Why It’s Important to Question Everything

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“He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever” – Chinese proverb

This is a guest post by Stuart Mills for Powered by Intuition.

A lot of the time, people don’t ask questions.

They don’t even ask life’s big questions – “Why am I here?” or “What’s my purpose in life?”

They don’t ask why something is a certain way, or why this particular system is in place. They don’t even ask why their boss is in a bad mood!

Do you ask questions on a regular basis?

Because they don’t ask questions, they don’t learn anything, and they don’t gain any new understanding. In other words, they become stale and unconsciously settle into this comfort zone where they drift through their days in a ‘waking slumber’, until they die.

Are you curious about the world around you?

It’s a sad state of affairs when this happens, and it’s usually because this person didn’t make time to question life and everything in it. They didn’t take time to push the boundaries, and so they settled for what they had at the time.

Do you want to settle for what you’ve currently got? Is this enough for you? Are you happy to live like this until you die? If your answer is “No”, then read on.

Reasons To Question Everything

By questioning, you do more than just survive. You thrive. You learn more about life, and what it holds. You discover more about yourself, and your days become more fun, and more enjoyable.

By questioning, you can get rid of what doesn’t work, and replace it with what does work.

Here are six reasons why it’s important to question everything:

  • Get more answers

The simplest reason to ask questions is to get answers. Without answers, we don’t have anything to go by. We don’t have an idea of where to go next in our lives. As Angela points out, if you don’t ask yourself the question, you won’t get an answer

So ask questions more often in order to gain answers. Even if it’s an answer that you think you can’t use, it’s better than no answer at all. Every answer has its use.

  • Help others clarify their situation

By asking questions of others in a non-threatening way, we can help them to clarify their own answers. I did this with my girlfriend once, where we were discussing possible careers for her. I asked questions about what she wanted to do, and she answered honestly.

Soon enough, we had discovered that she wants to work with children, in an activities manner rather than in a school environment. This was reached by asking questions, so she could clarify the answers in her own mind about what she wanted to do.

If you know someone who is struggling to figure something out, ask them some questions. Help them to clarify what their core desire is. They may gain a better idea themselves.

  • Challenge the system/authority

The most popular question in the world today is the ‘rebellion question’ that comes about when someone is tired of something that doesn’t suit them. A nation asks rebellion questions of its government. A group of employees ask rebellion questions of their managers. A teenager asks rebellion questions of their parents.

I don’t suggest that you try and cause trouble by threatening to rebel. Rather, it’s better to question something that you don’t like in order to find out more. If you learn more about why something is in place, you can then take action to try and improve things for the future.

Challenge the system by trying to make it better.

  • Allow change to flow

Change is the very core of life. I look at change as a river – its flow is ever moving, and we’re all traveling down the current. No matter how much we try and hold onto the riverbank for fear of our safety, the current eventually forces us to let go and flow with life.

Questions enable change. If something isn’t working, asking questions will allow change to enter and transform the problem into a solution. Questions unblock the river, and unleash the river current of life.

If you’re struggling to embrace change, whether it’s letting go of the past or embracing your true calling , ask some questions of yourself. They’ll guide you along the river of life.

  • Maintain an open mind

The mind has been compared to a castle at times – if the drawbridge is down, and the castle is open, then the inhabitants of the castle can communicate and trade with the outside world, and everyone can prosper. But if the drawbridge is up, and the castle is closed, then the inhabitants are shut off from the outside world, and they begin to suffer.

The same can be said of the mind. Keep the mind open by asking questions, and you’ll trade knowledge with the outside world. Keep the mind closed however, and you won’t gain anything new, and your beliefs and opinions will become stale and stilted.

By opening your mind, you open yourself up to life.

  • Uncover your own fears and limiting beliefs

Our lives are filled with clutter and chores. We rush about from end to end, unable to determine where our lives are going, or what’s truly important to us.

