“The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you are asking yourself” - Tony Robbins
Most people are not able to digest questions.
In fact, they barely produce any in the first place.
I was hanging out with my friends of friends, sitting in a circle and talking. I then noticed that the entire conversation was statement-led. People would tell stories, such as how they hitch-hiked through Vietnam with twenty dollars in their pocket, followed by whether they preferred cats or dogs, and wrapping up with exploring whether there can be better supermarkets around.
For me, these conversations are fun but not fulfilling in the long-run because they often lack meaning or intention. Telling those stories is about fun and entertainment, which is great. But leaving out the transformation in the story means stripping away the crucial information about what the story created into the human being that I now have in front of me.
The majority of questions that were asked were about external things, such as “what do you think Barcelona looks like during corona” or “will the weather be more stable in the upcoming weeks”. The only personal questions were limited to basics, such as “do you like seafood” or “have you ever done hitch hiking” - and so I wondered why.
Behind this phenomena of telling fun and entertaining story lies one deeper subject: that many people cannot take personal subjects, as is touches upon personal questions, and brings people back into their own insecurities of their own answers.
I’m not even referring to the harder questions such as
- What is your relationship to death?
- What is your biggest fear in life?
- Have you ever tried to overcome your sexual preferences?
I'm referring even to simple or empowering questions such as:
- What is your relationship in regards to the concept of holidays?
- Where do you see yourself 3 years from now?
- What is your intention for this upcoming week?
Learnings on why people do not like asking personal questions.
After bringing up this topic of questions, I realized the following:
People are uncomfortable being asked questions because most people ask questions to make a judgment. Questions such as “do you have a child” or “are you stable financially” are often asked to create a label instead of truly desiring to understand without judgment.
Learning: it is important to explain why you ask the question in the first place, that it is not about judgment but about pure understanding and trying to help figure something out.
People are uncomfortable being asked questions because they have not confronted the topic with themselves and hence are unable to answer them. The lack of desire for self-confrontation leads for people to remain numb, unaware or what is going on inside of them.
Learning: allow people to say that they do not have to answer that question if it makes them feel uncomfortable. Once people have the freedom to choose, they tend to pick freedom because it’s in front of them.
With that in mind, asking questions will be possible if the person in front of you knows where the question is coming from and that s/he has the choice to not respond.
So, here is my question to you: what question have you not asked yourself today? 🙃