FUQs

Frequently Unasked Questions

Frequently Unasked Questions (FUQs) are those we are either afraid to ask–or don’t even know how to. Often, we lack insight, vocabulary or perspectives to formulate a question. We don’t know what we don’t know. Or we only have vague feelings that something is missing or not right.

Though we can ask them, doesn’t mean we will answer them. Yet, an unanswered question is still better than an unasked question.­

Everything’s great on paper with my life, career, etc. Others even say they are envious, but I don’t want to do it anymore. What’s wrong with me?

Likely, the only thing “wrong” with you is assuming that you’re wrong. Instead this feeling may be trying to tell you something: that you’ve gotten everything you can out of the experience; it’s time to grow and move on.

Once we’ve mastered something, we tend plateau. Sometimes too much comfort can make us complacent, which in turn can generate its own sense of discomfort.

Remember, goals should serve you. Not you, them [TBC]

How can I decide between two (or more) ideas/projects that mean so much to me? Sometimes, I think it’s one and then I change my mind. And I get nowhere. The proverb “chase two rabbits, catch neither” comes to mind. What do I do?

Sounds like a “Sophie’s Choice”, named after the Oscar-winning film starring Meryl Streep. Sophie, a Polish mother entering a Nazi concentration camp must decide between which of her two children, Ewa and Jan she can save. You and your multiple ideas and/or projects also make a family. Forcing you to forsake one is a form of evil.

Anton Chekhov, who made his fortune writing so he could study medicine, answered: “I don’t know why one can’t chase two rabbits at the same time, even in the literal sense of those words. If you have the hounds, go ahead and pursue.” So, you have two options: hire and higher ed. Hire some hounds: delegate and outsource parts of your projects to others. Higher education means learning to herd them. Both are harder than hunting but the long-term pay offs are higher

I have an idea for a business (or nonprofit, creative work e.g. a book, etc.) but everyone says it’s not feasible—or even a downright bad idea. They’ve even showed me why it won’t work. Intellectually, I see their points, but I can’t seem to abandon the idea. What should I do?

There are many ways to answer this question, but let’s for now, just assume the naysayers are right. Let’s shift focus from the idea to the ideator (that’s you, buddy): what does this idea say about you? Perhaps it’s initiated by a void inside caused by un(der)used talents or natural gift, ignored or flouted values and ways of being (how we deal with people, process information, perceive the world…)

That void pulls in external opportunities to fill it. Your subconscious has no words; it communicates in images, experiences, ideas. It’s akin to typical dreams of drowning or being trapped in box. Drowning doesn’t symbolize fear of the water; but of overwhelm. You in turn, must identify the particulars that overwhelm you, so you may address them. Likewise, take your idea on an abstraction roundtrip: First, find the values, talents, callings it represents. Second, reify: how else could this be realized concretely? You might still not find a successful business model, but you’ll have identified what your (work)life needs.

Have a question, idea, doubt, feeling, etc. not included above?

Please contribute it. Not only would it help you bring feelings to the surface, you’ll give words to what others experience. Feel free to be vague or incomplete. Aside from words (written or spoken), you may include or whatever helps express the sense you’re trying to convey.

We’ll do our best to answer your FUQ which may include: conversing with you (if you like) reaching out to the wisdom of the experienced (experts) and the wisdom of crowds.