This usually leads up to the creation of fears and limiting beliefs. Once they’re created, they nag at us to listen to them, to get us to work harder because the economy’s doomed, or to exercise more because you might suffer illness. And they limit us by whispering in our ear, saying we’ll never get that dream job, or start that dream business.

Question this. Just stop what you’re doing, and question all of it. Why are you thinking like this? What’s gone wrong for you to fear so much? Take some time for yourself and ask yourself these questions. Learn more about yourself, and help yourself to learn.

How often do you question what’s around you? Do you only ask a certain kind of question? Do you think you question enough? Let us know!

If you enjoyed this article please share it on FB, Twitter or G+1. Thank you so much for spreading the word!

P.S. Don’t forget to take your free gift before you go. Subscribe to my newsletter and updates and get my book: The Intuition Primer for free!

 Stuart is a personal development blogger who wants to help you out. He thinks you’re awesome. You can often find him at Unlock The Door (http://www.unlockthedoor.net), where he writes constantly to make it a better day for everyone. You should also check out his tweets at @theunlockeddoor (http://twitter.com/theunlockeddoor)

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44 Comments

  1. I always tried to create a safe atmosphere in the classroom for students to ask questions. And I was never afraid to ask them myself! My students appreciated knowing that I didn’t know everything and we could find the answers together.

    Reply
    • Hi Galen,
      I love that you would share with your students that you didn’t know everything. I’m sure it encouraged them to always be curious and search for answers. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I truly appreciate it.

      Reply
    • Finding the answers together Galen, that’s something we could all do more often!

      Thanks for commenting :-)

      Reply
  2. Wow, what a wonderful post! I couldn’t agree with you more. Especially during election time, lol. No, but seriously, very well stated!

    Reply
    • Thanks Sheila! Keep asking those questions of your politicians ;-)

      Reply
  3. Angela, thank you so much for featuring me as a guest poster for Powered By Intuition, it really means a lot.

    I’ll be around to reply to comments as they come in :-)

    Reply
  4. Hi Stuart and Angela,
    Great post! I’ve recently realized that questions are incredible conversation starters. I have several questions now on hand now to keep conversations going. They are:

    Where did you grow up?
    What brought you out here?
    How did you two meet?

    It’s amazing how it starts up and keeps the conversation going!

    Love your questions that are questions within~

    Reply
    • Hi Betsy, thanks for the kind words!

      Great conversations are started with questions, they get the ball rolling. Once in motion, it can lead to magic :-)

      Reply
  5. Im all for questioning Stuart. It helps me gather information. I have noticed however that too much questioning is not a good thing – it can lead to procrastination.

    R

    Reply
    • Hi Rosemary, thanks for stopping by and adding your input!

      I’m not sure if you can ever reach a point where you ‘stop’ questioning, as we never reach a point where we ‘stop’ learning. But too many questions in a set amount of time?

      Sure, it can lead to negative consequences such as procrastination, angering the other person, etc. In the end, it’s best to trust your judgement :-)

      Reply
  6. Hi nStuart and Angela,
    I ask questions of myself all the time. I find it helps me challenge myself. If I can do that, then I can also challenge my coaching clients.I found this post summarises “the question” question extremely well, great job. Thank you.
    be good to yourself
    David

    Reply
    • Thanks David, I’m glad you left such kind words!

      Interesting to hear about you challenging yourself, which leads to you challenging your clients – how has that worked out for you so far? :-)

      Reply
      • It’s a terrific blend. I can easily relate some of my ‘challenges’ to them when they are stuck which has often helped with their progress. thank you &
        be good to yourself
        David

        Reply
  7. Hey Stu: Good to see you hear and great post and message. You are so right that we have to always stay curious and ask questions. That really is the way we make sure we are always living and learning and that is what it is all about. Great guest post.

    Reply
    • Hi Sibyl, thanks for commenting!

