The answer is always in the question
Have you ever played with a Rubik’s Cube? Ever actually solved one?
As I’m sure you know, there’s a formula that enables you to solve a Rubik’s Cube quickly, every time, no matter how it’s configured.
But imagine the Rubik’s Cube was in a box and you had to insert your hands into the box and try to solve the cube without being able to see it.
If you can see the cube, you at least have a chance. If you know the formula, it’s a slam dunk.
What if life was like having an endless series of Rubik’s Cubes to solve, and the more you solve the more you progress?
Step one would be to see each cube, and step two would be to learn the formula for solving it.
If you can’t see the cube, it’s impossible to solve. If you don’t know the formula, it’s possible to solve, but it’s crazy hard and it takes forever. (In a 3x3 Rubik’s Cube there are 42 quintillion possible configurations but only one correct solution.)
But if you can see the cube and you know the formula for solving it, life becomes a cinch.
You ready to play the game? I’m going to reveal your first Rubik’s Cube.
First, answer this question: What is the greatest source of dissatisfaction in your life right now?
Write down your answer.
Seriously. If you want to experience a major breakthrough for this issue, don’t proceed until you’ve written down your answer.
Now write your answer to this question: If you could ask God just ONE question about this problem — and you were guaranteed to get an answer — what would that question be?
Have you written it down?
That question is your first Rubik’s Cube to solve. Assuming you actually thought it through and wrote it down, you’ve taken it out of the box of your subconscious mind and revealed it to your conscious mind. You can now see it, play with it, and analyze it.
The Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco said,
“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”
If a question were a Rubik’s Cube, the answer is not the solution. Rather, the solution is a proper understanding of the question itself.
For as author Ursula K. Le Guin said,
“There are no right answers to wrong questions.”
Now that you see your Rubik’s cube, I’m going to give you the formula for solving it.
It sounds so simple that you’ll probably read past it without fully understanding its profound implications. So do yourself a favor and pay attention.
The formula is this:
1. Identify the assumptions embedded within the question.
2. Then, analyze the assumptions and ask of each of them, Is this true? Then, If not, what is true? What am I missing?
Let me show you what I mean.
As an answer to a recent survey I put out, one woman said her burning question was: “What am I supposed to do with my life and am I meant to be prosperous?”
I have no idea what the answer is for her. But I’m far more interested in the assumptions embedded within her question.
I find no less than six assumptions underlying her question:
- I’m not currently on track/doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
- There is something I’m supposed to do with my life. In other words, purpose is a matter of destiny, versus choice.
- I am supposed to do something (as opposed to waiting for God to do something or waiting for something to naturally unfold, etc.).
- I am supposed to do something (as opposed to waiting, recognizing I’m already on track, etc.).
- I am currently not prosperous.
- Prosperity is a matter of fate/destiny. (Am I meant to be prosperous? is a much different question than, How can I create prosperity? or Should I create more prosperity? or Do I want to be more prosperous?)
Once you’ve identified the assumptions embedded within your question, you can ask of each, “Is this true?”
As you turn the pivots of the cube with this question, you get closer and closer to the solution.
Mind you, the solution is not in finding the answer to the question, but in gaining insight into the subconscious thought patterns that create the question. The answer itself is far less valuable than seeing and understanding the assumptions within the question.
English art critic John Ruskin said,
“To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered.”
I would clarify this by saying to be able to analyze a question thoroughly gives you more important insights than the question itself.
Author Edward Hodnett said,
“If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer.”
If you know the formula, asking a question in the wrong way also points its way to its own answer. More precisely, clearly realizing you’ve asked the wrong question gives you far more insight than finding an answer.
An answer to the wrong question is not the solution that will propel your life forward. Understanding the question itself — and how and why you’ve asked it — is the key to the breakthrough you seek.