The past weekend, my wife and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. We came back to Philadelphia, where it all happened, revisited all the locales, and added some new memories to go with those we already had. For us, there were no questions to answer. We simply wanted another chance to live in the moment.
One of the things I do for a living is help people answer questions. In media interviews, in meetings, in the creative process, and many times — over beers usually — about whatever seems to be an issue. Part of what qualifies me to do this is listening to how questions are answered by others every day. Our lives are an endless stream of questions to which we want a definitive answer. Questions like:
Should I be doing this?
Is there a better way?
Do you agree/disagree?
Is this going to get me where I want to go?
Will it be worth it?
Am I happy?
Can you help me?
On Sunday, we were walking down the street and on the sidewalk lay a piece of paper with a simple phrase on it: “yes and no depending on”. Depending on what? What was the questions? I had to know what this was about. So, I picked it up and turned it over. What did I see? Nothing. The other side was blank.
More often than not, there is no definitive answer to our question. We already know the answer and are searching for validation or permission. Or we want to get out of what we don’t really want to do. We know this but we ask anyway.
The actual, honest-to-goodness answer to most of our questions is “yes and no depending on…” What comes next after that phrase is the actual answer. And it depends entirely on us.
Founder, The Idea Enthusiast. Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, and writer about all things creative consulting. DC-based consultant to individuals who want to be more creative, teams who want to collaborate without fear, and anyone who wants to deliver the best pitches and presentations.