Welcome All!

If you do not adapt, if you do not learn, you will wither, you will die.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Your Philosophy of Life

The most determining factor for influence, for health, for satisfaction, for love, for success, and for many more desirable outcomes and ‘states of being’ is your philosophy of life. Certainly, your personality, the circle of people you surround yourself with, the place on earth you were born and where you live, your skill sets and many more factors play a role, but none as crucial as your philosophy of life, which influences all the other ones.

Dick Daniels, who spoke at the November conference of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development talks about the difference between corporate culture and corporate climate. The distinguishing factor for the type of climate in any organization is the philosophy of life of the company’s leaders. Daniels describes corporate culture as the ideal work environment reflected in a company's values, and corporate climate as the actual, daily reality of the workplace environment. And this very climate is to a large extent shaped by the effectiveness of leaders, which, in turn, is shaped by their philosophy of life. So what exactly is this ‘Philosophy of Life’?
Some of the many questions that can help you discover and develop your philosophy of life are:

è Which are the values that guide me?

è Which are my motivations? What drives me in what I do and how I do it? Whereto do I do what I do?

è What guides me most of the time: living a life of success, living a life of significance, both, something else?

è What role do integrity, credibility, courage, and conviction play?

è How much of my life is about ‘to have’ and how much about ‘to be’ – why so and how so?

è How easily and often do I solicit uncensored feedback about how I am doing and about how people perceive me? How easily do I draw from people with different views and perspectives?

This list goes on but you get the picture and these questions can get you off to a solid start. You can add your own insights and questions and, often more importantly, those of others. As Socrates liked to say: “The unexamined life is not worth living”. I love to live and work by this belief, most of the time.
So leaders are defined by their beliefs, hearts, attitudes, thinking, and acting, and not by their position, even though that position might be highly desirable and rewarding. Leadership is less about skills and abilities and more about capabilities based on the inner life of the person.

o   Leadership is about your level of personal and social awareness – with many thanks to the Gestalt Psychology.

o   Leadership is about your Emotional Intelligence, including awareness –with many thanks to Daniel Goleman and his colleagues.

o   Leadership is about your beliefs about yourself and the world – with many thanks to Cognitive Psychology with Beck and Ellis, or should I go back as far as Epictetus?

o   Leadership is about your attitude towards yourself and others – with thanks to just one of the many inspirations in this field: Viktor Frankl.

Bottom line: Leadership is about your inner life, about your philosophy of life. My wish for all of us is that we keep questioning and developing it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Conformity, status, and blind-spot-removal - Provocative thoughts by inspiring people.

Sir Ken Robinson, PhD, internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation. Author, speaker, and consultant – just to name a few of his many hats:
As much as educators and businesses might say they need independent, adaptable, and innovative thinkers, how many of them truly appreciate and facilitate deviations from standardization and conformity, in educational institutions and in businesses? Great point from his remarkable book Out of Our Minds. I recommend it.


Teresa Norton in Forgiving Makes You More Important (HBR Blog Network, November 28, 2011) on the nature and the power of status.
Norton defines a person's status as “his or her estimation of self worth rather than the estimation placed on that person by others. It is a personal and internal judgment and as such is completely-self controlled — nobody can 'make' you feel unimportant. They can certainly 'act' in ways that are either consciously or unconsciously designed to 'raise' their own status but only you can lower your own status.” This might seem a little idealistic, but think about it. How much more influence, self-worth, and self-confidence would such a belief provide you with?


In Primal Leadership – Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence (2002) Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee discuss the importance of blind-spot- removal for leaders as I call it:
“To become more effective, leaders need to break through the information quarantine around them and the conspiracy to keep them pleased, even if uninformed. Rare are those who dare to tell a commanding leader he is too harsh, or to let a leader know he could be more visionary, or more democratic. That’s why emotionally intelligent leaders need to seek the truth themselves… Effective leaders use their self awareness and empathy, both to monitor their own actions and to watch how others react to them. They are open to critiques, whether of their ideas or their leadership. They actively seek out negative feedback, valuing the voice of a devil’s advocate.”

