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“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell
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Sharing Some of My Favorite Questions

Connect52 is very simple… Ask questions and reply with answers. No one with whom I have shared this concept has not understood. However most have asked, “what questions do you ask or could you help me with a list of questions?”. To prove that the quality of question is not the secret to connecting, I have listed a few of my favorite questions that we used in my family Connect52, and the result that occurred for me. The secret to connecting isn’t found in the questions or the answers, it is found in the willingness to be vulnerable with the questions and the answers. I never anticipated that I would share with my family as much about myself as I did. But what I discovered is that the more I shared, the more willing they were to open up and share.

Because the questions seem to be the most difficult part, Connect52 the software will help you with your questions. There will be lists of questions to choose from based upon the type of group you created, such as family, spouse, friends, business, religious, etc. Connect52 will auto-populate questions for you according to group type, however we encourage you to create your own questions, as questions are most effective when personalized to the group. As you will experience in the following questions, I used current events in my life and the world to create questions. Per my brothers request I created questions from online surveys, and I asked family members to participate in providing questions.

Question 1: Top 10 Highlights of your life?

Result: I knew that I would know some of the answers to this question but I also knew that I would be surprised. I learned that my sister valued her high school water polo experience as one of the top 10 highlights of her life… Did not know that.

Question 5: I purchased and devoured the book, “Social… Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect” by Matthew D. Lieberman.

“While we tend to think it is our capacity for abstract reasoning that is responsible for Homo sapiens’ dominating the planet, there is increasing evidence that our dominance as a species may be attributable to our ability to think socially. The goal of this book is to get clear about “who we are” as social creatures and to reveal how a more accurate understanding of our social nature can improve our lives and our society.”

According to my understanding of this book, our evolutionary success as humans comes from the part of brains that turns on by default every moment we are not consumed by a task. “If this social network comes on like a reflex, it may nudge our attention toward the social world. And not just to other people as objects in our environment. Rather, the default network directs us to think about other people’s minds, their thoughts, feelings, and goals. To take what philosopher Daniel Dennett called “the intentional stance,” it promotes understanding and empathy, cooperation, and consideration. It suggests that evolution, figuratively speaking, made a big bet on the importance of developing and using our social intelligence for the overall success of our species by focusing the brain’s free time on it.”

How has this social reflex played a role in your life to this point and what is the importance if any of being social as we evolve?

Result: This question was one that I shared with two of my closest friends. The beauty of a question that you don’t have to respond to immediately is that is gives it time to fester in your mind as you contemplate the answer. A question provokes thought and sometimes action… My friend responded to this question with the following action. “After contemplating this soul penetrating question, I decided to live (a little).  I went to Linda’s parent’s house for the first time in years.  I interacted with her family (a little).”

Question 7: What is the most brave thing you have ever done?

Result: This question perplexed me for days. I struggled to think of anything brave that I had done. It was difficult for me to answer because anything that I had done that I deemed brave had now been accomplished and resided in the list of things that now didn’t require bravery. “The person who asked this question shared with me that the most brave thing that she had ever done was ask for a divorce. After hearing that I couldn’t agree more. The most brave thing I ever did is ask for a divorce from my first wife and friend MaryBeth and if I can say that; it must have been so brave for my second wife to ask for a divorce.”

Question 25: This question was inspired by a suggestion from brother. He recommended that we include multiple choice questions, Yes/No and fill in the blank type questions. I love this suggestion as it inspired me to think outside the box.

Most of us have either read or are aware of the book The 5 Love Languages. I went online and found a short questionnaire from The 5 Love Languages. I thought it might be fun and interesting to share with each other the results of our questionnaire as it will help us to better understand each other and how we value Love.

Result:

Profile Scores:

8 Words of Affirmation

10 Quality Time

1 Receiving Gifts

2 Acts of Service

9 Physical Touch

Interpreting and Using Your Profile Score:

The highest score indicates your primary love language – how you really understand your spouse’s expressions of love. It’s common to have two high scores (the highest score being 12), although one language tends to have a slight edge for most people. The lower scores in your profile indicate those languages you seldom use to communicate love and which probably don’t affect you on an emotional level in your marriage.

I am flabbergasted that I scored higher on Quality Time than I did Physical Touch. I would like to combine the two for a profile score of 19 in a new category that I call Quality Time Physically Touching.

1 is very generous as it pertains to Gifts. I do enjoy giving them however I am a poor receiver and am poor in giving them outside of the spontaneous moment.

I agree that I am poor at Acts of Service as I am a very selfish when it comes to my time.

Obviously I don’t mind you telling me how great I am and I too value providing others with Words of Affirmation.

I was surprised by the results of this question as I have considered myself the black sheep of my family, uniquely different. What I discovered is just how much alike the members of my family are as it pertains to love. Maybe it should come as such a shock, after all we have shared DNA and life experiences… Family, go figure.

Question 28: Describe The Greatest  Gift you ever received?

