What’s your primary question?

When I was twenty, I liked a guy who posted really sad lyrics on his Facebook profile.


I spent a lot of time wondering about those posts.


Another weird song lyric. Who is it about?


I was brushing my teeth and thinking about Max’s cryptic Facebook posts. Sitting in class and thinking about his weird song lyrics. I drove some of my friends crazy wondering if the sad lyrics were about me.


They weren’t. They were about his ex-girlfriend, and once I figured that out, I spent quite a bit of time wondering why he couldn’t just get over her and be into me.


I decided that perhaps it was because she was both thinner than I was, and more bubbly. As though these things have any sort of reason. (And sometimes they do, I guess. But just as often, in my experience, they don’t.)


I spent numerous hours pondering these questions. What is up with Max’s Facebook? And later, Why doesn’t he like me? One could say that it was the primary question I asked myself.


Here are some of the primary questions the people I know have been asking themselves lately. Here are the topics that are on their minds from the time they get up in the morning until they fall asleep at night:

  • Why am I not seeing anyone? It’s been years since my last relationship. What’s wrong with me?
  • Why aren’t any of these people as cool as Maggie?
  • How will I possibly survive grad school?
  • Was getting a divorce a mistake?
  • Why haven’t they called me about that job yet?
  • Why won’t Kevin date me?
  • This situation has gone to hell. What else could possibly go wrong?

So what about you? I want you to consider what you primary question is.


What is it that you spend most of your time thinking about, and is that a good use of your time? Does it make you happy, or propel you toward some amazing future? Is it serving you?


OR is it just a waste of time? A thought that is perpetuating some bad situation or keeping you stuck in the past, or somewhere you don’t want to be?


So. What is your primary question, and is it serving you? Think about that. You don’t even have to change your primary question yet. Just think about whether it’s serving you. Is it what you’d choose to spend your time thinking, if you could think about anything?


If not (and for a lot of people, the answer will be no), here are some suggested replacements:

  • What’s exciting right now?
  • What do I want to create today?
  • What could I do to be happier in this moment?
  • If this situation were going to turn out perfectly and I didn’t need to worry about it, how would I spend my time instead?

You could even start thinking about how you could make other people happy. What you could do to surprise and delight them, instead of wasting your time dwelling on problems that may not be able to be helped.

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