Increasing Your Social Fitness

How you interact with others across situations and your ability to speak and act on your values in the face of situational pressure is what psychologist Philip Zimbardo and colleagues call ‘social fitness’. Even though the building of social fitness might benefit from techniques like learning to give at least one compliment to one person each day and from telling others what’s unique about them, I believe more fundamental work has to be done before social fitness is built to last and to succeed.

Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee have written a book titled Primal Leadership – Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence. These authors and researchers talk about the four components of emotional intelligence: self awareness and self-management (clustered as ‘personal competence) and social awareness and relationship management (clustered as ‘social competence). These four components are crucial not just in effective, inspiring leadership as the authors argue convincingly, but in healthy, happy living and working for anyone.

The four components, or better, capabilities, determine how you manage yourself and how you manage relationships. Is there anything else as important to manage? I don’t think so, whether you’re a leader or not, whether you’re employed or not, but with the recognition, of course, that for leaders (including parents who lead their children and everyone leading inside or outside the realm of business) it might be even more crucial to be leading (or better living) with a high Emotional Intelligence considering their influence on others.  

Both self awareness and social awareness are the basis for self management and relationship management, and both types of awareness are rooted in the views and principles of the Gestalt Psychology on which I have written before http://www.caromoors.blogspot.com/2011/03/gestalt-approach-to-organizational.html)

The three elements of self-awareness that Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee identify are emotional self awareness, accurate self-assessment, and self-confidence (see also: Why Women Leaders Need Self-Confidence on HBR Blog Network by Leslie Pratch). Some important aspects of self-management are, not surprisingly, self-control, transparency, adaptability, and optimism. In the category social awareness, empathy plays a crucial role. J. K. Rowling’s perspective on this component of emotional intelligence is “Imagining yourself into the lives of others” as she put it in a marvelous speech that I highly recommend you watch, with thanks to my dear friend Margje Ramaker who sent me the link: http://pottermoreravenclaws.tumblr.com/post/13486344610/j-k-rowling-on-failure-and-success-suggested

As for the last of the four major components of emotional intelligence, relationship management, and thus the fourth component of social fitness, Goleman and colleagues list inspiration, influence, developing others, and conflict management as some of the defining ingredients.

With this list of elements of strong self awareness and strong social awareness, it will be clear that there is a lot of work to do to build lasting social fitness, but also work that can begin right here and now, step by step, with the help of Goleman’s books on the topic or any other resource delving deeper into the ‘what, how, and where to’ of emotional intelligence. With such great authors and resources I do not feel the need to rewrite, add, or duplicate. I merely wish you many successful and inspiring social fitness sessions, because the discovery and growth never has to end and maintenance is as key here as it is in keeping up your house, yard, or car!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why managers worry – suggestions for handling them

We all worry, at times. Some times more than other times. I’m guessing in these uncertain times with an economy that is not functioning as we’re used to (and as we’d like to see it), there are endless things to worry about. Personal worries such as employment security, financial health, and overall health and happiness, and more fundamental worries about the canyon-like gap between poor and rich, about the way we treat our planet, about nuclear tensions and so much more.

In this post I’m zooming in on worries that I see managers suffer from, literally. But before I go into some of their specific worries I’d like to remind you of a lesson learned from cognitive psychologists, in particular Albert Ellis, founder of the Rational Emotive Therapy or Training. Ellis’s theory and practice is based on the belief that you can change people’s behavior by confronting them with their irrational beliefs and by persuading them to adopt rational ones. Ellis discovered that beliefs of people often take the form of absolute statements. Instead of acknowledging a preference or desire, we make unqualified demands on others (A boss really should not behave like this, it’s an outrage), or we convince ourselves that we have overwhelming needs (I really need for my whole team to like and approve of me if I am to be successful). There are a number of typical “thinking errors” that people generally engage in, such as:
1.   Ignoring the positive
2.   Exaggerating the negative
3.   Overgeneralizing

Recognize any of these? Or how about the main irrational beliefs that Ellis formulated:
n  I must be outstandingly competent, otherwise I am worthless.
n  Others must treat me considerately, or they are absolutely rotten.
n  The world should always give me happiness, if not I will suffer.

