Saturday, August 11, 2018

Asking new questions

Much of our verbal interaction relies on familiar and safe questions, the classic being "How are you?" This is such a familiar question to all of us that we don't even really answer it anymore. Not with any considered thought anyway. We say "Fine" or "Good." We ask ourselves and others equally familiar questions. What do I want to eat? Waht should I wear? What am I going to do next? I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with these questions. They're often appropriate and helpful. But learning to ask ourselves different questions, new questions can lead to a different quality of life. Here are some new questions I'm asking myself.

Do I need to rest now? As an addict to productivity and a to-do list, this question has become vital to my well-being. Instead of racing on to the next project, I ask myself if I need a break. Do I need to go out and walk around the block? Do I need to spend some time with my cats? Do I need to go out to the porch swing and read a chapter in whatever book I'm reading?

Will saying nothing be a better choice? By nature, I'm a fixer and an idea generator so if you've got a problem, I've got a suggestion. But I'm learning to listen without responding. I can have those great ideas and not share them. If you ask me for one, I can give it to you, but much of the time, I know we all just want to be heard, not fixed.

What would be most satisfying to do next? As a food addict, I am always on the outlook for ways to be satisfied that don't involve eating. I'm slowly learning to monitor satisfaction through activities and interactions with others. I'm creating a repertoire of things that work for me and a key to this is to make that a priority.

Will this choice increase my peace of mind? I've written about this before but asking myself this repeatedly during the day is so helpful, from accepting an invitation or a work project to getting something out of the refrigerator. Peace of mind is my filter.

What new questions could you ask?

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