Learning is a lifelong adventure. The absence of which has been equated with death. To learn is…
Did you ask a question today? Why? What prompted it?
Recently, with the intention to exercise my mind, I decided to read Bob Tiede’s book, Great Leaders Ask Questions, again. In one of the testimonials for the book, Tom Ziglar quoted his father, Zig Ziglar. It was a simple but powerful statement. I pondered on it all week, last week.
Questions are the answer.– Zig Ziglar
These are the four reasons for asking questions I gleaned from my pondering.
- We cannot do without questions. We either ask them or give answers to them. The gains of asking questions surpasses the benefits of giving answers.
It takes one who understands the importance of asking questions to give answers. How else will answers be obtained, if not by asking questions.
Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, said, ‘We run this company on questions, not answers.’ Is it any wonder why Google is the biggest platform for providing answers to our questions, and much more?
- Questions should be asked intentionally, not mindlessly. For instance, ‘how are you doing?’ should be more than a statement of greeting; it should be an enquiry for welfare.
I have resolved to always mean it when I ask my kids, ‘How was your day in school?’ I get valuable information my children’s learning, their friends, and the school. ‘What do you think is? Is one question you always mean when you ask.
- You are
cluelesssmart when you ask questions. To make an enquiry is not a display of ignorance or unintelligence. It is rather an indication of keen intellect and willingness to learn.
No questions, no learning. It is no wonder great leaders ask questions. Malcolm Forbes rightly said, ‘One who never asks either knows everything or nothing.’
- You only get what comes to you. Information and opportunities are swirling around us. With questions you can access what you need to meet your specific need.
If you don’t ask questions, at best you only get what comes to you, by chance – good, bad, ugly. Why settle for good when you can get the best by asking questions?
Contained in the deluge of information we are bombarded with moment by moment, are nuggets. Questions are the tool you and I need to mine the gold.
Make the most of your day, every day. Get answers. Ask questions.
What is one question you remember asking today?
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A few weeks ago, I had to commute to and from work via public transport for a week. The two-drop, at least 30 minutes trip (one way) is an experience I would prefer not to have, even for one week. The use of public transport is a forgone alternative for me. If I can help it.
In my part of the world it can be intolerable. The wait to get on a bus, taxi or tricycle, the unavoidable but annoying stops for a passenger to dismount or get on (bus stops are almost non-existent), the unscrupulous and unsafe driving of the bus or tricycle drivers, all combine to make the ride unpleasant, if not unsafe.
In all this, there was a silver lining. I got to do more reading that week than I usually do. In addition to my daily 30 minutes reading time, I got to read on transit.
That week, my wife and kids were away on holiday at my sister-in-law’s.
Despite the unpleasantness of such commuting I looked forward to, and enjoyed the moment when I settle in and read till I get to my stop. I relished that reading time so much that I would wish to not meet anyone I know or a chatty stranger. Reading made the ride bearable.
The convenience of eBooks also made a big difference. Though I still cherish the feel of physical books in my hands, eBooks made reading in transit that week convenient.
In reminiscence, I recall the days of hopping in and out of taxis or buses, to and from work, before our family owned a car. I enjoyed the opportunity it afforded me to keep up my reading. Despite the inconvenience of carrying a book, especially a large book, in hand, I was happy for the chance to read. Then eBooks were not common.
Today, I would prefer to drive to and from work and catch up with reading in other ways. I would rather the forgone alternative of reading on transit remain forgone. Unless I find myself in a place where public transport system is safe and convenient.
In what ways do you catch up with reading?
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Today, the level of technological advancement is such that innovations are churned out daily. Any product or idea short of revolutionary, will easily be stale tomorrow. Even revolutionary ideas are not guaranteed timeless shelf lives.
Everything new, does get old. In time.
Yesterday’s education is not sufficient for today’s challenges or opportunities; today’s information can quickly become irrelevant in the next twenty four hours. Just as meals eaten yesterday will not give you nourishment for the future.
That is just the way it is.
Every day brings opportunities, to grow, develop and improve. Take it.
Because things will never remain the same, you have to either evolve, adapt or make way for those who will.
Relevance can only be attained and maintained by improving on yesterday’s innovations, and building on today’s knowledge, to provide better ways of doing things for tomorrow. To be relevant is to grow – to provide solutions for today’s challenges, even tomorrow’s.
To think that yesterday’s success will always remain relevant tomorrow is delusion.
It is arrogant, like William Pollard said.
You don’t have to come up with a major breakthrough to be relevant. You will stay relevant if you improve yourself in small ways: learn/ hone that skill, read/ write that book, start that blog, meet that need, gain that experience (even without pay).
Make the most of every day! Make the most of today! Learn something new.