“We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.” – John Dewey
If you have been feeling like things need to change but don’t know how to make the right changes, here is something to think about: Unclear questions have unclear answers. Specific questions yield specific answers that prompt specific actions. It’s much easier to start finishing specific actions. (Tweet this.)
For instance, “what’s the next action that needs to be done in order to move this project toward completion?” is a great specific question because it doesn’t ask about everything that needs to be done, but focuses on just the next thing.
Having a set of questions to focus your attention on what matters can be crucial when you are feeling lost, uninspired, and/or unproductive. In our post about better questions you can ask to be more productive, you will find a plethora of questions to guide you through re-evaluating what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it.
When your next steps are unclear, asking specific questions helps illuminate what to do next. In a future post, I’ll discuss when more general questions might provide the right insights for action.