“Why is ______ important to you?” the facilitator asked each person in the group. A seemingly simple question, yet with potentially significant ramifications.
Imagine if you will that every time you were in a conversation with another person you genuinely inquired of them, “Please share with me why ____ is important to you.” My experience is we far too often show up in conversations with our own set of assumptions, opinions, perspective that we project on the other person rather being in a position of intentional wonder.
Likewise, what if prior to sharing our own opinions and perspective we spend a little time reflecting on why ____is important to us. I confess that I can find myself deep in a conversation where I have landed on a point of view that I will hold to on with white knuckles, not really taking a moment to think why is ____important to me…and is it really? Or is it actually a held view of others that I have hitched my wagon to?
Yet here’s the thing, in my experience – once you GENUINELY inquire from the other person why ____ is important – and – intentionally spend time reflecting on what is ACTUALLY important for you it can literally change everything.
Here are a few of my favorite examples:
“Life’s most important and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically – kind, fair, true, generous – but to be that time after time, you need courage.” – Maya Angelou
“The most important personal questions… “Who am I? What am I?” – Howard Thurman
“The important thing is not to think much, but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love.”
– St. Teresa of Avila