      ‘Stay curious’ – is there a greater motto for life than this? It’s hard to find a better one :-)

      Reply
  8. Hi Angela,

    One of the greatest things I ever did was to question religious doctrine which eventually led me to ridding myself of those beliefs and opening my mind to new ideas.

    Reply
    • Hi Todd, thanks for stopping by!

      Interesting to hear about your religious background, did you find it was stifling your thinking? What kind of questions did you ask to open your mind?

      I’m intrigued to hear more :-)

      Reply
    • Amen. Literally.

      Reply
  9. Indeed agreed. To be successful one simply must be willing to ask “foolish” questions. Feeling awkward is part of the upward journey; I remember learning to ride a bike a and falling; my friend laughed at me. I didn’t care because learning to ride was more important than getting defensive.

    Humility is a necessary ingredient for successful living. When I have an inspiring purpose, being humble is easy; I’m willing to make a fool of myself; it’s the perfectly sensible thing to do if I intend to have a breakthrough and accomplish more than I did before.

    What if tomorrow never comes – how would I feel if all I could say about my life was this, “I didn’t ask questions and make mistakes to avoid looking like a fool”?

    Reply
    • That’s a great point to make Rob, a lot of people avoid asking questions to ‘save face’, and try to step away from the potential embarrassment of people laughing at them.

      And I should know, as I used to be like this, constantly avoiding questions so people would put up with me more. But that was when I was more naive, and my mind was closed.

      Thanks for stopping by Rob :-)

      Reply
  10. Stuart,

    Great post! If we didn’t question the world around us we would have little progress and all be going through life like fenced in sheep. I have learned that it’s also important to ask the right questions. In other words have a reason or a specific aim in mind why you’re asking the question. You provide some wonderful reasons why we may question much of what life throws our way.

    Reply
    • Hi Joe, I appreciate the kind words!

      Great addition to the conversation, choosing what questions to ask is also important for the learning process.

      In the end, the right questions help, but asking any question is better than no question at all :-)

      Reply
  11. Fancy seeing you here Stu! Thank you Angela for this post…

    What a wonderful message here. “Allow change to flow”. We are ever changing if we allow it. Just merely “journaling” your feelings about issues while asking for clarity will help you to allow the universe to flow through you and guide your thoughts. Especially when letting go of things that no longer serve you well.

    Reply
    • Hey Kenya! Yes, I seem to have popped up in a few places ;-)

      Asking for clarity is a great thing to ask for, no doubt about it. If we aren’t clear about something, then we can make rash and misguided decisions.

      And the best way to be clear on something is to ask questions :-)

      Reply
  12. Angela, this is such a powerful idea! I especially like your reminder to question others — not just to learn from them or let them clarify their own truths, but to give them a chance to talk a bit about themselves — a chance to shine. This is especially important when you’re with someone who’s modest about their accomplishments.

    Reply
    • Hey Jeffrey, thanks for commenting! I like your mention of allowing others to shine!

      It’s important that others feel good about themselves, and not doubt themselves – we can’t force them to be happy, but if we allow them to show off themselves, give them that room to shine, then they may take up the invite :-)

      Reply
  13. Questioning helps open the mind and explore our perceived realities. My favorite reasons you included are “Allow change to flow” & “Uncover your own fears and limiting beliefs” – Great reasons!!

    :)

    Reply
    • Hey Aileen, thanks for stopping by!

      Exploring our perceived realities is a great reason to question, I wish I had included that one in the post ;-)

      Reply
  14. Hi Angela & Stuart,
    My son asks me questions all of the time and I always answer and encourage him to keep asking.

    I like our metaphor about the castle and keeping our minds open. I have always prided myself on being an open-minded person which has allowed me to come across esoteric and other things that are not exactly “main-stream.”

    Reply
    • Hi Justin, great to see you here!

      That’s great to hear of your son. Some parents discourage question-asking, thinking they’re a nuisance and unnecessary. I disagree with this, I’d rather my child learn as much as possible at an early stage.

