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Stuart Woods

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What one question, which you have never been asked, would have the biggest impact on your future?

I am interested in the art and architecture of questioning. I have been intrigued reading the threads of the TED conversations and how people respond and react to questioning. I am curious on how we answer questions but particularly here on our ability to frame them for ourselves. The 'never been asked' part of the question is crucial for this. I believe that deep questions, framed carefully, can unlock great potential. The TED is testament to our ability to do it for each other but can we do it for ourselves? Francis Bacon said 'A prudent question is one half of wisdom'.

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Closing Statement from Stuart Woods

Whatever question it takes to unlock our true potential, If we do our best work, nurture others and reward kindness then our legacy will live for eternity, not in things or places, but in the hearts of individuals who we hope are compelled to pass it on.

I have read everyone's responses with gratitude. Essentially what I noticed from the responses was that people who I have never met generously opened up their inner hopes and dreams whilst remarkably structuring them to allow others to gain from them too, inspirational! Many think that predicting or forecasting the future is impossible and yet over generations our willingness to try has not be diminished in the least. I find this fascinating and believe it is testament to our need for certainty and to hope for the best. I could tell by reading the responses (often in the inference to what would happen if we actually asked ourselves these questions) that we readily ponder our PURPOSE on this earth. I also noted those who chose not to add what their response, but I hope by responding everyone did think of their answer.To search for deeper meaning for our existence is a recurring theme, so too, the altruistic standpoint of first offering to others before ourselves; heartening indeed. Some of the proposed questions referred to 'leaving something behind'- a legacy. When we transcend egotism I surmised from the what we might really mean is the statement I opened with:

Whatever question it takes to unlock our true potential, If we do our best work, nurture others and reward kindness our legacy will live for eternity, not in things or places, but in the hearts of individuals who we hope are compelled to pass it on.

Thanks to everyone I now have a wonderful resource on which to draw when I need re-focusing and re-energizing. I hope you do too. I fully intend to pass your questions on to my students. Best wishes. Stuart

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  • Mar 6 2012: Are you really here?

    I think being asked that question would change my life.
    If someone were to ask me this question, that person would be doubting his/her own mind, eyes, reason, and perception. It would put me in a position to really grasp the instability of reality, and the knowledge that each person truly sees their own world before them.
    Answering that question would also teach me a lot about myself and life in general, in having to justify and prove my own existence.
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      Mar 6 2012: Crystelle, what an incredibly profound question . Thank you.

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