These 5 Questions Are a Guide for a Rich and Full Life

I came across a video recently. Dean James Ryan during his speech at the 2016 Harvard Graduate School of Education Presentation of Diplomas and Certificates posed 5 Essential Questions in Life. I love his advice as a guide to living a rich and full life.

I’ve summarized his speech for you here, but I encourage you to listen for yourself - video at end of post. 

  1. Wait, what?

Ask for clarification and understanding. Ask before drawing conclusions or making a decision. Understanding before advocacy.

ROOT OF ALL UNDERSTANDING

  1. I wonder why / if?

Remain curious about the world and how you might improve it.

HEART OF ALL CURIOSITY

  1. Couldn’t we at least?

Enables you to get unstuck and past disagreement to a consensus, even if strategy is different.

BEGINNING OF ALL PROGRESS

  1. How can I help?

Ask with humility and need for direction when helping others. This acknowledges that everyone knows what they need and that you can be helped as much as helped. It rids you of the savior complex and empowers everyone.

BASE OF ALL GOOD RELATIONSHIPS

  1. What truly matters?

Forces you to get to the heart of your own beliefs and convictions.

GETS YOU TO THE HEART OF LIFE

 

BONUS QUESTION

And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? This is from “Late Fragments” by Raymond Carver

“Late Fragment”

And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.

Road Signs

 

Gratitude to Betty Healy for sharing James Ryan’s 5 Essential Questions in one of her newsletters. Betty is the author of several books including “roadSigns Travel Tips for Authentic Living”

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