Resisting the temptation to dive deeper into Ellis’s thoughts and work, I merely ask you to reflect on these thinking errors and irrational beliefs and decide where you see room for improvement, moving to more rational beliefs that support you in a realistic view of yourself, of others, and of the world, thereby helping you relate to people and problems constructively.
Now over to the worries that I regularly encounter in managers.

1.   Managers worry about staying on top of developments in technology and staying on top of the impact of political and economic developments.
These worries are real, no question about it. Things are changing, growing, connecting, and disconnecting at the speed of twitter. However, less and less will one manager be able to see, understand, and influence it all. My advice: create an open environment and open communication in which feedback and soliciting others’ skills, insights, and perspectives is the one and only way to go. Surround yourself with a strong team (no, that does not reflect badly on your weaknesses), i.e. with people with different insights, capabilities, and potential. Resist the “think-alike” trap. Dare to be challenged, dare not to know. Didn’t we learn at school, or at least some of us, that you don’t have to know all the answers as long as you know where to find them?

2.   Managers worry about being disconnected.
Climbing up the ladder, many managers become concerned that they’ll lose touch with the work floor, with the actual work of the company. This is not surprising, since direct contact with the shop floor or with customers will decrease as you work your way through the ranks. For too many managers this results in feelings of insecurity and isolation which often leads managers to seek information in as many ways as possible thereby micromanaging and duplicating work. They overload themselves with reports, meetings, and personal conversations with too much overlap or that simply take more time than when left to the person whose job it really is, which of course, requires the right person at the right place as well as trust. So a manager’s attempt to stay connected, which is really a case of over-connecting, results in too many people doing the same thing over and over, looking at the same data and challenges in not so different ways. My remedy: re-evaluate your structures, processes and meetings, eliminate redundancy, delegate where possible, trust (and where necessary redirect or relocate your people), and hold them accountable while helping them be successful. This is the only way not to get swamped in time-consuming efforts to remain connected the wrong way and not to succumb to micromanagement.

3.   Managers, like so many other people, prefer to stay in familiar operational territory.
As we progress in life and in our career, we often struggle to let go of the old, the familiar, the safe-and-comfort “known”. No one enjoys falling on their face, failing in front of others, or being in a situation where we don’t know yet, sometimes not for long, whether we’ll be succeeding or to what extent. This, however, is the reality in many situations. A reality we’ll have to learn to deal with and to actually enjoy and master. But often we seem unable to let go of our old job and our old ways of doing things. However, the old saying still goes: If you keep doing what you always did, you keep getting what you always got.  As you climb the corporate ladder chances are high that you have to grow from setting and achieving operational goals, controlling numbers, and solving problems to thinking and acting more strategic and letting others do the direct controlling of operations. This requires, again, trusting others to do their jobs right, but also trusting yourself in choosing the right people for the right job. It also requires standing behind your people. Once you’ve given them tasks, goals, and responsibilities you will have to support them and stand behind them. As Jack Welch writes in Jack. Straight from the Gut: “The last thing that people need when they made a mistake is disciplinary measures. What they need is encouragement and strengthening of their self-confidence. A leader has to know when to embrace someone (after a mistake) and when to kick his butt... Leadership is also growing self-confidence in others. It’s the result of providing people with opportunities and challenges to do the things they never thought they could do and honoring them every possible way when succeeding.”

When you read the title of this post, you might have thought it wasn’t really clear: Who or what does “Suggestions for handling them” refer to? This is intentional ambiguity. Because when looking at managers and their worries, you don’t just look at how to handle the worries. You simultaneously have to look at how to handle these managers. Here is my suggestion in your encounters with a manager with worries like the ones described in this post: Make sure to increase their awareness - provide them with honest, applicable, respectful feedback on what you perceive to be their worries (and the possible irrationality of it all) and invite them to see things from other than just their own perspective.
Be a team. Be a strong team. Supplement, compliment, and encourage each other. Do what needs to be done to help others succeed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Monopoly, Chutes & Ladders and the Power of Attitude

In their book “High Altitude Leadership” Chris Warner and Don Schmincke discuss two different kinds of luck. The first one is pure luck. The luck (good or bad) that just happens by chance. This is the case with the game Chutes & Ladders. When our children were younger they loved this exciting, unpredictable game. And even though their chances of winning did not increase no matter how often they played it, even though it is just a matter of luck as soon as you spin the wheel, they would feel so proud and happy upon their victory. And of course they did, because winning a game is fun. And even though they disputed this many times (“I’m just better than you mom!”), there is no relationship with skill whatsoever.

