What are the Key Questions of life?
Immanuel Kant. The great philosopher, Immanuel Kant, reduced the big questions to four: "Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? And, what is the meaning and value of my life?"
Shakespeare. For William Shakespeare's Hamlet, it was, "To be or not to be?" And, it is true that you have to will to be.
Hippocrates says, Life is short. Art is long... It begs the question, "How do I make my life more of an art?" Yet, the actual comment by Hipocrates is: Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile. Translation: Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment dangerous, judgment difficult.” He has an entire philosophy of life in this pithy comment known as an aphorism.
It is your turn. So, begin with Hippocrates' first two comments. Most of us over 50 would agree that life is short. To give it breadth, depth, and length (duration), we could try to make it an art. Yet, what is art? And then, perhaps each of us should ask ourselves, "What is my art?"
The practical. Some people ask rhetorically, "Isn't life just one big problem solving exercise?" And, it does seems to be true that if you are not solving the problems, then you are probably part of the problems.
Your questions are the most important.
1. Cultivate your questions. Get a journal, a blank book, and cultivate all your questions about yourself, about others, and about life. Write them down.
Now, on each page, begin to answer the questions. That is your primary blank book. Make the first ten pages, MY KEY QUESTIONS.
All of us should be cultivating 100-to-200 key questions about life. Start secondary blank books for your more detailed answers to each of your biggest questions. Within a year begin highlighting what you believe are the most important questions and answers.
Yes, you are now writing your life story.
2. Cultivate your answers. Your answers are the most important part of your being. Cultivate them. Ask secondary questions. Go deeper. Leave no stone unturned. Seek out experts and mentors.
3. Do not be afraid to ask the most difficult questions. Surely we all should add Immanuel Kant's four basic questions to our list. These are lifelong questions that need to be reviewed frequently, and certainly annually.
4. Usually the answers do not change, the depth of the questions do. You change and evolve because you take more into your being. You take more into your will to live. Answers to questions do transform and move people into deeper, higher, brighter, and even sometimes darker spaces. It is OK to learn about one's darkside so light can be brought to the details and the darkness will never be quite so dark again.