FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS are an efficient solution for helping people get answers to online questions. Website creators assume what people want to ask and give their best shot at an answer.
But making assumptions—and not asking the right questions—about how you should do life is a sure pathway to uninspired normalcy.
As I’ve said elsewhere, there’s nothing wrong with doing “normal”—until you don’t want to.
That’s when you need to know the right infrequently asked questions to ask about your life.
Money, work, relationships, hopes, and dreams all have a role, but no one of them offers the final answer to a satisfying life. You get real satisfaction only when they all come together.
That means if you just want one thing in life, IFQs aren’t so important.
If you want nothing more than to be rich no matter what, go ahead and run roughshod over family relationships to grab the gold.
If you intend to make a difference by gaining political power above all else, fine. Burn all the bridges you cross as you build new ones to your goal.
If having children will just get in the way of your personal freedom, by all means don’t have any.
But if you realize that life isn’t one dimensional and that you’ll have to make intelligent trade-offs to get the truly fulfilling life you want, you have to deal with the many moving parts of doing Different the right way.
Infrequently asked questions are the answer.
What’s Your IAQ Solution?
IAQs get you away from a singular focus on one part of life and sets each piece in the context of everything that matters to you. To see how this can work for you, try these five IAQs on for size.
1) Even though your new job opportunity promises more money and is an excellent career move, should you consider not accepting the position because it requires moving somewhere you don’t really want to go?
More money is great. But so is living in a place that means something to you. Although the common American default is to go where your best career step takes you, choosing not to move across the country and leaving family and friends behind represents a value of a different kind. There’s nothing shameful about considering the impact of a move on your most significant relationships—even if it results in less money, prestige, or whatever else you dream of getting out of the change.
2) Is the best thing for my preferred lifestyle to accept a higher paying job with more responsibility?
Maybe. But maybe not if it means a destructive amount of time away from family. You may be an important employee in your organization, but you’re the only father or mother to your children. They need you as Mommy or Daddy for just a handful of years—but there’s no do-over possible. The parenting-young-children season of life may mean putting off the lucrative opportunity till later.
3) If I want income security, is relying on just one employer for my living the best way to achieve it?
Most people think having a “steady job” is the route to financial security. Early in my self-employment career, though, I realized how much better it felt to know that I could have as many clients (i.e., income sources) as I could manage. How many people worry about losing their jobs—especially in these turbulent days? If you give up the job in exchange for your own pursuits, you become your own source of security. You discover what you can do for others that is worth their paying you for. Then your security lies in what you can produce for lots of people rather than in one organization willing to pay you to do it (for a while).
4) Is the frustration I feel with my routine supposed to tell me something?
Pain in our bodies tells us something is wrong that we need to fix. The same can be true of our emotional lives. If you’re in pain from some aspect of your life, stop and think about what needs to be fixed.
5) What new features are available for my life?
Same ol’ same ol’ might give you the satisfaction of being a “responsible adult” by enduring. But just because you’ve grown up, doesn’t mean you have to stop looking for new options. Becoming fulfilled by where you live, what you do for a living, how you grow spiritually, and more can become a great blessing to you and to the significant others around you.
Maybe the reason you infrequently run into people who are deeply satisfied with their lives is because they're afraid to ask the IFQs.
Don’t be one of them.
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©2020 Greg Webster. All rights reserved.