Sunday Best – November 11, 2018

Asking the right question is much more important than finding the solution.     – Brian Arthur


Our professional worlds are increasingly silo-ed, and so if you are not a scientist yourself the odds are high that you don’t get to spend much time with scientists. This is one reason for my longstanding affiliation with the Santa Fe Institute, where some of the best scientific minds of our time are constantly in community.

I could go on and on about the science at SFI (and have, many times), but what is just as fascinating is the way that this kind of interconnected, creative research also illuminates humans, with all of our glory and all of our smallness.

Asking a different question requires courage.

Asking a different question requires trust.

Asking a different question requires quiet.

Asking a different question requires patience.

Dear friends, whatever we are working on today, whether an inner question or an outer one, instead of racing to an answer, could we pause to ask a different question? Maybe a better one? (If all else fails, a simple “why?” can go a long way.)

These new questions might not have quick and tidy answers, but they can help to set us on better, more rewarding paths of inquiry.

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