think possible. Even if it were against your nature, you must start by being totally unreasonable. If your out of the box thoughts are reasonable, they are not valid as such. They should be far fetched or impossible from your point of view. These thoughts may be totally natural to other people, but as far as you are concerned they would be nearly impossible to accomplish. Also, try to have fun as you come up with these crazy thoughts; don’t think just play with your imagination. Walt Disney dreamt of his amusement parks long before it was feasible for him to build them. Again, bring out the childlike boundless imagination and allow yourself to fly every day.

“If we do not expect the unexpected, we will never find it.” – Heraclitus

“Powerful Dreams Inspire Powerful Action. When you can taste, smell, and touch your dreams, you can enroll the world.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

2 Responses to “Four Daily Questions for Growth”

  1. Joe Wilkinson Says:

    Clear, concise, simple, elegant…Just Action.
    Great piece, Javier. I particularly liked the sensibility of the links.
    namaste

  2. Javier Munoz Says:

    Thank you Joe, I am glad that you enjoyed it and I hope it was useful to retune your top of mind daily questions! Namaste.

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