As some of you know, the reason I started this blog was to create some accountability for my practice of curiosity. And, indeed, I find that knowing I have committed to writing a post each day does keep me focused on the topic—and occasionally even practicing ;-)—in a way I did not succeed at before.
One curiosity-related practice I am faithful to, though, and have been for two or three years is keeping an Inquiry journal. This is a journal in which I choose a controversial statement and ask questions tailored to and targeted at the different steps in the inference process. The purpose of this is to use systematic questions to reach an understanding of the worldview or underlying assumptions behind the statement.
What’s not surprising for me, but nonetheless disappointing, is that, true to form, I practice in theory (i.e., do an Inquiry exercise in writing more or less every day) but have trouble practicing in real life (i.e., asking Inquiry-based questions in real-time conversations with clients, students, friends, and family). If I could achieve the live practice more often, it would already be a contribution to my goal of living with greater curiosity and would, I believe, enrich my connections with other people by deepening my understanding of their beliefs.
What I mean by Inquiry (and why I write it with a capital I), the Ladder of Inference on which this method of Inquiry is based, what an Inquiry journal looks like, and some examples and stories will be topics for future posts.
My hope is that posting about this will give me the kind of accountability and courage I need to start practicing Inquiry in real life.