Going with the flow – taming our obsession with answers

In the conversations emerging from recent posts about questions and answers, Sune Nightingale’s response struck a chord.

I am delighted that he is happy for me to share it with you:

“A while ago I was more sure that there were definite answers (and there are for many practical things of course) …

“Now increasingly it seems not so much about what THE answer is, in fact often THE answer doesn’t exist. It feels more about asking “What is the most helpful way to look at / approach this?” and before that “Is anything required? / Is there in fact a question that needs asking?”

“There’s also something about life being like going down a river in a kayak – sometimes it’s good to paddle with vigour and when you do you can often alter course and direction a bit – but it takes effort. At other times it’s good to ease back and let the river take you where it will, which it always is anyway even if strenuous paddling gives you the idea that it’s all of your own doing.

“So – when to nudge and push, and when to ease back. When to strike against a flow, and when to go with it. As Richard says that requires observation – getting a feel for the river.”

And Richard Merrick’s comments:

“I think before the question comes observation. I find it too easy to ask myself questions around different ways of achieving the same ends, rather than stand back and look at what those ends are serving. Sometimes. Or now, more than sometimes, those answers need to be examined. Hard work, but always worth it…”

Enough said.