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 Post subject: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 04 Nov 2008, 01:04 
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I’m interested in questions that people ask themselves when faced with making non-trivial decisions in their lives. I have found the two main questions from the Conversations with God books invaluable, namely
  • What would love do now? (to help decide which course of action to take), and
  • Is this who I am? (to help verify the suitability of a particular course of action)
I’m sure that there are many other questions that people use in a variety of situations. I’d like to learn about them.


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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 04 Nov 2008, 08:33 
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I've never heard the 'is this who I am?'

That's a good one.

I think I more research the hell out of things than ask questions like that. But I am interested in what other people say...

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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 04 Nov 2008, 10:36 
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jess wrote:
I think I more research the hell out of things than ask questions like that.

What questions do you usually ask during your research?


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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 04 Nov 2008, 10:45 
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It depends on the problem.

For infertility, we researched success stats, stress stats, time limits, meds and alternative meds. We looked at all the possible outcomes, chose what we thought would fit us best, and set limits on each process to get there.

For a car, we checked out safety, snow ability, engine power, gas milage...

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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 04 Nov 2008, 13:11 
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jess wrote:
…chose what we thought would fit us best…

This is the part that I’m interested in. A lot of questions can be asked to help gather information, but once the necessary information has been gathered, certain questions need to be asked to know how to act on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 04 Nov 2008, 17:29 
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For us, and infertility, we looked at the options:
    keep TTC
    adopt a baby
    adopt abroad
    adopt DSS
    be childfree

We reviewed all options for all of them, and then chose the ones that fit well in our lifestyle.

We set a time limit for TTC because I had seen too many women go insane trying to coceive for too long
We couldn't handle the risks of adopting a baby
We didn't feel comfortable with adopting abroad
We needed some changes to our lifes to adopt DSS
being childfree was what we had already experienced, and we chose that, with a reopening of adopting DSS in the near future.

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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2008, 04:14 
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I don’t know what TTC and DSS stand for, but I get the gist of what you are saying. I suspect that you follow a more intuitive approach to decision making than consciously asking explicit questions like the ones that I mentioned in the opening post.


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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2008, 08:05 
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TTC: Trying to conceive
DSS Department of Social Services--- kids in the foster care system.

I'm not sure. It doesn't seem intuitive to me...

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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2008, 03:20 
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Well, I could be completely off the mark. I see that you keep making statements along the lines of what decision fits you best and makes you comfortable. However, you haven’t gone into any detail on what characteristics a decision needs to have in order to be a good fit. I assume that you arrive at this conclusion intuitively and are therefore unable to explain it, rather than that you are just trying to be difficult. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2008, 07:46 
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I'm seeing that it's just too general for me to answer.

Lets choose buying a car?

What fit us best was decent gas milage, because we're cheap and environmentally aware, in that order.

We wanted a front wheel drive car, because they handle better in snow. We get snow here.

We chose a heavier car, because it would handle better in snow.

We chose an indy indy suspension, because it would bounce less, being more comfortable in the car and last longer because of less jarring.

We run cars into the ground because we're cheap and environmentally aware, in that order. So that was important.

We chose an engine with a better torque because that's more power to it's size, which means it will be more efficient and last longer.

Basically, we chose our car every step of the way because we're cheap and environmentally aware, in that order.

We're cheap because we're poor and need to save our money so we can spend it on fun stuff.

We're environmentally aware because there really is no option.

I don't think I ever asked a nebulous

What would love do now? (to help decide which course of action to take), and
Is this who I am? (to help verify the suitability of a particular course of action)


in buying a car.

I could walk through the same thing with TTC, but I'd rather do one part. It took years to deal with TTC, it took a week to pick a car.

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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2008, 14:00 
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“What would love do now?” is more of a relationship-centred question. It’s not particularly suitable to buying a car.

You may not have asked the question “Is this who I am?”, but you’ve certainly answered it – you are cheap and environmentally aware, hence your choice of car.

Sorry if I touched a nerve. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2008, 14:20 
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no nerve!

Am I coming off pissy today?

I'm sorry!

Ok, if 'is this who I am' is 'am I cheap and easy' well, then I guess I asked that a long time ago. I don't need to answer it again...

I don't understand the 'love do' though...

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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2008, 15:33 
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Hrvoje Butkovic wrote:
“What would love do now?” is more of a relationship-centred question.


You know ... Reading the exchange above has just 'gelled' up the concept I've been trying to get at ...

Love (IMHO) wouldn't do anything. It can't. Love is a concept that is perceived by the individual.

Perhaps it could be phrased as a 'what would a loving person do now?' or somesuch, but then, we get back to measuring ourselves against what we conceive of as, I guess, our own ideal of what a loving person is?

Am I understanding that in the way you meant it?

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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2008, 03:28 
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jess wrote:
no nerve!

Am I coming off pissy today?

I'm sorry!

Glad to hear that everything’s fine. :)

jess wrote:
Ok, if 'is this who I am' is 'am I cheap and easy' well, then I guess I asked that a long time ago. I don't need to answer it again...

It is a kind of question that needs to be answered once for a particular set of circumstances, and then re-answered as we grow and mature. It definitely doesn’t need to be answered every time the same situation presents itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Guiding questions
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2008, 04:22 
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Hex wrote:
You know ... Reading the exchange above has just 'gelled' up the concept I've been trying to get at ...

Love (IMHO) wouldn't do anything. It can't. Love is a concept that is perceived by the individual.

Perhaps it could be phrased as a 'what would a loving person do now?' or somesuch, but then, we get back to measuring ourselves against what we conceive of as, I guess, our own ideal of what a loving person is?

Am I understanding that in the way you meant it?

Possibly. Let me clarify just to be safe.

The ‘love’ that we are dealing with here is not an intellectual concept but an experiential one. The question “What would love do now?” encourages us to examine our experience of love and use that experience to guide our actions. As such, it only works if we have experienced love and are able to recognise it.

Take an abusive relationship as an example. Love of the abuser would not seek to harm him in any way. Love of self would not allow the abuse to continue. Basically, love does not impose limitations on whom to heal or to what extent. Everyone involved – be they a victim or a victimiser – receives the very best treatment.

The value of the question is that it cuts through distractions and gets to the very heart of the matter. Without it, we may be sidetracked with questions like “What does the wrongdoer deserve?”, questions that only confuse the issue.

Changing the question to “What would a loving person do now?” compromises it to an extent. It becomes less personal, and therefore less experiential and more intellectual. It also introduces limitations – in the form of a person and what she is a capable of – that love doesn’t have.

That’s my take on it. If you find that changing the focus of the question to a ‘loving person’ makes it easier for you to relate to what the question is getting at, then I see no reason why you should use the question as originally stated.


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