Garlic and other things that eke out of you!

At a recent job interview I was asked to share the three most important things in my life and why. The interviewer pre-empted the conversation by clarifying there were no wrong answers. It was a means of getting to know me and what matters to me.

My responses came quickly to mind. The first two made sense immediately but the third was an interesting self-revelation.

The why for each took more time to consider as life experiences, changing contexts and time have both shaped and deepened my understanding of what is important to me.

Curiosity aroused. I genuinely want to hear how others answer this question. What is most important? Why?

And take the next personal growth step: What would those who know me well, say is most important to me?

That’s a ‘mirror’ question, a vulnerable moment of checking whether what I say, and how I live, are congruent.  Do I really live out of what I say is important to me, or does my everyday life, decisions and activities show something very different?

It’s like when you are on a peak hour crowded train squished next to a person who has recently consumed a garlic infused meal. It’s eking out of them if you know what I mean.  What’s really important to us is obvious to everyone around us even though we may well be oblivious.

“The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin”
― Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train

Over the next few weeks of blogging, I’ll unpack what is important to me and why. I won’t mention them now, as I do not want to distract from the impact of the question on you.

Your response is the one that matters and as the interviewer at my job interview said, there are no wrong answers.

I look forward to hearing your responses, to hear if you have gone the next step and asked the ‘mirror’ question too.

“I made a promise never to let myself be deceived again. I would live for the important things in life.”
― Ivy Oakes, The Story of How We Met

Questions for Change

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoy

Learning to Hold the Questions

Some time ago I had the privilege of attending an Educators Conference

facilitated by a well-known Australian psychologist, Andrew Fuller.

He had a profoundly spiritual effect when he posed the following questions to the audience:

  • When did you stop singing?
  • When did you stop dancing?
  • When did you stop listening to and telling stories?
  • When did you become disenchanted with the sacred place of silence?

The auditorium was silent for many minutes, considering the questions that he posed to modern 21st Century humanity. There was a hushed reverence as the powerful truths contained in the simple questions filtered through our minds.

We had to acknowledge the reality that we had changed. Unwittingly, subtly and insidiously, external forces and internal needs had conspired to change us without our permission or awareness and we had unknowingly lost something very precious in that process.

A step toward courage:

Notice how the questions challenge you to acknowledge that change has already occurred.

What are you going to do with your capacity to change?

Would love to hear your thoughts!