The Most Important Question in Life
I want to talk with you about questions, and in particular, one question. Because the truth is that the quality of your questions will to a large extent determine the quality of your life, and without great questions there can be no progression. The questions that you ask in every moment of every day are shaping the person who you will be tomorrow, and so being intelligent with your questions is a skill that will always pay dividends.
Of all the questions that we can ask in life, I believe that there is one that stands out as the most important question of them all. It's one word, and it is simply this; "why?". In every decision that you make, in everything that you believe, in everything that you value, in every instruction that you're following, in every task that you're doing, and in every path that you're taking, the most important question that you can ask yourself is "why?".
As we grew up our minds became highly influenced by the things that we are taught. We learned from our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our siblings, our friends, the television that we watched, and the books that we read. By the time we reached teenage status we were really not ourselves, but rather we were a representation of everyone else's beliefs! In fact, I believe that one of the main reasons why teenagers have a reputation for rebelling is because it is at this time when their minds are just crying out for some form of authenticity and self-concluded thought. They've lived their whole life being told what do do and how to do it, and now they just need to make some decisions for themselves!
So what happens after teenage years? Well, some people keep the beliefs and paradigms that were handed to them, and they live an unexamined life. This is not the ideal scenario for your life.
But there's another group of people who know that the most important question in life is "why?" These people question every thought, every value, every belief, and every action. "Why do I believe this?" "Why do I want to have this?" "Why do I have to be like this?" "Why am I not supposed to do this?" These are all questions asked by that second group of people, and from here this group splits into two more groups. One group questions what they believe, finds it all to be sound, and they live their life with a stronger conviction of what they were taught. The other group questions their beliefs, finds them to be unsound, and then they go to work recreating their belief structures. Both of these groups are extremely positive scenarios, because the end result is independent thought, and a hard-earned belief structure that can stand strong in any weather.
Independent thought and action is one of the great gifts of life, but if you haven't examined your values then you may not be truly acting on independent thought. That's why "Why?" is the most important question; because it always encourages independent thought and action.
The greatest leaders and the most influential figures of history were highly skilled at asking great questions, and many of those questions began with "why?". Martin Luther King Jr. questioned why it was that he was considered a second-class citizen. John F. Kennedy questioned why the USA was involved in the Vietnam War. Steve Jobs questioned why there wasn't a better product on the market, and why he couldn't be the one to bring that better product to the world.
In your own life, you should be constantly asking this question. "Why do I need to be angry now?" "Why do I believe that I can't do this?" "Why can't I have what I want in my life?" "Why do I actually believe this?" "Why do spend eight hours a day doing something I hate to make my living?" "Why do I want to impress these people?" These are all questions that will inspire independent thought, which is the ultimate goal. If you've been taught certain things that are holding you back, then you really must take the time to examine those teachings and move froward with a more empowering set of beliefs, because if you don't then you'll be forced to live a life that is far less than what you are capable of.
If you'll ask the right questions in life, then you'll start to move towards the right results. Asking intelligent questions in every moment of every day will completely transform your life and your future. If you've been reading carefully then you probably just asked; "why will intelligent questions completely transform my life and my future?" Well here's why; because when you ask a question your mind is put to work. If you simply accept a situation or teaching then your mind has no incentive to think; you need only accept, and move on. But when you ask questions then your mind is forced into a thinking state where it has to find the answer, and the right questions can lead to the right answers. If someone tells you that you can't do something then you need only ask "why?". When you do this you'll most likely come to the conclusion that you absolutely can achieve that goal if you are prepared to pay the price! If someone says that you must do something, or believe something, then you should immediately ask "why?". When you do that then you'll most likely come to the conclusion that you have a choice to believe that thing or not, and the choice is yours only.
The main purpose of me telling you all this is to encourage you to spend your life as a student, not a follower. The true student asks questions, and they make up their own mind based on the resources, teachings, and evidence presented. Followers accept what they are fed, and they never question. Students never do anything unless that action is a product of their own conclusion, while followers will accept anything blindly, or based on the opinions of others. So which one are you? A student, or a follower? It doesn't matter what you are now, but what matters is what you become. I would encourage you to become a student, and never stop asking "why?".