Home > You in B&W > Living the Question and/or Defining Your Life – Can You Do Both?

Living the Question and/or Defining Your Life – Can You Do Both?


A great conversation with inspiring and thoughtful peers tonight brought forward an interesting dichotomy.  A contrasting set of questions was asked and I found it interesting to look at these questions together.

On the one hand – How are you living in the present?

Are You Living the Question?

It’s a focus on living in the uncertainty of the present and doing so the fullest to see where the journey takes you.  A very “P” perspective (MBTI) that is open to possibilities, that soaks up the process of being open.

On the other hand – How do you define your life?

What’s Your Sentence?

Dan Pink asks this question of 9th graders.  What sentence would you write to define your life?  Can you write this story in 6 words or less, Hemingway style?  This approach is much more “J” oriented (MBTI) in that it focuses on closure, putting a stake in the ground.

What’s Your Dash?

Every tombstone has two dates separated by a dash “#### – ####”.  This question focuses on the dash between the beginning and the end of this life.  Also more “J” oriented.

Is it possible to be present, to be living (and thriving) with the question AND to define your life by writing your sentence or defining your dash?  I am finding that I can write a 6 word story (my sentence) AND am thriving with the question as it shapes the journey to that story.  What space are you in?

  1. June 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Dave Pollard is an intellectual great whom I came to know (have to use this term loosely) through attendance and speaking at KMWorld conferences over the years.

    I just read one of his blog posts (http://ow.ly/1Ypwe) recently as he wades through the waters of his own journey (after “retiring” from a paid job). I couldn’t help but identify with his struggles to define his dash while living the question. It’s all part of the process!

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