The second type of luck is skill-based luck like the ‘luck’ in games such as Risk or Monopoly. The luck you (can) actively create using your insights and skills in a smart way, like the buying and selling of streets and houses in Monopoly. This is skill-based luck you can influence. One major ingredient for skill-based luck is not a skill, however, but your attitude. It has been widely researched and documented, including in the medical world, that people with a positive mental attitude get more accomplished, attract more successful people, recover quicker from illnesses or from an unwise move in a game for that matter. One such specific example of a positive attitude is imagining how things could have been worse and not dwelling on ill fortune that comes your way, again, applicable to dealing with life’s events as with bad moves in all kinds of games. If you decide (because it is a decision, whether conscious or not, and often learned and shaped early in life by the role models and the kind of guidance we received) to take control of the situation, to re-shape your environment, to rethink your options, to re-design your goals and strategy, to re-define, re-assess, and appreciate what’s left and what new possibilities can do for you, you are in charge by the power of your attitude. It’s the attitude, the look on life, the approach you choose that influences everything else. Looking on the bright side of things and working through hardship, searching for ways to benefit from what is now inevitable sure isn’t always an easy task, fra from, but as soon as you start pitying yourself, focusing on the negatives and allowing yourself to be sucked into the victim role you’re doomed for depressed moods, hopelessness, and self-defeat which than sets in motion a halo-effect, negatively influencing your thinking, feeling, deciding, and what you aspire to accomplish.
So my advice for the weekend: Reflect on your attitude. Reflect on your attitude in good times and in difficult times.  In what way and in which situations is your atttitude of service to you? Where do you see opportunity for change and growth, and what is it that you need to get there?

Good luck. The attitude-based luck that is!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Different perspectives on success

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To give of one's self; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Albert Schweitzer

“There are such things as successful failures.”
Educator and polar explorer Ann Bancroft

Success to me is many different things. Sometimes it’s achieving my goals. Other times it’s exceeding others’ expectations. Yet another time it is not giving up. Success can be persevering through failure and disappointment. Success can be scoring a C if that is the absolute maximum that I can score right now. Success is to be aware, thankful, and grateful. Success is living life fully. In other words, success is personal, relative, and so much more than a score of 100%, gaining world fame, or becoming a millionaire. What’s your view on success? Do you look at end results or at invested time, energy, and skills? Is it both to you or something completely different? How many different perspectives can you take on success and what do you pass on to others who see you as a role model? Are your views encouraging, uplifting, inspiring, enabling?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Favor of Elders – Alzheimer, Wisdom and Leadership

About two years ago I listened to a lecture at the University of Minnesota by Dr. Peter Whitehouse, and I was lucky to be invited to a luncheon with this authority on Alzheimer and about 20 other people. The conversations, the wonderfully innovative ideas, and the view on elderly people greatly appealed to me. I have often shared with our children my observations, thoughts, and worries about how poorly or inconsiderate and underused aging people are often treated in many Western countries, even though this might be unintentionally. It always brings a smile to my face how many more elderly people in, say Spain and Italy as compared to the U.K. or the Netherlands are part of everyday life, walking, stick bound or not, to the park for a chat and a game of jeux de boules, or to a bar where they discuss local and global issues while enjoying a coffee or something stronger yet. And these are just two examples of participation in daily life but it’s quite different from the many elderly people, often in similar shape, living in homes.  Homes where everything is provided for them within the walls of this home and with little or no interaction with the outside world. No matter how great these homes may be, and I know for some it seems a good match with their needs and wants, but for many it isn’t and it sure is far removed from soliciting the elder’s passions, capabilities, and wisdom and inviting them to speak to students, employees and other groups to inspire and invigorate their audience.

