Weekly Thought – February 14, 2023
Fred answered questions with questions. Long before consultants helped corporations train their employees to find “the question behind the question” Fred mentored through his querying style. One of the questions most frequently asked of him was “How can I know what to do with my life?” This week’s excerpt from an interview gives insight into the answering through questioning process.
Way to the Will
A young man came to talk about one of his fears: not living up to his potential. He wanted to talk about finding his path in order to maximize his talents, skills, and gifts. Here is a recap of our conversation.
“When you say fulfilling your potential, there’s no way all of us can do everything that we are capable of doing. The human being has the capacity to do far more than we will ever have the time or energy to complete. This shortfall is why it is critical to have a vision for our lives. That is why we have a focus.
We need to look at all our opportunities and decide where my greatest contribution is to be made.
You, like other young people, often say “What can of job should I get?” I never say “find the one that pays the most money.” Let me ask you a few questions:
1)What do you do with the greatest ease?
2) What do you feel good when you do it?
3) How can you make the greatest contribution to others?
4) What subject do you learn with the least difficulty?
5) When you aren’t thinking about anything specifically where does your mind wander?
6) Where does your mind live?
7) What gives you pleasure?”
After introducing these questions (especially the final two) I always wait a moment because young men will invariably make a funny (even silly) remark. I laugh, so they laugh. If I don’t share the humor they will close up and the conversation won’t continue.
When we get through that successfully they usually continue with “This is what I feel has meaning. This is what I do best. This is what my friends tell me I do well.” Getting to this point is the beginning of a healthy, substantive time.
I do not assume the role of guru; my goal is to stretch them. They will find the way to God’s will by asking questions. Asking them question they want to answer opens the door.
This week think about: 1) What questions am I asking myself? 2) How can I be helpful to others who are thinking about purpose? 3) Who models question-asking for me?
Words of Wisdom: “I do not assume the role of guru; my goal is to stretch them.”
Wisdom from the Word: “While the Pharisees were assembled, Jesus asked them a question:” (Matthew 22:41 NET Bible)