Why Five Questions? Why Not Five Answers?

Posted on | February 27, 2009 | 5 Comments

Some might wonder how an approach based around questions could be of any value when what the world is seeking is answers.

First of all, questions are much more powerful than answers. As long as you are asking a question, you are open to input and discovery. The instant you find the answer, you stop looking; you shut down to new input.

Answers eventually lead to rigidity. Rigidity leads to certainty. Certainty leads to stagnation. Stagnation leads to the need for fresh thinking and that requires asking the right questions.

The mind is basically a fast, smart computer designed to generate solutions for whatever question you put before it. Ask yourself, “Is this the right job/life partner/body shape for me?” Your mind will scan its database and what it is seeing every day for possible answers to that question. The answers you receive will be in the form of some kind of assessment of your situation: “on the one hand … but on the other hand …”

Ask another question, like, “What is present in this job/life partner/body shape that is fulfilling and full of potential?” and a completely different set of answers will show up. Garbage in, garbage out.

However, even having the right answers is apparently is not enough. Aristotle was wrong. His belief was that “Those who know the good will do the good.” Not today. At least not so you’d notice. Virtually everyone on the planet knows that smoking can kill you and that eating certain foods increases your chances of heart disease, yet both behaviors flourish. Research indicates that only about eight percent of people leaving their doctor’s office actually go home and do what the doctor prescribed. It seems that even when we know what we should do (read the answer), we often don’t do it.

Why? (next time. . .)


5 Responses to “Why Five Questions? Why Not Five Answers?”

  1. Maria
    February 28th, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

    I love it, Janeczku! I really do!
    Answers – rigidity – certainty – stagnation – need for fresh thinking – asking the right questions to which we seek an answer.
    It is good to be reminded about it. Because even with knowing at hand it is so easy to stagnate!
    For me at least.
    And it shows that life is circular so much more tha linear! This gives a hope.

    I really like your blog!

  2. john
    March 1st, 2009 @ 6:03 am


    Your commitment to Self-development will now allow you to stagnate! As I have gotten older, I realize there is a lesson in surrendering to certain realities, and the trick is knowing when to continue ‘letting go’ into the current state of things–and when to create a new reality. If we go into each moment with the intention of allowing the highest good to emerge from whatever we are doing, it’s hard to fail. St least for long. . .



  3. Bill Bevans
    March 1st, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

    John, your new blog, like you, is very tasteful, colorful, wise, teachy/not preachy, and welcoming.

    Thank you. I’ll be back.

    As a once practicing Roman Catholic, I’m not familiar with your newly canonized St Least. Probably the patron saint of Humility in the Anglican Church.

  4. Aggi
    March 8th, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

    Thank you for this reminder AGAIN! It seems like this among other truths needs to be re-told every now and then. I am so happy to see that somebody like you is now helping people in Poland, who very often were raised to believe NOT to question things and reality and where thinking “outside of box” is a rare virtue… There’s no better person to open up their eyes (like you did to me) than one who dares to say “Aristotle was wrong” 🙂

  5. John
    March 10th, 2009 @ 6:26 am

    In Poland, as you know first hand, there is this hesitation to push back or extend out into the world of possibility. It has taken me the better part of two years to figure out how to frame this urge for transformation that is inside every one of us in such a way that it becomes something people here feel ready to reach for.
    Thanks for being one of those people!


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