Omkari Williams

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Hang A Question Mark

Bertrand Russell said "Now and then, hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." Hang a question mark. Instead of assuming that something is still true, or a way of doing something is still the best, ask a question. Ask "Is this idea that I've stopped even being aware that I have still true for me?" Ask, "Do I still believe that this is the best car, place to live, career path for me, or have I just gotten so used to things being this way that I no longer notice the friction points?" Ask yourself the question that you have been avoiding asking, whatever it may be.

We see it so clearly in others, that lack of questioning. From the friend whose hair style was popular when Charlie's Angels was a television show, to the sibling who hasn't changed an opinion in twenty years, we see it in them. But for ourselves, remembering to ask questions can be just as infrequent, and we don't even notice.

How about in your art? Are there possibilities for growth and enhanced creativity that have slipped past because you are comfortable with things as they are? A new technique, perhaps a collaboration, or maybe an entirely new direction for your art that you'd long ago considered and then dismissed for one reason or another.

I don't think that Russell was saying that we should change for the sake of change. I think he was exhorting us to look with fresh eyes, at our art, at our relationships, at our life because looking with fresh eyes keeps us connected to what we truly value.

Asking questions, especially small questions, is a great way of staying present and aware. With so much external input, from television, news, and the internet, it can be hard to not zone out. In a very short time all that input becomes a form of white noise canceling out the sound of our own inner voice. Asking questions brings us back to our self. We once again become active participants in our art or in living our life as a work of art.

So, from time to time, "hang a question mark" and see where it leads you. You may find that the answer is that you are quite content where you are. But asking the questions never hurts.

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