The Question of Questions for Creatives

 In Science

I’m forever curious about how to shape the flow of time to be more creative, productive, intentional – and just to flat-out have a more meaningful life. So, every morning for several months on my Facebook page and Twitter feed I have asked, “What question are you living in today?”

Many people on both Facebook and Twitter post their day’s question. But several others recently have volleyed back a question about my question: “What do you mean – What question am I living in today?” They just don’t get what I’m asking.

So, for a few minutes I’d like to unravel this knot of questions and suggest how this question of questions can give your day a bit more meaning, flavor, shape.

Think of asking this question as a practice. In essence, you’re asking your best self what meaningful question might shape not just what you do but how you do what you do this one day. Rather than just blundering through my to-do lists and client engagements and moments with loved ones, I want something to hold all of these actions together in some meaningful way. And living in a question each day does that in part.

Here are some examples of a day’s question from people who’ve posted recently on my Facebook Page and Twitter feed in the past few months:

From the practical –
How can I keep this positive attitude going today? (Twitter id: druchunas) How can I be a better colleague?

To the philosophical –
Do I lose myself or find myself? (Twitter id: Lowrha) How can I embrace the simple & the spiritual in my work?  (Twitter id: dschmudde)

To the activist –
Where is the space in our society to ask questions of social change – our local community? (Twitter id: CreativeDynamix)

To the flat-out Hamlet-esque existential –
What am I doing here?

Living in a question makes  a day a quest. It stokes your curiosity and stokes your wonder and in turn prompts curiosity and wonder to re-appear throughout the day as you check in with that question and reflect upon how your actions are offering answers.

1. So, take a few minutes each morning to sit still and ask, “What question am I living in today?”

2. Write down the question in a notebook or whiteboard if it makes sense to do so, or just let it percolate on your mind’s back burner.

3. Then, throughout the day, periodically if not randomly check in with the question. Just being aware of the question can shift your awareness and the quality of your actions.

By dusk or midnight or this time next week, next month, or next year, you might live into an answer.

4. Share some of your questions and answers here at A Hut of Questions or at my near-daily blog Or at Facebook or Twitter. Or with a friend or loved one. Together, we build a hut worth dwelling in.

To me, life is infinitely more fulfilling when I choose to live more in a hut of questions of my best self’s making than in an ivory tower of answers built by somebody else.

At least that’s my take. Let me know what you think.

Drop in the Hut
What question are you living in today? How do you work with questions and self-reflection to shape each day with more meaning and inquiry?

See you in the woods,
TRACKING WONDER changing the way creativity happens in the studio, on campus, in the workplace – & in the mind
Visit me at my Tracking Wonder blog at PsychologyToday.
Buy a copy of The Journey from the Center to the Page.

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  • Yetunde Ogundipe

    Don’t know how it works for people…but for me, the questions seems to come alive gradually in me through the day. it’s not like I deliberately go out of my way to want to answer it, but at the end of the day when evaluating myself, or going through things had done, I discover that I get traceries of the question I asked in the morning answered. And sometimes, all I discover is how to solve that problem/question. thanks for helping me to be consciously creative.

    • Anonymous

      Yetunde: I appreciate this account of how the practice works for you. I think many of us can benefit from a brief morning practice of self-inquiry followed by an evening one. This daily question is just one. Glad it’s working for you. I look forward to reading more of your questions.

  • Roisin Markham

    Very nice video blog. Lovely approach. Thanks Jeffrey.
    I live with questions everyday.

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