An Introduction Through Questions

Welcome! I thought it would be fun to introduce myself and this blog by sharing my favorite questions. Richard Feynman would keep a list of his twelve favorite problems and review them frequently to see if he had any new insight that he could apply to them. Learn more about Feynman and this method by reading these articles from Tiago Forte and Ness Labs.

Then I thought, Why do I want to introduce myself through questions?” So, here are four reasons why I’m kicking this blog off with a series of questions and then my favorites. Thanks for dropping by!

1. Questions tell us (and others!) about what we care about

I believe that the kinds of questions that we ask reveal a lot about who we are and what we care about. Our questions reveal what we worry about, what our biases are, and our general approach to life. Questions can be expansive or limiting; they can push us forward or hold us back. But really good questions can light a fire bringing purpose and meaning into your life, taking you places you may never have gone and maybe even bringing you back home with renewed vigor.

2. Questions are resilient

Questions are anti-fragile—to borrow a term from Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The more we batter them the more powerful and life-giving they become. Our favorite questions, Forte argues, have a way of sticking with us, by taking on different permutations. The questions you’ll find below are like monkeys on my back that refuse to let go no matter how hard I try to shake them. What works better than trying to bury your burning questions? Turning to them with the respect they deserve and welcoming them as friends. Give them a seat at your table, converse with them. As the Bible suggests welcome the strangers that come knocking at your door, you just might be dining with God.

3. Questions are adaptable

What makes good questions better than good advice? Context is king, according to James Clear: Your advice worked for you because of your context—your perspective and experiences. Taking someone else’s advice doesn’t always translate into a net-positive in our own lives. But good questions are powerful. They can help us move forward and suss out wisdom in our own context in a way that even the best advice can’t touch. Good questions account for the seasonality of life. Change is inevitable, but questions can be a stabilizing force.

4. Questions are a unifying force for exploration

As Eli Wiesel counsels, People are united by questions. It is the answers that divide them.” Questions draw us together, they can sustain an ongoing conversation. This blog is really more about an exploration of my favorite questions and their tributaries, rather than alighting on final answers. The answers may shift and morph, but the questions form a deeper undertow. I hope that by focusing on the questions that unite us I can learn and grow with people whose thinking both resonates and challenges my own.

I owe much of my thinking and respect for questions to Warren Berger, author of A More Beautiful Question. Please be sure to check out his book!

So, with that ode to questions wrapped up (at least temporarily), here are a few of my favorites….

My Favorite Questions

  1. What is life? What does it mean to be alive?
  2. What is truth? How do I embody the truth and live it out?
  3. What does it mean to be human?
  4. What is the good life?
  5. Where do we find meaning?
  6. How do you face wicked problems and not lose hope?
  7. How does change happen?
  8. How do you gather people well?
  9. How do I remain or recover enchantment?
  10. How can I be a good parent?
  11. What is technology and how does it impact humans and societies?

These questions have haunted me and have served as faithful companions for over the years. Maybe we share a few. If so I hope you’ll join in exploring them together. Tell me in the comments: What are your favorite questions?


April 1, 2024