Open questions for the year ahead

jasonleow  •  5 Jan 2022   •  

I always enjoyed asking a great question more than finding a great answer. There’s something about questions that gives more benefits over answers:

A great question triggers new thinking even if it stays the same.
A great question challenges assumptions about what you know.
A great question always push something forward—a conversation, a debate, an experiment—than an answer which usually close something.

I just saw a writing practice by @dickiebush that uses the power of questions as a form of journaling, instead of simply journaling. Here’s how:

My favorite way to start the month is to create an “open questions” list. I write down 10 questions I don’t have the answer to - general uncertainties about the month ahead. 95% of what weighs on me comes from these uncertainties, so it’s helpful to capture them on paper.

These are the first questions I review at the end of the month. I’m always surprised to see how many of those uncertainties ended up being trivial or sorted themselves out on their own.

And it’s also a running ledger of “growth” since 90% of growth is facing uncertainty. You can do this on different timescales too. I did it for the year ahead— and it was over 30 questions long. Can’t wait to revisit them at the end of the year. And the most powerful part is looking back at your open questions from a few years ago and realizing how almost every single one of them did not matter at all.

@dickiebush

I love this exercise, so here’s my attempt at it. All my fears, concerns, aspirations and wishes in the form of open questions for the year ahead:

• Will I live up to the year with alacrity?
• How long will I take to hit $200 MRR?
• Will I ever hit $5k revenue in my life?
• Will I ever make enough money off my products to support my lifestyle and family?
• What other products can I make?
• What other products do I want to make?
• What’s my next big thing?
• What’s my next product for tech for good?
• Do I still have what it takes to create something profitable and popular?
• When will I embody a wealth mindset?
• Do I have what it takes to get rich?
• Will I be able to grow my savings back to what it was?
• When will I finally get over myself about investing?
• Will I ever nail my sleep to 90% consistently?
• Can I ever get back to a fitness level of my 20s or 30s?
• How do I bring familyhood to the next level?
• When will things go back to normal?
• When can we travel again?
• What’s my spiritual path like ahead?
• Will I ever go on retreats again?
• When will I finally feel like I’m thriving, not surviving?

It’ll be great to review these questions from time to time, and especially at the end of the year! Looking forward.

Onwards.

Comments