Do you read the questions?
All through life, we are presented with questions that require very specific answers. The challenge is for us to read the questions correctly so we can answer them as they were meant to be answered. If we don’t, we miss out on much growth, success and fulfilment. While those questions remain unanswered, we will remain unfulfilled.
During your school career, did you ever get a test paper back with a comment in the margin about your not having read the question? You might have prepared well for that test and gone into it knowing a lot, but if you answered the wrong question, all that preparation and knowledge had little value as you simply did not answer the question.
It’s been said that life is a classroom because we’re in this life to learn. In many ways that’s true. Life is an excellent teacher for those who wish to learn, those who make sure they read the questions posed to them so they can answer them correctly.
Life also has a way of presenting us with practical tests to check if we’ve learnt the lessons we’re supposed to learn.
As you look back on your life, can you identify times that life asked you questions? Did you answer those questions correctly? If not, how many questions have you failed to read in your life and are you aware of the consequences of not having answered those questions?
They could be questions in your personal life and your professional life. Questions about your personal life could include: “Is this friendship mutually beneficial?” or “Is this the right partner for you?” Professional questions could centre around career and job choices.
How does life ask us the questions? There is no one right way – it might be through our loved ones or friends. It might have been a parent quietly asking, “Do you think you’re doing the right thing, dear?”
Life might ask you a question through that still small voice inside you that you so often ignore, shout down or don’t trust.
Another way is through circumstances. Different things might start happening that are part life’s way of asking you,” Isn’t it time to move on now?” Ignore the question, and things may just get worse, not because you’re a bad person and life is punishing you but because it is increasingly trying to get your attention. That’s why it’s not a good idea to ignore circumstances that are almost shouting at us to change.
We avoid much frustration, disappointment and heartache in learning to recognise and read questions life asks us because answers tend to present themselves along with the questions. It’s not that we don’t know the answers – it’s that we don’t read the questions.
I encourage you to start awakening to the questions life has been asking, is asking and will ask you all along your journey. When you recognise and read the questions life asks you, you will find the correct answers presenting themselves too. That’s how kind life is to you. So just make sure you read the questions!
Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, a self-mastery teacher and age management coach.