One of the things that really bothers me is impatience with elderly people, only half listening to their stories which are often perceived as boring, outdated, or the same-old-same-old. It bothers me when elderly people are being disregarded where they should be appreciated for all they gave, did and are. Do we take enough time to listen to their experiences, their world view, and their lessons from life let alone that we invite them actively to spread their views and wisdom?

Back to Peter Whitehouse. About eight years ago Peter and his wife, Cathy, founded an inner-city charter school in Cleveland called The Intergenerational School. It's common to see the school's young students working with older volunteers, including many who have Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Peter Whitehouse gives his elderly patients with memory loss an unexpected prescription: Stay socially active. Some of his favorite advice is to perform volunteer work, and he has created a school where they can do just that. At The Intergenerational School staff are looking at whether volunteering at this school improves the quality of life of the volunteers. They look at five variables: cognitive functioning, stress, depression, sense of purpose and sense of usefulness. The research is small-scale but the first outcomes are very positive.

Over to quite a different setting but a similar perspective, which is that of making use of elderly people. “The Elders” is an independent group of global leaders like former U.S. president, Nobel Peace Laureate, and veteran peace negotiator Jimmy Carter, former first woman president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, former Algerian freedom fighter, Foreign Minister, UN diplomat, and an expert in peacekeeping Lakdar Brahimi, and Gro Brundtland, the first woman Prime Minister of Norway, and a medical doctor who champions health as a human right. What these people have in common? To become an Elder in this group you can no longer hold public office. Elders are independent of any national government or other vested interest. All Elders share a common commitment to peace and to universal human rights and they all offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. The group was established by Nelson Mandela in 2007 and is chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The group has worked successfully on a variety of projects all over the world, and, just to be clear, we’re talking old people. But these Elders are clearly change makers. People who can lead by inspiring example and who create positive social change while inspiring others to do the same. Now that is what I call ‘making good use of elderly people.’ But it shouldn’t have to depend on your resume and a great influential career whether you are being regarded highly and consulted for your wisdom, should it?

A third venue where we here of the ‘use of elders’ is in the travels, books and work of Minneapolis based consultant, speaker, and author Richard Leider, who wrote Claiming Your Place at the Fire (2004) with David Shapiro. Leider leads annual safaris through Tanzania. Sitting around a fire with the area's Hadza elders, his group shares in the words of wisdom that have sustained the tribe for centuries, listening to their stories and parables.

I could continue with the role of elders in American Indian tribes, but I think I made my point. For a short while I was wondering whether this topic wasn’t too much out of place on a blog on Change, Leadership, and Personal Development. And maybe it is, but couldn’t and shouldn’t elderly people be viewed and treated like this in our society as well? Sure, there are certain fields in which we see very elderly people, just think of judges and politicians. But that’s a very limited group. How do you look at elderly people in your company, your neighborhood, your family? Do you actively solicit their wisdom and treat them with dignity and respect? Elderly people are close to the end of the line as far as dealing with change, having lived (through) leadership, and as far as personal development is concerned. Let their experiences, perspectives, and wisdom not go unused if they are willing to share, and support them in leading a meaningful, engaged last part of their life.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Other Side of Passion and Perseverance

Among many other qualities and capabilities, knowing and following your passion with perseverance is one that can significantly increase the chances for success and satisfaction. Perseverance and passion have been topics on this blog before, and many scholarly articles and popular books are devoted to these qualities. In this post, however, I want to point out the other side of perseverance. The not so glorious side. The side that is often neglected, denied, repressed, and misinterpreted.

There are probably many more hero–like stories of entrepreneurs overcoming thousands of rejections or overwhelming challenges than victories that you and I have accomplished. They are stories of unbelievably amazing people on never-ending journeys to enduring success, often against all odds. These stories offer universal appeal, that’s clear to me, and in quite a few cases I have high regard for these people, their journeys and their accomplishments. Yes, passion and perseverance combined with knowing where you are heading and whereto are absolutely important ingredients for a successful and satisfying career and life. But what is perseverance exactly and can it go awry? Does it have an expiration date? I think it most certainly does.  
One definition of perseverance is: “Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” Another is: “Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” So that is clear, but what is not always clear is where perseverance ends and blind and harmful (and often ego-driven) persistence starts.

