“How have you been? What have you been up to since we last talked?!” Asked José Antonio.
“I feel like my life has been marked by the questions I’m living into,” I replied. “Have you ever heard of Rainer Maria Rilke?
“Oh, yes, absolutely!” He said.
“Well, he has this fantastic quote, that talks about living the questions, which I’m sure you’ve heard,” I said.
“Yes, I have.”
“Well, my life and my business have been marked by the questions I’ve been living into.” I continued. “Currently the biggest questions are, how can I multiply Coach Cam’s impact to do more good in the world? And, how can I build Coach Cam into something bigger than just a one-man service-based business?”
Whether you know it or not, you have questions you’re living into—questions you’re asking yourself, consciously or not, about your life.
- They might be as simple as, how do I find a better job? Or how do I get more customers?
- They might be bigger like, how can I make this program better? How can I do what I do, better?
- They might even point to a larger purpose. How can we grow more food with less land and water? How do we end global poverty?
But many of us haven’t identified the questions we’re asking ourselves. We might be distantly aware of them, but we’re not crystal clear.
This isn’t much of a problem until challenge or uncertainty strikes. Unmoored to the intention and purpose of a compelling question, we struggle our way forward, drifting through the discomfort and uncertainty in this challenging sea we call life and business.
The key, I think, is to begin working to identifying the questions that you are asking yourself. If you can, work your way up the chain of questions and identify the biggest, most challenging and intriguing question you can ask.
Then live from that.
Author and coach Maria Nemeth captures this beautifully. “What is the question to which your life is the answer?” she says. What so endlessly frustrates, fascinates, flummoxes, intrigues, or interests you that, no matter what challenges you face, you would never quit your quest to answer it?
Because once you’ve identified the question to living into, the uncertainty no longer nags at you.
Instead, you’re able to name and claim what’s bothering you, and use it for fuel.
Everything changed when I identified the big question for me. It is this: How are some people able to create lives of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment while so many other live on a continuum of flirting with rehab to waking up with a sense of silent desperation? (i.e. What does it take to create a remarkable life?)
Everything I do is born of that question. It’s the slow-burning fire that compelled me follow a call to to become a coach, to write a book, to turn my life into an experiment to build a remarkable life - despite trying to quit countless times.
Knowing this question allows me to come back to it time and time again. It transforms doubt and uncertainty—my clear lack of knowledge of the answer—into an energy that pulls me forward.
What about you? What questions are you currently asking yourself?
What’s the biggest question you can ask yourself?
What is the question to which your life is the answer?
“I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. – Rainer Maria Rilke