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Fear is a question. What are you afraid of and why? Our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them. Marilyn French
This morning my daughter asked me if I made a New Year’s resolution. “To be happier,” I said.
“Does that mean you aren’t happy now?”
“No, it means I intend to do things that make me happy so the little things in life aren’t so irritating. The happy wife, happy life idea is… then her phone rang, she had to run, my motherly advice would have to wait
Last night my sister in law asked my son if he made resolutions. “Those are for people who want to virtue signal,” he said. “I’m going to lose ten pounds and give more to charity. Do you see what a good person I am?”
It may be virtue signaling, it may be coming up with something to impress someone. It could also be a chance to make the changes we want to make in our life to be the people we want to be.
Nothing changes until something changes. The New Year is a good time to decide to make changes. It is a time to think about our life, what we want, what we need, what we’ve done to get where we are, and how we can make it better. New Years as a catalyst is better than a diagnosis of cancer.
The unexamined life is not worth living is an ancient quote credited to Plato and quoted by Socrates at his trial. Socrates we are told believed that living a life where you live under the rules of others, in a continuous routine without examining what you actually want out of it, is not worth living.
When we examine our life we can see how one action leads to another. We can see the ones that lead us to something we want and those that lead us to something we don’t want. We reap what we sow and once we know which actions make our life better and which actions make our life worse we can actively choose to do actions which better our life.
January resolutions can be part of an examined life, or they can be jumping on the bandwagon to fit in. It isn’t always what we do but the intention behind it that is important.
The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by asking as it does by the answering. David Whyte
What do we do with the knowledge that psychology suggests some of our better decisions are instinctive rather than reflective. Some of us reflect so much we are stuck, afraid to move forward, because what if that is the wrong decision. The nonreflective take action, jump in and sink or swim. Maybe we need both to form ourselves in virtue, honesty, and courage and believe in ourselves enough to make quick decisions and actions when they are warranted.
If all advice is valid, but much of it contradictory, we need discernment to know which advice to listen to at which time. If all we do is analyze our life we may feel paralyzed, but a continual exercise of this may also make us quick to figure things out.
Asking questions gives us answers. Asking the right questions is an art we can develop over time. Effective questions are powerful and thought provoking, they stimulate, inform, and inspire.
When we are asking questions of our self or others we can keep in mind, why, what is the issue, what do we not know, what is the outcome we want, what action can we take. By asking questions tremendous breakthroughs are made, conversations are started, better questions get asked, and better answers are found.
Resolutions are nothing more than goals. We all need goals; we need to replace old goals with new goals. If we ask our self where we want to go, can we put a plan in place to get there?
Are there questions we should be asking our self? Are we afraid of the answer? Can we ask more and better questions? Inventors, scientists, problem solvers of all types, fiction writers, and entrepreneurs ask questions. What would our life be like if we asked more questions, and we set more goals?
We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell. James Stephens