The Answers Don’t Matter

We grow up in a world where the importance of the ‘right’ answer is reinforced constantly. Our education shapes us and we take what we learn (well, some of it at least) to the working world.

Call it ‘figuring it out’ or ‘cracking the nut’, that’s what the smartest students do best. See a question. Identify the kind of problem. Recall a formula or method used before. Solve the answer. Well done. That’s very smart.

It’s all about the answers. It’s all about solving problems. And it’s a skill we generally pick up, to varying degrees of excellence. Then, depending on the kind of career we are on, we probably problem solve and analyse our way up. That’s when we hit the big wall.

We suddenly find out that the process of finding an answer doesn’t really matter. The answer? Even less so.

To climb the wall, we need to do something we haven’t done for a long time – ask the right questions. That’s where real value is. That’s where the magic lies.

Great answers never change lives. Great questions do. Questions lead. Answers follow.

As kids, we get this right. We ask many questions. And then, over time, we stop asking them as we get sucked into the illusion of finding answers. Perhaps that stems from our human need for (the illusion of) control. Answers close out all the possibilities and leave us with one option.

The reality, of course, is that the possibilities are endless. And what we do and where we go depends entirely on the questions we ask.

Thank god Newton paused to ask a question while he amidst answering some..