I had the chance to hear Deepak Chopra speak recently and he said something that resonated so strongly with me that I have spent more time considering it this past week than most things that have come across my consciousness in recent memory.
"If you build a life based on asking the right questions, your identity will never been in opposition to your future and becoming your best. By basing your identity on asking the right questions, you can evolve and be confident in that even though the answers to those questions will change."
This statement resonated with me in a way I am not sure it resonated with everyone else in the room. For much of my life I was secure in my identity because of my answers. For much of my life, my answers were who I was and how I related to the world. And not just answers, the correct answers. I didn't just believe I had the answer to the question, I believe my answer was right for everyone and under all circumstances.
But, then a funny thing happened; I started to compare answers with other people from other backgrounds in other parts of the world. I started to realize my answers were not the only answers out there and that there were incredible people with very different answer than the ones I had but that were the right answers for them and for their questions.
Then an even funnier thing happened, I started asking different questions than I had learn to ask. I started asking questions without already knowing the answer. I started asking questions that I assumed there could be no answer to but that were important to ask nevertheless. And in asking those question I found other question askers. I found other curious souls willing to sit in the uncomfortable place of not knowing and stay there knowing that the question being asked was worth the discomfort.
And so now, as I keep asking questions, I find myself encouraged to not stop or slow down. I find the questions themselves addicting in the way I used to find finding solutions to be. A well asked question is so much more powerful than a well formed answer. A well asked question is open and inviting and expanding in its nature, an opening to a new adventure or thrilling dialogue with a stranger.
So in this new year of curiosity and exploration, let's ask better questions and worry less about the answers.