A question of answers

There's only one sure-shot way to get the right answer to all your questions...

Man holding auestion

We are looking for answers. all of us. Questions are millions, but the quest is one—to find the right answer. But when we find an answer, does it satisfy the quest? Put differently, is the answer ‘right’?

If you have been seeking answers to your many questions, but are not satisfied with the answers you’re getting, perhaps it’s time to change focus—from answers to questions.

Remember, the responsibility of an answer lies squarely on the shoulders of the question itself. Every answer lies within the question. If the question is not correct, the answer, no matter how profound, can never be right. How can wrong questions have right answers? So, if your question is a self-limiting one, don’t expect your answer to be a self-empowering one.

Take, for example, questions that start with ‘why’. Such questions are invariably backward-looking.

So, if you’re concerned about your excess weight and ask yourself, “Why am I overweight?” your answers might be “Because I eat too much” or “I am not active enough” or even “Because I am genetically predisposed to being fat”. Note that all answers begin with “because”, keeping you focussed on the cause and, in the process, only reinforcing the situation.

If you’d like to change something about your current situation, your question should reflect that desire. So, a self-empowering question would be, “How can I make losing weight exciting?” or “What are my options to lose the excess flab?” Questions like these open up possibilities and empower you to act in your interest.

But, what if the question is right and the answer still fails to satisfy the quest. The reason for that could be prejudice; often the questioner does not find the answers satisfactory because of his inability to listen with a clear, open mind. So even if the answer is right, it may appear wrong to the questioner because he doesn’t want the right answer… he wants an answer that he wants to hear.

In the final analysis, an answer must put the mind to silence. I like the way Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains this: “Silence is the goal of all answers. If the answer does not silence the mind, it is not an answer.” So if your answers don’t quieten your mind, first check if you asked the right questions. Then, ask yourself if you’re listening without prejudice.

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri has spent the last two decades learning, teaching and writing about wellbeing and mindful living. He has contributed over 1500 articles for several newspapers and magazines including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Statesman, Mid-Day, Bombay Times, Femina, and more. He is a counseling therapist and the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed best-selling book on self-transformation. An award-winning editor, Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".


  1. Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii this article is really nice, i like so much. I want to know the answer to my question, that is: what is the meaning of life?

  2. Ask yourself and you will get all the answers. Our subconcious is without any perceptional defects. We are naked in front of that. So, if we ask the answer to a question to our own self,we will most certainly get the right answer.

    The way is, get up early in the morning and close your eyes. think of the questions which are troubling you and ask yourself the answer.

    thats it.


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