Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thorns in your side, burrs under your saddle

Who irritates you the most? What is it about them that irritates you?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Alternate reality

What would you be doing right now if you weren't doing this?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shaggy dogma

What is one element of your religious practice or religious dogma that you have found hard to swallow? If you don't follow any religious practice now, think of something from the religious practice of your childhood.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Five Seconds or Less

Without stopping to think, answer this question with the first thing that comes to your mind. See if you can come up with your response in five seconds or less:

When you think of a bowl filled with delicious fruit, what fruit comes to mind first?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Time That Big Thing Happened

Was there a milestone event in your life by which all other dates are measured? "That was before I was in that car accident," or "Was that the summer before or the summer after Grandma died?," or "I remember that because it was the same month we got the dog."

What was that event, and what makes it such a defining moment in your life?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Come on down!

Suppose you're in a TV studio when an audience member's name is called. The name matches the name tag that lies abandoned on the seat next to yours. Do you grab the name tag -- and the chance to be seen on television -- even though it means pretending to be someone else?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Secret Hideaway

What sort of 'secret' places did you have available as a child? Did you have a treehouse? A place in the woods? A corner of your attic? Was this secret place all your own, or did you allow friends and siblings to join you there?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Big thorny questions

When tough and momentous questions come up, what is your usual way of dealing with them? Do you put off thinking about them, hoping that they will go away, or hoping that an obvious answer will spontaneously emerge? Do you seek advice from everyone around you? Do you make a quick guess and hope it turns out the be the right answer? How do you approach your biggest and most thorny questions?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Positive change

Think of the good things that have come into your life recently. What is one thing you didn't have a year ago that is now an important and valued part of your daily life?
  • Did this thing arrive in your life through pure luck, or did you go looking for it?
  • How might your life be different now without it?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Recurring Dream

Most people have a recurring dream, or a recurring theme in their dreams. What's yours? Do you have chase dreams? Shopping dreams? Not-prepared-for-a-test dreams? If you don't have a recurring dream, what's the last dream you can recall?

Slow Wave, the collective dream diary drawn as a comic strip
(And you can submit your dream here, too, and hope it'll get drawn!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Twins (Not Necessarily the Evil Kind)

Who shares your birthday?

Internet Movie Database birthday list
(use the pulldown menus on the left to find your birthday)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Your backlog

Suppose all the routine demands of your life could be put on hold while you clean up all your loose ends, finish your incomplete projects, and do all your “someday” tasks. How many days, weeks, or years would it take for you to get all of those things done?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Forget pros and cons

What is one realm where you know there’s no point in trying to make a rational decision — because your emotions are bound to overrule your logic anyway?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


What, in your opinion, is the single dumbest thing you've ever done? If you were watching someone else do it, how would you feel? Would it really seem that dumb if done by someone else, or are you just harder on yourself than necessary?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Unfair advantages

What are some unfair advantages you have — advantages that your friends might be jealous of?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Forgotten but not gone

If you're like most people, there are many things that you carry around with you day after day — in wallets, pockets, or purses, for example. Which of those things is the most ignored or neglected? What are some of the things that you'd forgotten were there?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dating game

If someone were trying to set you up for a date, which would you be more interested in meeting: person A, described as “dramatic, glamorous, and fun-loving,” or person B, described as “friendly, down-to-earth, and interesting to talk to”?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My best non-human friend

What is one animal you would love to have as a pet, assuming it would be legal and practical? What is one animal you would love to have as a pet, all practicalities aside?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your brand

What do you want people to think of first when they think about you?

Monday, January 12, 2009

On the big screen

Which is more important in a movie: enjoyable characters, or an engaging story? Can you enjoy a movie if you don't sympathize with any of the characters? What about if the story is too predictable or unbelievable?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mortality Mentality

Who was the first person in your life to die? This should be someone personally known to you rather than an idolized public figure. How old were you, and what kinds of thoughts did you have at the time? Was it the first time in your life that you'd confronted your own mortality? Did you just accept it as a natural part of life, something you wouldn't have to personally face for many years? Or did you lie awake at night agonizing over what death meant, or felt like? What did you learn from this initial firsthand experience with death?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Without doubt

What would you set out to do this week if you weren't held back by doubt — if you had no doubt at all about your ultimate success?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Global friendship

Of all the friends you have, which friend lives the farthest distance away from you? How far away is he or she? How did you become friends?

How Far Is It?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Red Alert! Who You Gonna Call?

A disaster happens. Who do you call first? Do you have different 'first stringers' for different kinds of emergencies? What about the "I'm out of a key ingredient I need for this cake I'm right in the middle of baking!" emergency? Or the "Help, I'm locked out of my house!" emergency? Or the "My significant other dumped me and I need someone to talk to even though it's 3 in the morning!" emergency? Whether it is a medical emergency, an emotional one, or something else, who in your life can you count on in a crisis?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Clean Count

How many different of kinds of cleaning did you do yesterday? Don't forget to include things like flossing your teeth, doing dishes, laundry, cat litter, emptying your e-mail's trash, and any realm where you scrubbed, straightened, or polished.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snack attack!

How often do you snack during the day? Is it the same times every day, or do you only eat when you are hungry? How conscious are you of what and when you are eating?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Playing with work

If you could change three things about your job, could you turn it into your perfect job? Avoid things like "my boss suddenly turns into Jude Law/Jessica Alba," or "I get a raise of a million dollars" or "I suddenly get named CEO"; think of three things that are in the realm of possibility, and which would transform your work experience into something you'd look forward to doing every day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Timeless Family Drama

Since it's the holidays, many of us have seen family for the first time in many months. When you see your family, in what ways are your behaviors and interactions the same as in childhood? What childhood behaviors and patterns do you revert to when in the presence of family? What ancient family dynamics reemerge when you are all together again as adults?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm Super!

If you could have one superpower (like a cartoon superhero), what would that be? What would you do with it?

Here's a little inspiration to get you started:

Create Your Own Superhero

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy article on superheroes

Wikipedia: List of comic book superpowers

Friday, January 2, 2009

New year, new playing field

What new opportunities does this new year bring you that were not possible in 2008? What new resources, tools, personal connections and insights do you have at your disposal this year? How have the rules of the game changed to your advantage in 2009?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ten years on

Recall who you were on January 1, 1999, ten years ago. What did you in 1999 foresee for the 2009 you, ten years on? Who did 1999-you expect you to be now? What, who, and where did you expect you to be doing, thinking, eating, drinking, vacationing, working, living, and loving on January 1, 2009?

To help you remember where you were in 1999, try these links:

Wikipedia: 1999

The History Channel: This Day in History

The Library of Congress: Today in History

A blog that asks you things

Welcome to 2009, the year of questions.

Our hope is that this blog will whet your appetite for our forthcoming book, Ten Thousand Questions. We'll pose a question a day, and all you have to do is read it. We're not even going to insist that you answer it. But that's because it's nigh well impossible to not answer — even if just in your own head — once you've read a question. That's just how we humans are built.

Some questions are not easy, but the great thing about this process is that there are no wrong answers.

If you stick with us, by this time next year you might know 365 more things about yourself than you know now. And you just might enjoy the journey!