Advertising
Advertising

36 Quotes From Successful People About The Wisdom In Asking Questions

36 Quotes From Successful People About The Wisdom In Asking Questions

I was 7 years old when my grandfather died. That was the first time in my short life that I had come into contact with death. The questions came swirling in – what does death mean? Where did my grandfather go? His body’s still here, so why wasn’t he? What’s it like “up there” without a body? Where is “up there?” These were big questions for a small mind.

Over the years, I read a lot, wrote in my journal a lot – asked questions a lot. Is God real? Why do bad things happen to good people? Am I fated to a certain destiny or do I truly have free will to make my own choices in life?

Advertising

Strangely enough, I still don’t have solid answers for any of those questions, but what I’ve realized is that as I grow older, and as I’m hopefully getting wiser, my answers seem to change and get wiser too; I’m realizing that it’s more important to ask a question than to rush to answer it.

Advertising

Here are 36 wise souls who agree there’s wisdom in asking questions!

  1. “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” – Eugene Ionesco
  2. “Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.” – Euripedes
    lh1
    • “The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth.” – Peter Abelard
    • “The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” -Joseph Campbell
    • “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing. – Socrates
      Ask Questions -Socrates
      • “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” – Bruce Lee
      • “[…] The art of proposing a question must be held of higher value than solving it.” – Georg Cantor
      • “I questioned God’s silence. I don’t have an answer for that. Does it mean that I stopped having faith? No, I have faith, but I question it.” Elie Wiesel
      • “It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settling a question without debating it.” – Joseph Joubert
      • “The best scientists and explorers have the attributes of kids! They ask questions and have a sense of wonder. They have curiosity. ‘Who, what, where, why, when and how!’ They never stop asking questions, and I never stop asking questions, just like a five year old.” – Sylvia Earle
      • “A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?” – Albert Einstein
      • “I think that probably the most important thing about our education was that it taught us to question even those things we thought we knew.” – Thabo Mbeki
      • “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” – Francis Bacon
      • “Question everything. Every stripe, every star, every word spoken. Everything.” – Ernest Gaines
        Ask Questions -Ernest Gains
        • “Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson
        • “Fear is a question. What are you afraid of and why? Our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them.” – Marilyn French
        • “The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by the asking as it does by the answering.” – David Whyte
        • “We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” – Lloyd Alexander
        • “My investment of time, as an educator, in my judgment, is best served teaching people how to think about the world around them. Teach them how to pose a question. How to judge whether one thing is true versus the other.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
        • He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.” – Voltaire
        • “Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.” – Paul Tillich
        • “The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.” – Ruby Dee
          Ask Questions -Ruby Dee
          • “In all my affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” – Bertrand Russell
          • “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” – W. Edwards Deming
          • “That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.” – Jacob Bronowski
          • “A wise man’s question contains half the answer.” – Solomon Ibn Gabirol
            Ask Questions -Solomon Ibn Gabriol
            • “Every man ought to be inquisitive through every hour of his great adventure down to the day when he shall no longer cast a shadow in the sun. For if he dies without a question in his heart, what excuse is there for his continuance?” – Frank Moore Colby
            • “We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.” – James Stephens
            • “Whence come I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question, the same for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.” – Max Planck
            • “Learn avidly. Question repeatedly what you have learned. Analyze it carefully. Then put what you have learned into practice intelligently.” – Edward Cocker
            • “A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.” – John Ciardi
            • “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.” – E. E. Cummings
            • “Life is an unanswered question, but let’s still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.” – Tennessee Williams
            • “We want to answer this classical question, who am I? So I think that most of our works are for art, or whatever we do, including science or religion, tried to answer that question.” – Paulo Coelho
            • “It is not enough for me to ask the question; I want to know how to answer the one question that seems to encompass everything I face: What am I here for?” – Abraham Joshua-Heschel

            And my personal favorite:

            36. “Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

            Advertising

            Ask Questions -Rilke

              Featured photo credit: Saiisha via NestInTheForest.com

              Advertising

              More by this author

              Maybe You’re An Old Soul If You Can Relate To These 11 Signs 36 Quotes From Successful People About The Wisdom In Asking Questions 7 Vedic Practices of Highly Successful People 10 Ayurvedic Things To Do So You Wake Up Feeling Fresher Than Ever 40 short books for commuting 40 Short Books To Read That Will Make Your Commuting Meaningful

              Trending in Productivity

              1 How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time 2 7 Ways to Leverage Your Time to Increase Your Productivity 3 What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity) 4 How to Master Delayed Gratification to Control Your Impulses 5 8 Essential Project Management Skills for Productive Work

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on August 4, 2020

              How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time

              How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time

              Standing at the front of the room, your heart is pounding as people stroll in, and you’ve been up since 5 am rehearsing. You’ve spent weeks preparing for this moment. Your slides are perfect, and you’ve memorized your talk.

              As the clock shows 9:30, you begin with a customary “good morning” and then zilch. Nothing. Your mind goes blank. Suddenly, time seems to stop. Everything goes into slow motion, and you can feel your face begin to burn.

