Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

What questions do you ask yourself?


Do you ask yourself the important questions?

And no. I don’t mean, “What am I going to wear today?” Or, “What will we have for dinner?”

I mean the one’s that keep you engaged, learning and moving forward in life, with life, as you grow more deeply aware of your possibilities, capabilities and impact.

The questions that make you stop and think about your journey, the direction of your next step, the importance of each moment, the value you intentionally bring to the world.

Yup. Those kind of questions.

Dean James Ryan of the Harvard Graduate School of Education told the graduating class that there are 5 essential questions we must all ask ourselves and each other every day.

  1.  Wait what?

This question gives you time to ask for clarification before jumping to conclusions.

2.  I wonder… why? I wonder … if?

Asking, I wonder… helps us retain that essential ingredient in life — curiosity. And asking the ‘if’ helps us explore what can we do.

3.  Couldn’t we at least…?

This is the question we ask to get unstuck. Come to agreement. Find common ground. Get started.

4.  How can I help?

Asking ‘how can I help’, especially when we ask it not from the position of wanting to swoop in and exercise our ‘saviour complex’ but from a humble place, gets us involved and  engaged in making a difference in a way that honours and recognizes the power of each individual to be the masters of their own lives, to have the capacity to make a difference for themselves. Dean Ryan also adds that how we help matters as much as, if not more, than if we help.

5.  What truly matters?

When we ask, ‘what truly matters?’, ‘here’, or ‘to me’, we force ourselves to get to the heart of issues, the heart of our own beliefs and principles. From that place, we can see more clearly, hear more deeply and know more completely what we need to do from a place of humility, not ego. It helps us understand what needs to be done that will truly make a difference, for everyone.

When you wake up each morning, stop and ask yourself, “What truly matters to me today?” The answer may not change what you wear, it could change how you step into your day.


Click here to view Dean James Ryan’s convocation speech. (Scroll down just a bit — it’s on the left hand banner)  Enjoy and be inspired!


Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

5 thoughts on “What questions do you ask yourself?

  1. This morning, I am asking myself the important questions. I haven’t found any answers yet though.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I need to practice “wait….what?” More often. You’re right, it provides space to really process what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw that video on FB, Louise, and it’s wonderful! I want to tattoo those questions on my hand. And he cites one of my favorite authors, Raymond Carver.


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