Recent conversations over brunch and tea have ranged through familiar personal and political topics -- comparing notes about where we're giving money and time, what we're reading, which projects are keeping us busy, how our parents (and we!) are aging, plans we have to celebrate or mourn various milestones.
One friend, though, surprised me with a question that has stuck with me all week: What is making you happy right now?
I love a good question. In fact, I'm part of a fabulous small group of colleagues who decided earlier this year that we wanted to use our regular meetings with one another to generate questions we might ask ourselves and our clients. Being part of this community gently challenges me to quiet my inner "big sister" -- quick to give advice or an answer, rather than hold open the space for a question mark.
Advice can be comforting -- but it's also limited. It may only be good for one circumstance or one moment, and it doesn't always offer new possibilities. Good questions stay with you, bounce around in your brain, accompany you on a walk, invite you to stay curious with yourself and with others.
Asking myself "What is making you happy right now?' gives me a window into how I'm doing during a transitional time of year and a transition time in my country. My answer to my friend on Sunday was pretty close to home -- my garden, my volunteer work, time to spend with my friends, this new blog. Can I turn up the volume on these things? Can I take time each day to be grateful for them? Can I expand my horizon of happiness outward, make it bigger, embrace more people and actions?
What questions are you asking yourself right now? Can you choose one question you can live with, deepen, keep asking, keep listening, until it leads you toward what's next?
Please share your questions in the comments. I'd love to hear from you. And if you'd like to read more about crafting great questions, take a look at this article from Harvard Business Review on line : https://hbr.org/2009/05/real-leaders-ask.html [end]