As we adventure out into the world, discovering who we are and figuring out where we are going, it is important for us to ask in every situation, “What am I learning?”
This is especially important in our struggles. Too often, when things go wrong, we ask incorrect questions. We want to know why this is happening, why us? We can complain or feel defeated. It can be hard to be positive in situations that aren’t going our way, but have you ever gained anything from being negative? I know I haven’t.
Instead of asking “Why me?” try asking yourself, “What am I learning? What is this teaching me?” These questions will help turn negative, defeating thoughts into more positive, productive thoughts for growth. This leads to solutions and prevents us from making the same mistakes over and over again.
This question, “What am I learning?” isn’t just for negative situations, though. Even when everything is going right, when we are flourishing, happy, and at peace, it is still important to ask ourselves this question. While it is hard to ask in difficult situations because it’s easier to complain, it can be even harder to ask in peaceful times because we don’t want to rock the boat when the waters are smooth.
Sometimes, when everything seems to be going smoothly, we are actually stagnant, we aren’t growing, learning, or experiencing anything new. There is always something to learn, always areas in which to grow. Finding the answer to this question can be harder when everything is going well in our lives. But that’s even more justification to ask the question, so that we take time to learn, even in the easy times.
Personally, when things are going well and I’m not going through difficult situations with clear lessons, I try to find a specific question to ask. Sometimes my questions are deeper. For example, “Where is the line between wisdom and faith and how do they interact?” We may have faith that things will work out, but is it wise to do nothing?
Other times, it’s something simpler, “How can I learn to be more patient when driving in Atlanta traffic?” It doesn’t matter how deep or simple the question, as long as it leads to growth in your own life.