My friend Brent told me about a conversation he had with a wildly smart man who specializes in artificial intelligence.
With everything this man knew, Brent asked him what this man felt was the most important thing he was teaching his daughters to succeed as they grow up in a culture where big data, artificial intelligence and block chain are becoming the next thing to dominate the world.
What did this man think was the most important skill his daughters could have?
The man responded without missing a beat, “The ability to ask really good questions.”
Asking the right questions. It’s the best answer I’ve found.
There’s nothing more important in making momentum in our lives than the questions we are asking.
Which is why I’ve spent the last 12 years researching, and the last three years writing my new book 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties, (and let’s be honest, your thirties too).
First, why are the right questions so important and why do we need to be asking them now?
The Defining Decade of Our Lives
As Dr. Meg Jay so aptly defined, our twenties are the “defining decade” of our lives. We are setting the course for our future.
Yet, for years in my twenties I felt like my ship was sailing around in circles, colliding with every iceberg out there.
I think we’re all looking for meaningful answers in our twenties and thirties. But if we’re not asking the right questions, then the answers will take us further away.
Our twenties and thirties aren’t about them going as we planned. But how we adapt, change, and grow when they don’t. – 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties (and let’s be honest, your thirties too)
Being successful in your twenties is about being purposeful in the process.
Asking the right questions are your secret sauce to adapting and moving further into your purpose, instead of further away, like most.
As Jeff Boss writes in Forbes,
Nothing has such power to cause a complete mental turnaround as that of a question.
Asking the right questions is the only way to point your ship in the right direction before you start sailing.
If your journey starts with faulty premises and incomplete answers, then you’ll end up traveling far off course, becoming stranded on some piece of land like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, yelling at a volleyball that also happens to be your closest friend. It just doesn’t make much sense.
Good questions guide you along the journey as you constantly tack, pivot, and reconfigure as your journey goes further and deeper.
Don’t Let Life “Just Happen”
Most people let life just happen to them.
They never ask what they really want and how they’re going to get there, so they take that promotion for a job they never wanted in the first place.
They marry the wrong person because they weren’t asking the right questions about their relationship.
They become a one-hit wonder in front of a crowd one day, then the next, the bottom of the stage falls out and they go into hiding.
If you don’t start with good questions, and keep asking yourself these questions as you are called to adapt and change, how can you formulate any worthwhile answers?
And don’t get me wrong, this process isn’t always easy. It takes grit, honesty, and courage.
Some questions are asked and left unanswered. For years. Making you want to wear sweatpants all day and eat chocolate fried bacon. At work. For a month straight. It’s a confusing time of life.
An unanswered question doesn’t mean anything is wrong necessarily, it just means an answer may be yet to be determined. Our brain will begin to search for the answer when we ask a question, and that journey alone causes the growth that is needed to get where we need to go.
Yet, on the flipside, if we don’t ask ourselves these questions, we can fall into the trap of a complacent life where we become comfortable with feeling miserable because we didn’t want to ask ourselves any of the “hard” questions.
Your twenties and thirties will be covered in eraser marks and revisions. That’s how it’s supposed to be. – 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties
Failure only happens if you stop writing. When you give up on the next page, leaving it blank when the heart of your story was about to unfold.
When we start believing the voice of the critics and cynics who try to convince us that it shouldn’t matter that we want our work and life to matter—that’s the scariest place to be. That’s the path to slow death.
Do not be sorry for not being apologetic that you want your life to mean something. I believe we should live on purpose with purpose for a purpose.
How about you?
Let’s Live on Purpose With Purpose
If not now, when? If not you, than who?
My All Groan Up family, from the bottom of my heart, I believe my new book is coming to you at such a crucial, defining time in your life- your twenties and possibly your thirties.
I get so many emails from amazing readers who are asking me questions about how they get unstuck and get their life on track. I hear you. I’ve been there.
It’s a guide as you start taking those first strategic steps. It’s advice on relationships, career choices, pursuing a dream, finding your “signature sauce” and thriving in the ambiguity of grown up life.
Written and created with the same easy-to-read style and humor as my best-selling book 101 Secrets For Your Twenties, but this time we’re digging even deeper with 12 years of research and writing culminating into the most important questions everything twentysomething needs to be asking.
I really want you to grab a copy of 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties.
Not just so I can make money (which if you know about being published, you know it’s not exactly your ticket to the upper westside).
No, I want you to have this book because it’s the best gift, the most important resource, I could give you.