      Thanks for commenting :-)

      Reply
  15. Angela,

    What a Great guest post! I never expected anything less from you!

    Stuart,

    I totally agree about asking questions! Many times I do that like in doctor’s office or other authorities. Often time, some people do not like people/rebels who ask questions but I think when it comes to your own life issues, one can never ask too less questions. Most often, people take expert’s opinion without challenges.

    Preeti

    Reply
    • Hi Preeti, it’s a pleasure to meet you and read your comment! Wonderful stuff!

      I agree – some people dislike questions, and frown when others keep asking questions. But how else do we learn? Better to be vocal and question, than be quiet and despair :-)

      Reply
  16. Great article! I definitely find myself learning much more when I ask questions. I also realize that a lot of people are not very interested to ask. They either expect to be asked questions or are extremely shy. It’s pretty much a one-way conversation. I find out more about them than they know about me.

    Reply
    • Hi Evelyn, thanks for stopping by!

      You’re right, some people aren’t interested to find out more about yourself, which is a shame. The more questions that everyone asks, the more people learn about the world :-)

      Reply
  17. Quite marvelous. But isn’t it funny how when something agrees with something we do or believe in it is usually marvelous? (Hey that’s a question!)
    I’m a real interrogator – have always been, so I totally agree with you. Like the fabulous quote above, most folks don’t want to look silly by admitting that they don’t know things. For some reason I never had that fear. I love being taught something new at least once a day. How many people do YOU know welcome in Jehovah’s Witnesses and question them until THEY want to leave??!!
    Great post.

    Reply
    • That’s true Pea, I don’t know anyone who would welcome a Jehovah’s Witness into their home. Funny enough, I haven’t seen any on the streets for a while ;-)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment :-)

      Reply
  18. Hi Stuart and Angela,

    Yes, I’m always asking questions and trying to find the answers to them. It’s something I do most often when I go out walking and can empty my mind of all the clutter inside it, forget about the artificial technological world we live in, and just expand into the natural one. I still need to uncover my fears and stop limiting my beliefs.

    Thanks for an insightful post.

    Reply
    • Hi Penlope,
      I’m glad you enjoyed Stuart’s excellent post.
      I think walking is one of the best ways to declutter your mind.
      It’s great to get away from the computer too!
      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

      Reply
    • I agree with you Penelope, walking is something we can do to gain clearer minds, and question things we wouldn’t have questioned otherwise.

      Thanks for the comment :-)

      Reply
  19. Stuart,
    Thanks so much for the wonderful guest post. It’s been a pleasure having you here. I think we all got so much from your article.

    All my best,
    Angela

    Reply
    • It was my pleasure to write it Angela! I’m so happy I was able to provide some value here. Thank you :-)

      Reply
  20. I’ve stopped by this article a couple of times and been tempted to comment, but didn’t because it hits a rather touchy spot for me. I’ve always asked a lot of questions – I have this need to understand the ‘big’ picture of how and why things work in the world. Most of my life that’s worked out pretty well … but my last employer didn’t even try to hide how much she really hated questions. She said it was because there was nothing she could do – decisions were made at the corporate level and “explanations” not offered – she didn’t have the time or energy to try to find answers to my questions. It was the worst job I’ve ever had, but the good news is that working for her and the “company” spurred me to finally go out on my own, so now I LOVE what I do, and can ask questions ANY time I want!

    Reply
    • HI Marquita,
      I’m so glad you finally stopped by. What a great story you’ve shared with us.
      So, asking questions is what finally spurred you on to be self-employed?
      That’s awesome. Keep on asking questions then. It’s working for you!

      Reply
    • Hi Marquita, thanks for sharing that amazing story with us, it’s always interesting to hear about the different reactions people have.

      It’s a shame your employer didn’t feel up to asking questions, otherwise they may have found themselves in new and interesting grounds :-)
      Stuart recently posted..15 Bloggers Who Deserve Some Love

      Reply

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