              For anyone who has done presentations in front of a live audience, freezing at the wrong time is a nightmare waiting to happen, and when it does, if feels like time has frozen. The feeling of helplessness drags on, and you just wish the clock would fast forward so you can escape from the nightmare.

              Of course, the reality is that time does not speed up or slow down. Time is constant; only our perception of passing time changes[1]. This is a good thing, too. What is happening is that your fight or flight response is kicking in, and you have become hyper-aware of your situation. Your brain is recognizing you are in danger and responding in the best way it knows how.

              This perceived slowing down of time is an illusion[2]. It is your brain creating and processing more memories of your current environment and searching out the threat it has detected. It’s searching for the predator that has decided you look like an exquisite meal, and it is doing this incredibly fast — much faster than it typically would. It is how we protect ourselves, and, in most cases, it is a beneficial response.

              However, in many cases, it can be torturous to be in this situation, feeling helpless and frozen and being hyper-aware of our unfortunate situation. So what can you do to speed up the perception of time?

              Advertising

              1. Have a Backup Plan

              If you cast your mind back to the situation at the start of this article, your brain has frozen and your carefully crafted words are lost somewhere inside your head: What do you do? Most people panic, and, despite their careful preparation and rehearsal, one part they did not rehearse is when or if something goes wrong.

              Freezing on stage can happen to even the most seasoned presenter, and having a script or a set of queue cards on hand can quickly refresh/reboot your brain to get you back on track and avoid the torturous feeling of being in a slow-motion crash.

              Steve Jobs was a very experienced presenter. One of the best. Yet even though his preparation was meticulous — often taking as much as six months to put together a keynote presentation — things still went wrong. In this famous clip of a keynote Steve Jobs gave back in 2010, the WIFI network was very slow. When you watch the clip, it feels like it goes on forever, yet it only lasts around two and a half minutes. For a presentation that lasted about two hours, two and a half minutes is around two per cent. Not at all long, yet for Steve Jobs and the audience, the whole incident felt a lot longer.

              Fortunately, as a seasoned presenter, Steve Jobs broke the tension and the feeling that time was slowing down by using humor and eventually moving on to the next part of the keynote. He had a backup, and his backup was to quickly, and without fuss, move on to the next segment.

              Always have a backup plan and an exit strategy. Be prepared for the worst and be ready to switch to your backup plan if things do go wrong.

              2. Focus on What You Have Control Over

              You have control over three things: your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions. Nothing else. You cannot control events, how other people judge you, or whether another person will get upset by what you say or do.

              Advertising

              Most bad days are a result of the way we react to something we have no control over. A client takes their business to your rival. You had no control over that. That was a decision your client made based on a set of circumstances and the way they felt about those circumstances. The only control you have in this situation is how you feel about losing a client. You could be angry; you might look around for someone to blame or for an excuse. But in the end, none of that will change the fact you no longer serve that client.

              In these situations, always begin by reminding yourself about what you have control over. Are there any positive action steps you can take that will solve the problem? Are you allowing your emotions to influence your mood? Are you thinking negatively or positively about this situation?

              In all these scenarios, you can instantly decide to change your thoughts, your feelings, and the action you take. You have to make that decision.

              If you do lose an important client, and there is no solution, you can use the experience to learn. Use it as an opportunity to analyze what went wrong and implement changes to the way you do things that minimize the chances of a similar situation happening with your other clients in the future.

              Dwelling on the loss will prolong your suffering, slowing down perceived time and making you feel dreadful. Using the situation to learn from your mistakes will help you to get back on track and keep time moving forward at a pace you are satisfied with.

              3. Take Full Responsibility for the Situation

              Accepting full responsibility for your life allows you to overcome adversity and difficulties. While a massive viral pandemic may not be your fault, what you do in the circumstances is your responsibility.

              Advertising

              Being in lockdown, where you must remain in your home, is something beyond your control (see number 2), but what you do with your time, how you manage your work, and how you maintain your health is your responsibility.

              Governments may order you to stay at home, but what you do with your time while you are at home is something you are responsible for.

              In these situations, you have a choice. Use the extra time you have positively, or pass responsibility for your life to the daily negative news cycles.

              When you take responsibility for your life, you take back control[3].

              Complaining about the situation only ensures you stay stuck in the same miserable place. Accepting responsibility for your life gives you so many more options.

              You could take that online course you have been thinking about doing, or paint that picture you have wanted to do for years. You could clean out your old clothes, do the spring cleaning, or clear out your garage. There are hundreds of things you could do that, before this global pandemic, you always complained you had no time for. Now you do have time.

              Advertising

              Busying yourself with these tasks turns any bad situation into an opportunity, and time will no longer seem such a drudge; instead, it will feel like a godsend.

              Key Takeaways

              There are many inevitabilities in life. One of those inevitabilities is that you will have bad times. Dwelling on your lousy situation, complaining, and reliving the experience over and over will only cause time to slow down perceptually.

              Accepting the inevitable, approaching it with a “cest la vie” mindset. and looking for the positives will soon pull you away from the difficult times and back to more fertile areas where you can thrive and grow, and time will begin to feel much faster.

              More to Make Hard Times Go By Easier

              Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

              Reference

              Read Next