The key to success in many areas of life, be it entrepreneurship, innovation, relationships, business, personal… is asking the right question.
Egyptian novelist and 1988 Nobel Prize Winner, Mahfouz Naguib, put it this way, “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”
In order to arrive at the right question, we have to remain open, curious, and receptive. Asking the right question helps us to focus on the right problem. If we’re feeling stuck for too long in a particularly unsatisfying situation, chances are we’re focusing on the wrong problem and asking the wrong questions.
As management guru Peter Drucker says, “The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.”
Remain open and curious, folks.
I received this message in my email recently and was quite touched by it. Wanted to share it here in hopes that it might touch some of you as well.
The Psalmist wrote, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” PS 55:6
Have you ever felt that way? Sorry, there’s no escape! Wherever you go — there you are!
Peace is “an inside job.”
Oceanographers tell us that even the worst ocean storms rarely extend more than twenty-five feet below the surface. Gales can rip the ocean, causing tidal waves one hundred feet high, but just twenty-five feet below the surface the water is as calm as a pond.
The point is this: The only place you’ll ever find peace in the midst of life’s storms, is through an in-depth experience with God.
Korean Christians have a saying: “We’re just like nails. The harder you hit us, the deeper you drive us; and the deeper you drive us, the more peaceful it becomes!”
Part of God’s purpose in allowing the storms of life to blow, is to drive us deeper. Deeper into dependence on Him and deeper into relationship with Him.
Someone said, “God takes life’s broken pieces and gives us unbroken peace.” When you focus on the God who never meets a problem He can’t solve, instead of focusing on the problem you can’t solve, you’ll experience in-depth peace. And you’ll carry that peace with you wherever you go. Others will notice it and seek your advice when they too face trouble.
You see, when you know that the God within you reigns above you, you won’t succumb to what’s around you.
It’s easy when we’re having interpersonal problems (and how often are our problems not interpersonal?!) to look for someone to blame.
Sometimes we blame ourselves and nearly drown in guilt that may or may not be warranted. Sometimes we blame the other person, searching for flaws, being quick to point out what we find, and often creating an even bigger issue than the original one.
But what if we took a new approach to our many interpersonal issues? What if we stopped brooding over them and instead began to praise God for them?
Interpersonal issues reveal our weak spots, as well as our strengths. They present an opportunity to pause in awe of the delicate patterns which God has woven into our very existence. They ask us to look with wonder at the detail with which each person is carefully crafted; differences, imperfections, all of it.
Rather than trying to “fix” each other, we can instead marvel at just how complicated a species we are, and praise God because He is good and gives us grace.
The idea that we’re “not enough” permeates our lives whether we’re aware of it or not.
Think about our typical day. We wake up and think, “I didn’t get enough sleep.” or “I don’t have enough time.” We spend so much of our time complaining or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… We don’t have enough money. We don’t have enough work to do. We don’t have enough weekends. We’re not talented enough. We’re not driven enough. We’re not smart enough.
Before we even sit up in our beds each morning, we’re already inadequate in our own eyes. What begins as a simple expression of the hurried life, grows into the great justification for an unfulfilled life.
It makes complete sense why we have become a nation hungry for joy…because we’re starving from lack of gratitude.
I am enough.
We fix our problems by forgetting that they’re problems and reminding ourselves that they’re actually gifts.
I am all over the place.
Of everything I want a taste
Both physically and mentally
Dipping toes, intentionally
Maybe this… Could that be better?
Taking flight to chase the weather.
I fly right through,
People say I’m interesting.
It’s true, I have seen many things.
The more I see
I run around both day and night.
“So productive!” They’d be right.
The more I do,
I’ve had nothing come from this
but conquered goals and to do lists.
Checking off the fears I’ve faced,
I am all over the place.
It is in the whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn.
― M. Scott Peck
Control by letting go of control, fix your problems by forgetting they’re problems. Deal with them and the world and yourself with patience and simplicity and compassion. Let things be, let yourself be, let everything be and accept it as it is. Nothing more. Nothing less.