“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Rilke

In ‘The evolving self’ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi invites us to reflect on the following questions:

Consider your life up to now, how much choice has there been? Is there any aspect of your life that is considered choice? What has determined the course of your life more: chance or necessity?

Questions are powerful. Simply asking questions create changes within us. But questions must be allowed to breathe, given space to work their magic. The questions below are an offering, like a menu, that you can pick from. You might then try working with one question a day (or a series of questions), by simply dropping the question into your mind a few times a day and seeing what emerges.

  • In what aspect of your life do you feel most free? Alone or with others? Work or free time? Is the feeling of freedom that you can do whatever you want or what you must do?
  • Do you feel the need to enlarge the freedom in your life? What would it take to increase control over an area where you feel control is lacking? What is standing in the way?
  • What are the major sources of entropy in your life? What makes you most sad, irritated or depressed? Whose fault is it?
  • Under what conditions do you feel the greatest serenity and happiness?
  • What is the central organising principle of your self? Is it fame or fortune, desire for love, to be envied, feared, thanked?
  • What is it that you could not lose without losing your sense of self?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What do you think that you can contribute to the making of history? What would be the consequences if you did nothing?

Questions are sparks for learning and insight and create possibilities for action. How might reflecting on these questions become a catalyst for change in your life? What does the asking of these questions bring up and motivate you to do?