Here’s another thought I’d like to share
It is often more important to question our answers than to answer our questions.
Earlier this week, a client came in an hour late for his scheduled appointment. He quickly blamed my secretary and accused her of having written 9am, not 8am, on his appointment card. He was caustic and refused her offer to reschedule the appointment. He was rude to her as he huffed out of the office (as if any of this was going to somehow change the reality of him not being able to be seen right then). About two hours later, he called the office and very sheepishly apologized saying that he had found his card and that she had, indeed, written 8am. Now he wanted to reschedule. Because this person did not question his own “answer” or correctness, he created more angst in his own life and spread that angst around as well. Whereas this can be seen as a simple example of pride or arrogance, I’m sure that underneath that tough exterior was a sense of fear, embarrassment, sadness or disappointment. However, as long as he stood firmly in his “answer,” he eliminated the possibility of learning from his questions. This is the same dynamic that operates in assumptions, stereotyping and habitual, patterned responses. When we approach situations with answers already in place, we close down our ability to take in new information. We ultimately become prisoners of our past, operating in a closed system. (The metaphor of breathing only re-circulated air on an overseas flight comes to mind.) Old information is important, but not complete. Messages from our past (be they from family, society or self) are meant to inform our present, not determine our future. How might we keep fresh information and new learning flowing in our lives? What would it be like to consciously decide to honestly and compassionately question some of our old answers? What if, for today, wherever you go, you ask yourself, “Am I open to learning here or am I operating on auto-pilot?” Just ask. Let the question be your door to new answers.
Wishing you questions and curiosity,
Originally Published February 11, 2011by