There are always answers. We just have to be wise enough to ask the right questions.
NOTE: This post has been updated in 2020 and moved to here:
Asking the Right Questions is the Answer: 10 Things We Forget About Our Own Ignorance
Be present and have patience with everything that remains unexplained in your heart and mind. Try to love life’s questions. Like locked doors or like good books written in foreign languages, respect their nature. Don’t expect all the answers to come easy. They cannot be given to you right now because your present understanding isn’t ready yet. It’s a question of experiencing everything first. Right now you need to hold on to the questions – explore, learn, and live your life. Perhaps, as you do, you will gradually find yourself experiencing the answers you always wanted.
So with that said, which of the reminders above hit home the most? Why?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and insights with us.
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Photo by: Adrian
Every one of these points hits home with me in some way. Right now #7 resonates the most. I’ve been stuck where I am for too long. I often hold on too tightly to what’s comfortable and I really need to LET GO and GROW. It’s one of the main reasons I started reading your blog and book. And it’s also why I joined your course, which has really helped over the past two weeks. I am getting a better handle on myself, my emotions and my tendency to stick within the boundaries of “what I know.”
Marc Chernoff says
Hillary, it’s extremely inspiring to hear that our work is helping you make gradual progress. As you press forward, please ping us via the course email and let us know how we can assist you further (perhaps a coaching call if you have specific, personal questions).
I love getting your emails. They always provoke thought and move me forward.
This particular posting reminded me of a quote my dad used to repeat to me quite often:
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
Marc Chernoff says
That’s one of my favorite quotes too. Has been for years.
The most important questions are the ones you’ve never asked before.
Mike Beck says
#8. All my life I desired a close friendship or two. When i reflect on friends that have come and gone, I struggle with what happened that caused them to end. Then I met my personal trainer, a total stranger with whom I felt comfortable enough to pay him (which was so out of my comfort zone!) Immediately, we grew close, and remain so three years later. We are polar opposites in every single regard; financially, politically, spiritually, emotionally, yet we truly want to spend time together often, outside of the gym. Why? We respect each other at all times. I can’t imagine my life without him being part of it ten years from now. And everything he does inspires me to be my best, even when deep in argument because we don’t see eye-to-eye. He saved my life, and i can never fully repay the debt. He’s the best friend I always desired. It was worth the wait.
Marc Chernoff says
That is a beautiful story of friendship, Mike. Thank you for sharing it.
awwww! May you continue to nurture and grow in that relationship for many years.
Thanks for posting these helpful articles which sometimes back up one’s common sense or things which we may have thought of at different times, yet never taken the time to ‘put it all together’ as eloquently as yourselves. I am sure that (many) others appreciate the effort as much as I do.
#8. My wife does not respect me at all times and she does not inspire me to be a better person. She doesn’t even want to discuss my ideas.
Every time I read your relationship advice it seems to tell me I’m with the wrong person.
Marc Chernoff says
Andy, I’m truly sorry to hear about this. There are lots of intricate details that likely need to be looked at. We can assist you via a formal coaching call at some point soon if you’re interested. In the meantime, this article might give you some decent perspective: 4 Toxic Behaviors that Tear Couples Apart
After mustering up all my courage and finally approaching her, I was given a very polite cold shoulder by the woman of my dreams just last night. As little as I know about her, I answered yes to all three of those questions. My gut was already telling me there’s a reason for this beyond what I can understand right now, just be kind to myself carry on. Thank you for confirming the instinct.
we can’t always know why. . . or how. . . or what is going on in another’s life. . . I applaud you for reaching out and I pray that you will not let go of your dreams. There will be someone. . . who will be right. . . who is meant to be. . . some time. . . (Just not always on the timeline of our liking, right?)
I so enjoy your blog and FB posts. You both are souls that shine light for others to have hope there is greater in our lives.
At some point I was afraid to ask the question only because I was always felt to be ignorant or stupid, but my mind would never allow me to rest on seeking, observing others and just trying to piece it together on my own. As I continue to read I am finding more confidence with asking and growing.
I think that is why #8 stands out the most. I do not find many relationships that respect me, I find there are those that can act as if they like you, but respect is a different level. Those that I see that are the same person they were 10years ago saddens me, it is like they just got on the train of life and are riding it till the end, not getting off at stops and exploring those areas. I am always looking for others to inspire me, but in turn I look for ways to inspire others.
I’m stuck in a way that I don’t even understand who am I. Me and my hubby of 13 years in marriage we live like room mates. There’s no communication, no respect and I have this thing that I’m a christian and through my prayers he will change but his abusing me emotionally. You won’t see us walking or spending time together, he prefers friends more than me. At home his quite but out side his the one talking. We are both unemployed. When I start a business it doesn’t grow because I don’t have good Capital to start a business. I’m really stuck in life and I need your help. Does any have any advice?
Kathleen Welin says
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.
—- Iris DeMent, singer, songwriter
#3 I have had so many downs in my life from family, friends, and relationships. This comment also goes with #8. I met a man who yes to all the questions, and yet I have pushed him away. I see now there is a lot of unanswered questions from my past and its a cycle of sex and drinking that would cover the wounds and move on. I haven’t turned to either of these things because I don’t want to continue being unhappy. I want to open the door that’s destroyed my happiness within me. I carried a fear into our relationship which he couldn’t save me from. Although I lost a good person, I want to be happy and content enough to learn and change the way I face life’s lessons. Thank you Marc&Angel, I was on FB and came across this as a suggested post. I can’t wait to read your book!
Marc Chernoff says
Thank you for supporting our work, Roseanna. Please let us know what you think of our book. (Also, sending prayers of strength your way.)
