The movie ‘I-Robot’ features a holographic computer programme that repeatedly tells Will Smith that he must ask the right questions because its ‘responses are limited’. My friend Tommy Deuschle is back from the States. During one of his many ‘catch-up’ conversations this weekend he asked someone “What is the most significant thing you have learnt in the last year?” Now that’s a quality question. Thankfully, it wasn’t directed at me, but it sure got me thinking.
The implication behind the question is ‘are you learning at all?’ And if so, ‘are you applying what you’ve learnt?’ What limitations are there to us giving an answer to this question?
One is that, what you learnt has been a progressive lifestyle change and revelation and not necessarily a one off mind-blowing experience. It is only on reflection that you see the change.
Another is that you don’t know how to phrase your answer. You feel that you have ‘grown’ in an area of your life, but you don’t know how to measure your growth.
If there are many options, then you many be stuck for choice-which is the MOST significant thing I’ve learnt?
There is of course the option that you just haven’t learnt at all. Except for this last one, these limitations should not prevent you with coming up with an answer, only delay the process.
So, what was mine? Took me a while to phrase it briefly. “The major limitation to me breaking out of my current situation to a new level is the comfort I perceive at the current level.” The Israelites in the Old Testament desired to return to Egypt because, despite their slavery, they thought it was better than the temporary wilderness on the way to the Promised Land. You will never know what it is to eat healthy until you try it. Once there you won’t want to go back. However, the discomfort in getting there may prevent you trying. I have many other examples from my life, but I won’t bore you with them today.
What is your answer to the question above?