By Brenda Riojas, I Start Wondering Columnist
What puzzle are you trying to solve today? What do you want from your life? What questions have you been wanting to ask of yourself or others?
Questions are a life force for our creative spirits as life-long learners. I relish a good question that makes me think, one with no immediate answer. A question comes with mystery, which I think serves as a valuable element because we enjoy the process of discovery. We even thrive on the mystery. “A mystery draws us in, leads us on, lures us,” notes Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.
Regaining a Child’s Curiosity
As children, we asked hundreds of questions a day. Our curious appetite for the wonders in the world could not be quenched. As adults our questioning not only became diminished, it lost its sense of wonder and turned more practical. We want immediate answers. Google and other online search engines facilitate our search for quick responses.
However, I propose a good question that makes you think for a longer bit and is not in a hurry for answers fuels us to greater understanding and discovery. It invites us to think, to research, to learn. It’s also liberating not to rush after an answer, to allow the muse to muse on the question. A good question provides energy to stimulate the brain cells, provides focus and can take us on an adventure.
Igniting Our Sense of Wonder
As an energy force, a question likes to tickle our imagination. My writing is sometimes prompted by a question and I am often surprised with what follows as an answer. One writing exercise, for example, directs you to look at a photograph and describe what you see. The next step asks you to consider what is not in the picture. What would you find if you zoomed out of the frame?
As a focusing agent, a question helps us zoom in on what needs our attention. Whether a personal issue or a work situation, a question begins the process in our quest for a solution. I am energized as well by how a question opens the door to discovery, taking us on an adventure.
A few years ago when I decided to pursue a master’s degree, “What am I looking for in a graduate program?” served as a guiding question in selecting which graduate program best suited my needs. The answers led me to a low residency program that incorporated travel via summer residencies in Spain, Mexico and Italy.
Embrace the Gifts of Questioning
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Instead, ask lots of questions. Remember there are many ways to pose a question. And don’t rush the answers. Enjoy the journey of discovery. Also, don’t stop at one answer. Keep searching. Look at all the different possibilities.
Yes, Google can give us quick answers, but sometimes we need to dig deeper. What questions are you going to ask today?