Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Family prologue

Did your parents grow up in the same community and in similar circumstances, or did they come from different places? How did your parents first meet each other?

This week's theme is your parents.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Your parents

Which parent's personality and interests are more like your own: your father or your mother?

This week's theme is your parents.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tell us a story: conceding

Tell us about a time when you decided that something wasn't worth fighting for and simply conceded. What was the contest or dispute about? And what led you to step away from the conflict?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pushing against the current

What recent experience made you feel as though you were working against the natural flow of things?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wind in your sails

An anonymous well-wisher gave student wizard Harry Potter a top-of-the-line flying broomstick so he could compete better in the sport of Quiddich. What helpful gifts or favors (anonymous or not) have you received from people who supported what you were trying to do and who wanted to see you succeed?

This week's theme is built-in advantages.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Born this way

What special advantages — ones that most other people can't claim — were already in place for you by the time you were born? Were you born with favorable genes that gave you an edge later in life? Were you born into a rich or well-connected family, or into a community with exceptional resources and opportunities?

This week's theme is built-in advantages.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Being in the right place

What opportunities came to you just because of where you lived, or from just happening to be in the right place when something was happening?

This week's theme is built-in advantages.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Your personalized lesson plan

Your childhood gave you opportunities to see, do, and learn many things — including some rare things that most people didn't get the chance to do. What were some of those special opportunities from your childhood? And how did they help give you a head start for things that you would do later, in your adult life?

This week's theme is built-in advantages.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Built-in advantages

Is your name early in the alphabet? Are you taller than average? Do you happen to live close to where important things happen? What are some of the competitive advantages that life handed you without any effort on your part?

This week's theme is built-in advantages.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tell us a story: overtime

Tell us a story about a party or event where you stayed much longer than you'd planned. Where were you, and what happened that kept you there later?

Saturday, January 21, 2012


If you could take the Undo button out of the computer and into everyday life, where would it be most handy? Where could you make good use of the ability to roll back your last action and do it over?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Take your places

If you had to make an instant choice, where would you stand: Leader, Follower, or Getting Out of the Way?

This week's theme is In Five Seconds or Less.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A fun outing

Without stopping to think, which would you pick: A night at the opera, or a day at the races?

This week's theme is In Five Seconds or Less.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Without stopping to think, which would you pick: Long hair, or short hair?

This week's theme is In Five Seconds or Less.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A beautiful setting

Without stopping to think, which would you pick: A forest path, or a flower garden?

This week's theme is In Five Seconds or Less.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Without stopping to think

Answer this week's questions without stopping to think — in five seconds or less.

Which of these handheld tools seems to fit you best: a pen, a screwdriver, or a stopwatch?

This week's theme is In Five Seconds or Less.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tell us a story: lost to memory

What is one story your family members like to tell about something that happened in your childhood — an event that you can't remember at all?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

After-hours menu

How often do you have a late-night snack? When you do, what's the food you're most likely to choose?

Friday, January 13, 2012

What's old, what's new

A newly made replica of an old design: is that an old thing or a new thing? What if you take pieces of old, broken pottery and assemble them into a mosaic, a new work of art? What about an ancient piece of machinery that's had every part replaced with a new part over the years?

What do you have that's a perfect blend of old and new?

This week's theme is old things and new things.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tools and the people who use them

Each thing we use has its own body of skills. It's too bad we can't update our skills as easily as we can replace our things! What is one new thing you are struggling to learn how to use? And what's one old thing that you can still operate perfectly, even though the technology has become obsolete?

This week's theme is old things and new things.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Old faithful

Compared to 60 years ago, today's things are lighter, less expensive, more precise, and full of extra features. But newer isn't always better. What's one old thing that you'll never trade in, because it's still useful, reliable, and indestructible?

This week's theme is old things and new things.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bottom of the box

What was one case when you rushed through the process of using up an old item or an old supply of something because you couldn't wait to start using its newer, better, fresher replacement?

This week's theme is old things and new things.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Old things and new things

Some things at the end of their useful life manage to gain an interesting second career, such as the retired ship intentionally sunk to create a platform for a new marine ecosystem. What is one thing of yours that outlasted its initial purpose and is now acting in a new role?

This week's theme is old things and new things.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tell us a story: Sunday crisis

In the United States, Sunday is the worst time to have something go wrong, because the people and businesses that fix things — doctors, plumbers, auto mechanics, and so on — generally aren't available on Sunday. What was one urgent problem that you had to sit with longer than you wanted to because it happened on a Sunday (or some other time when everything was closed)?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This year

Picture yourself 50 weeks from now, looking back on an amazingly successful year. While celebrating your accomplishments with friends, family, or colleagues, you tell them, "We'll always remember 2012 as the year that we ____________."

What was the first thing that popped into your mind to fill in the blank?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wellsprings of inspiration

There are many different ways to come up with new ideas and fresh approaches when you need them. What is your most familiar technique for finding new ideas? What are some other idea-generating techniques that you could try?

This week's theme is new ideas.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Research or experimentation

Which is your typical pattern in trying something new: do you try the first thing you find and see what happens, or do you first gather a list of options and pick the best-looking one?

This week's theme is new ideas.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Standing in the way

Who have you noticed blocking the way of new ideas? Who tends to dismiss new ideas and resist new ways of doing things? What makes people want to push back against possible change, even when the change is an improvement?

This week's theme is new ideas.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The idea box

What — or who — has been one of your best sources of helpful new ideas?

This week's theme is new ideas.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New ideas

Which area of your life is the most ready for new ideas and fresh approaches?

This week's theme is new ideas.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tell us a story: resolved

What was one thing you successfully resolved to change in your life (whether at a new year or on some other occasion)? What is one example of something that's different in your life today as a result of that decision?