Monday, January 31, 2011

20 Questions Part 1

My responses to this article in O Magazine:
20 Questions That Could Change Your Life
Finding the answers starts with posing the right questions—and Martha Beck has 20 to get you started.
By Martha Beck


1. What questions should I be asking myself?
" It creates an alert, thoughtful mind state, ideal for ferreting out the information you most need in every situation. Ask it frequently."

So, this question is for use in various situations. It reminds me of lesson planning. When I think about a project and the information I want my students to understand I think about what questions they will have. I think about past students and where they ran into trouble and I think about the students I currently have. Basically I ask myself questions as if I were the student.

2. Is this what I want to be doing?
" Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you're doing. If the answer is no, start noticing what you'd prefer. Thus begins the revolution."

"Doing" usually makes me, and probably others, think "job" or "career." That's not necessarily what this question means to me. What about when I'm looking in the fridge and I'm not really hungry or I'm staying online past 10 pm? Those are definitely times I should ask myself this question. Another great moment for this question is when I'm losing my temper with my kids.

3. Why worry?
" Worry rarely leads to positive action; it's just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it."

My game is "What's the worst that can happen?" When I answer that question, I don't worry so much.

4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than I like {people}?
Feel free to switch out the words in brackets... But forcing "virtues"—trying to like people more than cupcakes—drives us to vices that offer false freedom from oppression. Stop trying to like the things you don't like, and many vices will disappear on their own.

How's this one: Why do I like sleeping late more than being productive in the morning?
My answer: I am productive in the morning when I have to be. When I don't have to be, let myself enjoy sleeping late. Works for me!

5. How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?
" Maybe you know you're here to create worldwide prosperity, a beautiful family, or one really excellent bagel. If your impressions are more vague, keep asking this question. Eventually you'll glimpse clearer outlines of your destiny. Live by design, not by accident."

I like the last sentence. It reminds me of my attempt at meditation last night. Meditation is about leading the mind instead of letting the mind lead you. I've always been a go with the flow gal, but I've done what I've wanted as well. I want my family tree to grow and flourish and not be ridden with disease and despair. My example to my children and that which I teach them can be passed on to their own children and so on. Disease doesn't have to plague families!

6. How do I want to be different because I lived in this world?
" What experiences do you want to have during your brief sojourn here? Make a list. Make a vision board. Make a promise. This won't control your future, but it will shape it."

I want to be involved and I want to enjoy the experiences I have. I think I'm doing that, but I can always do more and join more. Change keeps you "young" and I have had a lot of changes in my life. I plan to keep them coming.

7. Are {vegans} better people?
"Again, it doesn't have to be vegans; the brackets are for you to fill in. Substitute the virtue squad that makes you feel worst about yourself, the one you'll never have the discipline to join, whether it's ultra-marathoners or mothers who never raise their voices. Whatever group you're asking about, the answer to this question is no."

I kept this entire quote intact. The answer is no! Vegans is actually a really great fill-in-the-bracket for me because, as you know, I cook a lot of vegan food and eat vegan most of the time. BUT I'm not vegan. Nope. I eat eggs and goat cheese and sometimes salmon. I still think of myself as vegan, though, because I prepare so much vegan food for my family.

Another good one: Are older, wiser mothers better mothers? Or, the one from the quote: Are mothers who never yell or spank better people? No and no. I do the best I can and I am ALWAYS pushing myself to be better, to be more patient, to be more understanding.

8. What is my body telling me?
" The body knows better. It's a wise, capable creature. It recoils from what's bad for us, and leans into what's good. Let it."

My body used to tell me it was sick. I finally listened and continue to try to do so. It's not easy.

9. How much junk could a chic chick chuck if a chic chick could chuck junk?
"I believe this question was originally posed by Lao Tzu, who also wrote, 'To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.'"

I can ALWAYS get rid of things. I usually have a bag or box of things to donate sitting by the front door. I like knowing what I have, especially when it comes to clothes and shoes. If I don't wear it, don't like it, if it doesn't fit right, I get it out.

10. What's so funny?
"Adults tend to put this question to children in a homicidal-sounding snarl, which is probably why as you grew up, your laughter rate dropped from 400 times a day (for toddlers) to the grown-up daily average of 15. Regain your youth by laughing at every possible situation."

Ha! Truthfully, giggling and joking around is one of the most endearing and annoying things about little kids, especially in a classroom situation. I do love cracking up with my own children though. I also find teenagers thoroughly entertaining and I do chuckle a lot during my work days.

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