Life’s Questions personally and professionally are some really good fodder for growth. Looking at number 4 (If someone can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about how they answer you.) seems to be one of the most important – not only from a personal point of view but a professional point of view. Passive aggressive dysfunction has become more and more prevalent and if we squarely face these toxic relationships and do our best to eradicate them from our lives, the rest falls into place. One must be super brave to do this because these folks that get you to ask the wrong questions and derail focus are typically very beguiling and hypnotic. They are victimized, persecuted, and dysfunctional, and, when they are “experts” at engaging everyone around them in their web they are extremely dangerous to personal and professional growth. Love this blog – great stuff – carry on Marc and Angel and thanks for all your great work!
#8. . .
This year will mark 29 years of marriage to the most wonderful person.
But if you asked me 15 years ago – when we were both at different stages of our lives, busy with work and caring for children – I bet we’d both have answered that down the road we just might wanna be with someone else.
What got us through that thicker time? Determination. Resolve. It started with hugging – longer than felt comfortable. On days when we didn’t feel like hugging. On days when it felt repulsive to even touch or be next to one another. We had decided that we had loved each other in the beginning and knew we had too much to let go of at that point, so we hugged. Every day a little longer. Every other good thing that happened after that period I will attribute to that simple act.
Don’t give up hope. If there was enough to bring you together – there’s enough to bring back. Nurture it.
Ayush Bahuguna says
I’d like to add something.
When you are trying to find out the answer or the solution, then always start with the fundamentals. Fundamentals will never go wrong.
Fundamentals are things that are true, nothing can change them.
For example, if you don’t know what kind of work you should do then the fundamental thing is that you will do it the best that what you love to do. It’ll make it easier for you. You now know that you have to look for that what you love to do.
I learned it from Elon Musk, he spoke of it in an interview.
I thought somebody here could make use of it.
Marc Chernoff says
Excellent perspective, Ayush. Thanks for sharing.
For me it was #10. I have to live through the experience to understand the purpose. Be patient and present. Thanks.
Laura J. Tong says
Doug moore says
Sounds like you are a CIM student as I am. You both come from the heart.
thank you again.
Susan Lowe says
Just love you guys.
I am at a big turning point in my life
which will either
be brilliant or a total disaster.
In a few hours, we’ll just see.
Best Wishes and God Bless you
for the wonderful messages of hope.
I wish y’all would add a like button. I don’t really talk on forums, but i do appreciate y’alls prospectives very much. I read one of these everyday. For me, y’all give the best life guided advice i’ve ever read on the whole internet. Thank you, Marc & Angel.
#3 and #5 do hit the mark. it describes the world that I grew up in and got away from. if one didn’t conform and you left, you get shunned. you become the prodigal son or daughter. everyone hopes and prayers that you come to your senses. they hope you return with your old faith in the religion renew. as of old you guys have indeed helped me out a lot. I’m grateful to you both for the sound life advice. keep up the good work.
Another brilliant article, it made me realize that instead of always looking for the answers it might be better to understand the questions. #6 really resonated with me – At the end of the day, the questions you ask of yourself determine the type of person you will become. Thank you!
These questions really remind of the problems we currently have in Germany. The problem is not that there are so many refugees, but the people who are ignorant and too comfortable with what they know.
Erza Scarlet says
hello marcandangel…. i’m a 16 year old girl from india.. I always read your bolg whenever i am in low mood or hav any doubts regarding my life… can you solve one problem for me ? I am too shy to mix with people.. sometimes they would laugh at me…people say i am introvert….. i feel nervous whenever i mix with someone…and really had bad times facing EXAMINATIONS!! can you please suggest what should i do for that ? what can i do to have my confidence?
thank you and always as i say it to people ” STAY UNIQUE”….please do answer my question…
Marc Chernoff says
Have you read these two articles? They may give you some confidence-boosting perspective:
1. 10 Toxic Behaviors that Kill Your Confidence
2. 20 Self-Confidence Traps Holding Smart People Back
Shiela Docusin says
I’m in #3, I’d like to read books and wanted to learn more about the other things that I’d never known before , because I don’t have enough money to buy a book and even a friend where I can borrow. And I am not that kind of a person who keep asking questions, ’cause I believe in myself that I’m right but I’m not.
For all of my mistakes, I’ve learned a lot; now I started to ask questions and listen to some of the people’s opinion or advises..
All what I need is a confidence.
Thank you for your help Marc and Angel.
God bless you!
He treats me with respect at all times , if he remains the exact same person ten years from now, I would you still want to be in a relationship with him , he does inspire me to be a better human being and thank u so much for letting me know I’ve found a relationship worth having.
I’m Shalu from Nepal ( actually very far from where u r) n I’ve been following U guys since few months. I have to say I m truly so glad to join u. Everything is just so inspiring about what u write and thank u so much..
Marc Chernoff says
Welcome Shalu! Thank you for the kindness.
And yes, Nepal is a long way from South Florida.
Charisse Tyson says
Thanks for sharing so many uplifting and positive posts. We can all improve and should continue growing until God takes us home. Your posts inspire people to come up higher. God bless you two.
#8 sticks with me. The answer to all three is “no” and has been for a long time… but I still can’t let go. Maybe I’m just hoping one day it’ll be “yes.”
Scott Jasper says
There is a lot to ponder there. I think the first one “Many of the biggest misunderstandings in life could be avoided if we would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”’ is pretty much the concept behind reframing in NLP. We have context or content reframes which are so useful in therapy and everyday life.
Have just found your blog. Wow. #8 above resonates with me. Had an “epiphany” yesterday. Anyone who wants me to spend my time on something which will NOT benefit me, but only the other person, may be covert aggressive personality disordered, and therefore not someone with whom I want to spend any further time. I have many long stories, too long to go into here, but thank you for your insights, and I will be exploring your archives. Best wishes from a 75 year old lifelong student!