“I went to a general store but they wouldn’t let me buy anything specific.” — Steven Wright
Have you noticed how often when we ask questions we speak in generalities?
We know that we want to change or improve something but we can’t really get at the core of it.
Let’s say you ask a question about how you can simplify your life. Someone mentions the importance of having routines. Great, it’s really simple and something you can apply immediately.
But what if there’s something more you could learn here? What additional information could you get simply by following up with: “Ok, what was the one routine change that made the most difference for you?”
That way you can get more context on the person answering the question, and perhaps realize that while the concept itself was great there was something more to it when you dug just a little deeper.
You could also get more specific by shortly explaining your own situation: “I’ve got this, this, and this in my life. It’s hard to know which I should prioritize. Any ideas?”
As a side benefit it also gets you thinking about what it is that can yield insights about what it is specifically you want to change or improve.
Asking better questions will yield better answers.
Also, the level of interaction goes one level deeper which often benefits everyone. Maybe the person who answered never really gave it much thought in the first place?
Just one more question could lead you to a more complete understanding of yourself, others, and the world you inhabit.
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Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!