How many times have you seen others (or yourself) hold on to a dream too hard and too long? Still pursuing a project that has already taken far too much time and money? How often do you see the ego rather than the head drive the agenda? Can you capitulate, or walk away from something important? This doesn’t exactly sound like an attractive course of action, I know. But retreating does not necessarily mean giving up or lacking perseverance. It might be the smartest thing to do, even saving valuable human and capital resources that prevent the company from suffering due to someone’s inability or unwillingness to retreat. This, of course, is contradictory to what many leadership theories and gurus keep telling us. Just think about slogans such as “Winners never quit and quitters never win”. And sure, the psychological and emotional costs of retreat can be severe, like a bruised self-confidence to mention just one cost. And yes, it can damage your image and your career opportunities. But more often than not it is appreciated if you know when to amend previously held beliefs and if you know how to make mid-term corrections rather than causing mayhem. Walking away does not necessarily mean giving up. It’s about keeping your focus on your strategy and on reality. A focus that sometimes tells you to withdraw and maybe return later, or differently. Perseverance is not the same as continuing, pushing on, forcing your way through impossible obstacles. Perseverance includes having the capacity and demonstrating the courage to remain vigilant and execute the capacity to retreat, rethink, redesign, and return.
In conclusion, as regular readers of this blog know, I too list perseverance as a highly desirable characteristic in life and business. I do, however, also want to warn you for blind persistence, for taking it so many steps too far. As Daniel Ofman taught us, too much of a core quality or a blind version of it, turns sour. It turns from quality to pitfall, from asset to show-stopper. Let’s not let that happen.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting out of the box - Questions and Curiosity

It might be counter-intuitive in the “I need to be the expert” rat race and with the belief that we have to be all–knowing, whatever the job or position we hold. However, I belief a good starting point for any conversation with yourself and with others to be: “I don’t know, let’s find out, explore, and then act wisely” unless, of course, you are certain of things.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know I value the art and skill of questioning. Not because I would have loved to be an investigator of any kind nor because I take to philosophy, which I do. The true reason is that I see too many dead-end thinking processes. I witness too many conversations clogged with preconceptions, prejudices, assumptions, and unshakable beliefs that leave no room for different beliefs or perspectives. And I see too many ego-driven conversations with little or no meaningful focus on the other person, whether it be a client, superior, subordinate, or loved one. I believe all this to be dangerous in life, in business, in personal development, in politics – you name it.

So my question to you today is: Can you ever ask enough questions? Not easily, is my opinion, and I am not just speaking from a customer-focus point of view where you are trying to gain relevant information about customers or prospects. I mean in general. I therefore suggest we spend more time freeing the mind of preconceptions, prejudices and assumptions by asking more questions, almost like children do:

-What makes it so?

- Why not?                         

- How so?

- Why not the opposite?

- How do you know?

- Where to?

These and similar questions decrease the chances you stay locked up in possibly old beliefs that used to have value but, in a changing world, have lost most of their power. These questions decrease the chance you constrain yourself to the limitations of the “preconception straight-jacket”. These questions decrease the chance that you are perceived (and worse, operate as) a quick-fix shallow person with an inflated ego.

Some of the questions I suggest you contemplate

1.       What moves me?

2.       Where am I heading?

3.       Who moved me today?

4.       What are three different perspectives to use on this issue?

5.       Who did I move and inspire this week?

6.       What have I upset today, what did I stir up?

7.       What would I do if I weren’t afraid?

8.       What risks do I take?

9.       Where can others find my imprints?

10.   What do I want to see when I look back 10 years from now?

Asking relentless questions, asking thought-enhancing questions, that’s what broadens your perspective, that’s what makes you focus on others, that’s what helps you look inside, that’s what makes you take advantage of multiple perspectives, that’s what facilitates charting new territory, and that’s what enables creative problem-solving.

True, many questions don’t have definite answers, but that’s perfectly okay, better get used to it. It’s not always (or often not) about finding the right answers, it’s about asking the right questions and the process of re-examining and re-thinking that it fuels.