The right question posed at the right moment can shine a spotlight on perspectives previously unimaginable. These are the questions that provide piercing insight and enlightenment, while at the same time refusing to offer an 'answer' of its own at all.
One question that affected me happened in a conversation between two ~50 year old men in a podcast. It was setup by another well placed question where one man asked the other the age of his parents, and how often he visited them a year.
74 and 76. Twice a year.
The man then stated that, if they were to live to average life expectancy -- around 78 -- then it's not that there remain two years to spend with his parents, but rather four visits. Would that be enough?
Most of us have struggled with dealing with deadlines in our work and creative lives. Instead of confronting them with clear, realistic analysis, we tend to deploy blind hopefulness and dream within a vague haze. In the short-run this makes the deadline feel further away... so far that it might vanish into that mirage of eternity.
But eventually deadlines arrive. And when they do I've observed myself either rushing to finish it shittely last-minute while lamenting how I'd squandered so much time or simply collapsing to self-destruct within myself.
The questions posed above has shined a spotlight on something that I often try to hide. The ultimate deadline. Death. The one where you really don't want to procrastinate on.