- Thoughts for inspired living

October 19, 2009

Answer The Question

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:41 am

I was talking with my friend, Ned the other day and something just popped out in the conversation that I had never noticed before. Ned is writing a book and we were talking about the creative process and how different people tap into it.

I mentioned a popular writer who sets a time aside each day to write. He says that sometimes he gets a line or two and other times whole chapters. His technique is setting aside the time.

Then I mentioned a method that I use quite often. It’s the employment of opposites. It was a technique I learned from Jerry Stocking. I imagine that I have nothing to write and then I imagine the opposite – that I’m overflowing with ideas. Then I bring those opposite poles closer together and out of that combination comes an idea.

Then I mentioned a technique that I use that I really hadn’t given consideration to before. It’s something I do that I didn’t realize I did. Sometimes in the middle of writing something, a question will come up – one that I have no clue as to what the answer is. Then I just go and answer it. I have been astonished at what comes out of this process.

Oftentimes it’s a burst of creativity that I have nothing to do with. It just kind of writes itself. There is not any pondering involved. I ask the question and then trust that there’s a part of me that knows the answer and proceed to touch the keys on the keyboard.

This personal discovery reinforced the power of the question with me.

The watering down of this creative process is something we all do too much of – by thinking of the answer.

Thinking is the bane of creativity. One of the most memorable proverbs ever written is: “He who hesitates is lost.” You can easily substitute the word “thinks” into this phrase of wisdom and get the same result.

I’m not suggesting a snap judgement, just no judgement at all.

Ask yourself a question and then, without any thought, answer it. What comes out may surprise you AND get you unstuck.

Thinking keeps us stuck with the same thoughts. I’ve quoted him before but it bears re-mentioning here. Philosopher, Alan Watts said:

“If I think all the time, I won’t have anything to think about except my own thoughts. Now, that would leave me high and dry, and I would become like a library to which the only books being added were books about the books that were already in it.”

Discover the power of the question today by answering the question. The magic is in the action of answering, not the side road of diversion called thinking.

What you are likely to find are answers that were blocked by the limited view of the rational mind – answers that come from a place of all points of view unencumbered by thinking.

It’s a simple strategy that bears unexpected fruit – just answer the question!

All the best,




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  1. […] wrote a blog post the other day called “Answer The Question.” It was a piece about self inquiry. I followed my own advice and answered a question. The […]

    Pingback by Grasshopper Notes Blog » Ask — October 21, 2009 @ 8:59 am

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