Welcome to 2018 & January’s lifeskill, Relationships & Core Values
So, let’s start the New Year off with seven questions to ponder this week. These questions come from Bob Tiede at At Leading With Questions. We are all invited to discover how leaders are shifting their focus from having all the answers to asking the right questions.
Tiede invited Marc Chernoff to compile Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Yourself in 2018 . . . a single page list of 365 questions posed in 2017 to his readers by many leaders across our nation and the world. With this wealth of powerful questions, I just couldn’t pass them up for my own 2018 byline. Hopefully, these questions will also get your mind moving . . . with some of my own encouraging and thought-provoking commentary! The questions each week will be chosen from the list that best relate to each month’s lifeskill.
Question 1: Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?
This question just isn’t fair! It made me go back to my young adult years where that’s just about all I did. I wondered how I could be a famous fiber artist like Sheila Hicks, who studied at Yale and independently studied weaving with Anni Albers. Albers wanted the threads to find a form for themselves that would not just be walked on, but looked at, particularly as art sculpture.
During those young years, I embarked on “off-the-wall & floor” weavings, literally! Despite ongoing debate on what was art and what was craft, I did fairly well. The fine arts world gave little attention to these pioneering artisans, retaining us in the category of “craftsmen” for decades. Fortunately, university professors, certain galleries and museums advocated for us. I may not have reached the so-called “famous” level but found myself content to create and go with the flow. And, today, I still weave up a storm! So, for me, comparing wasn’t something to avoid but learn from these artisans as I found my own place in this world.
Question 2: What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?
That isn’t a hard one for me . . . plan for the future, live in the moment, flex, and hold on to your faith. Life has its ever twists and turns. So, it was good advice from the beginning. Somehow, life, circumstance, faith, and my friend’s wisdom always brought me back to those words whenever I wandered off track.
Question 3: Do you ask enough questions, or do you settle for what you know?
Like most of us, we all like to give our opinion and advice, thinking we know enough to charge ahead. Yet, we leave those important questions in the wings. We then don’t have a chance to discover, learn, and grow our relationship together. Fortunately, my life/wellness coach training rescued me. I learned questions are much more exciting and transformative for us all . . . as long as we leave our criticisms and know-it-all attitude behind.
Question 4: Who do you love and what are you doing about it?
After 52 years of marriage and still counting, I can unhesitatingly say my hubby. Of course, my daughters are right there too. What am I doing about it? I challenge myself daily to tell them I love them, listen without trying to tell them what they should or shouldn’t do, and just be there for them. Though, I love it when they ask my opinion or advice. I just need to put the brakes on and help them find their own answers . . . with powerful questions, hopefully, and maybe just a little commentary!
Question 5: What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
This is a hard one to share sometimes. I know there are many who do not agree with my prolife beliefs. Some may say I don’t have any compassion for the mother. I do because I am not only prolife but also pro-care for both mother and child. I am committed to not judging their circumstance. Their choices and beliefs are theirs. My family has personally experienced the painful effects of miscarriages and abortions. Yet, my prolife belief has never lessened my love and care for them. That is my heart and responsibility for others as well.
Question 6: What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
That’s easy. I would feel safer and share more of my inner most feelings, thoughts, hopes, and plans in life. I would probably be more confident in risking with some new venture into the unknown.
Question 7: If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?
Not long at all. In fact, I would avoid them like the plague! There were times in my life where I called myself “stupid.” It was usually when I upset someone. And when I wasn’t perfect all the time, I invited others and myself to call me “stupid” and “incapable of doing anything right.” Fortunately, with family help, some counseling, and my faith, I have come a long way getting free from those unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.