I’m a questions guy, so when I see an article titled “The 1 Question You Need to Answer Today, and Every Day” I am, admittedly, intrigued.
The article was an interview of the author Tom Rath and a new book he had written and while I know nothing of the author, nor have I read the book, this article was intriguing not simply because of that ‘1 Question’ but because it contained a few other questions that I found both valuable and fascinating.
Spoiler alert, here comes that 1 Question.
According to Mr Rath, who is a researcher who has spent the past two decades studying how work can improve human health and well-being, and his book Life’s Great Question, the number one question we all need to be asking every day is this:
“What are the most meaningful contributions I can make?”
That is, of course, and excellent question and it is framed in the article around what to ask if you want to feel a greater sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and meaning.
There were other questions in the article, however, that I also found valuable, some of which centered around how to determine whether what you do for a living provides that greater sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and meaning.
One comment the author made in answering a question was that one can ask:
“Because of this job, is my life better or worse off?”
When was the last time you asked yourself that? Mr. Rath also suggested that it’s helpful to ask this question of your spouse, family, or friends:
“Do you think I’m better off today because of the work I’m doing than I was two years ago?”
The idea being that people closest to you can better see whether you’re making progress or not because as the proverbial saying goes, they can see the forest since they’re not stuck in the trees. Of course “better off” is a subjective term and you would likely have to define that for those you are asking before asking the question.
Another question centered around teams in the workplace. Specifically, the notion that often, while teams are expected to work collaboratively towards a goal, they often end up being a group of people who are working towards that goal but doing so independently rather than collaboratively.
So, the author suggests going around the room and having everyone briefly answer the questions:
“What drives them?”
“What is important in their life?”
“How do they want to contribute to the team?”
This outward focus and understanding of how each person is driven and how they will contribute to the team can help each member of the team work more cohesively as opposed to separately.
There was one other question I found fascinating. The question was:
“How can we create the largest cumulative well-being for people?”
It was not the question itself that fascinated me, but rather the authors answer to it. He said, “the answer is having a better experience through work.”
I’m curious if you agree with that answer?
If you’d like to see the article/interview you can find it here:
And the book can be found here: https://amzn.to/2GUHB3A