Result: The Greatest Gift

 

Question 30: At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell

Result: My sister responded with, The thing that first came to my mind was doing my triathlon last May.  It was something I had wanted to do for years, I had even signed up for one once; but because of being pregnant and threat of miscarriage I couldn’t complete it.  It was way harder than I thought it would be, and I had thought I really trained, and this is one of the easier ones.  I remember thinking on the run, “I am never going to finish this, I am going to sit down right here and never finish this.” “You mean I still have to bike and swim after this”  But I did finish and I beat my goal and the feeling after I completed it was AMAZING!!!”.

Question 36: I came up with question 36 during a personal transformation training I was participating in. We discussed something called AGREEMENT REALITY. Agreement Reality is something we participate in it all the time, when we as a whole think a certain way. We do it with our conversations as we agree to things our family or friends are saying, just because its easier to agree than deal with the issue or consequences that could arise.

My question is do we as Oborn’s have an AGREEMENT as to what Oborn means?

What does Oborn mean to you?

Do you like the meaning that you have for it and if not what are you willing to do to change it?

Results:

Father – “I think Oborn’s are a force for good. I think Oborn means good,  service, lift, joyful, thoughtful, caring and doing. I do not think that is always what Oborn means but I do think it is what it means most often. I love the opportunity these questions provide to think and in joy and ponder.”

Sister – What does Oborn mean to me?  I like being an Oborn. It means strong, giving, loving, thinking outside the box, independent.  Sometimes when someone says “why” or “how” did you do that?  The answer is because I’m an Oborn.”

Sister – We are strong, we are giving, we love all others and give of all our time and talents. We stand strong (which may be called stubborn at times) for our rights beliefs and for those in need. I think of all the character traits given to me because I belong to this family and I am proud to call myself an Oborn.”

 

Question 39: This question is for MOM. (Asked by my sister) If you had to get a tattoo, what would it be and why?  And where would it be on your body and why?

Result: I think we were all so shocked that mom was the first person to say something and it was that she would get it on the small of her back.  We all started laughing and said,  “You would get a tramp stamp?”

Question 41: this question was asked of me this week by my business partner. Where in your life do you have so much abundance that you can give some of your abundance away?

Result: I think my sister answered best, “I was thinking about this quite a bit and my selfish side came out.  I have an abundance of love but can always use more; but it got me thinking that as we give away we are usually blessed with more in return.”

Irony… I am creating Connect52 so that everyone can create an abundance of quality connections with family, friends, co-workers, etc.” What I have received through this process of sharing the Connect52 creation is an overwhelming abundance of connection. Thank you!!!

Question 43: This past week I was in Colorado visiting my youngest sister. Yesterday when she was driving me to the airport we were stopped on the highway for approximately 45 minutes as life-flight flew in & out. As we passed the accident it was apparent that someone, just minutes before our arrival had lost their life. Later my sister confirmed that the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and was flown via life-flight to a near by hospital where they were able to survive the accident. The passenger who was not wearing a seatbelt was the unfortunate one that we saw covered with a sheet in the middle of the road.

As we all know this happens to people and families every day, but I could not help but think about the following question… If it were me in that accident, what are the things I wish I would have done before that moment?

Result: my answer, “I appreciate mom’s sense of urgency when she said, “Whatever it is, I should be doing it now! Pronto!!”. I don’t know why this person whom I do not know lying there on the highway affected me so, but for days I couldn’t help but think of all the times I have driven while tired and how easily it could have been me lying there. This week I shared if it were me lying there and if it is true that you lift up out of your body and get to experience what is happening and see what your loved ones experience in that moment I would be devastated if no one started talking about finishing the Connect52. As I imagine the world without this thing that we have been doing I feel a sense of urgency, a need to finish the software and the opportunity to affect change in families lives, Pronto!!. Having said that, I can’t imagine that I will be thinking about anything in that moment other than gratitude for the Connections I have made. So with that said I appreciate your willingness to share and Connect through this process.

However the answers and the deeper Connection that I feel to each of you is the only thing I imagine I will be thinking of in that moment. Something else that I would like to accomplish before I die is a vacation with siblings, an opportunity to Connect, to learn what is going on in your lives and how we might be able to help one another achieve greater success.”

 

Question 48 & 49: The question asked of me last week that has consumed my every thought is, “What is Your Heaven?”

Some people believe that we are currently living in Heaven and that we are currently Gods. Others believe that heaven is a place, and that after this life we have the opportunity to become a God and create world(s). What if your ability to create a world as a God after this life is dependent upon how well you took advantage of the opportunity to create in this world?

And if your ability to create a world as a God after this life is dependent upon how well you took advantage of the opportunity to create in this world, what do you want to create, what do you feel you need to create and if creating requires gaining greater knowledge in a particular subject matter, what do you need to learn?

Result: I asked this question of all of my friends. My friend Jay Jacobs, wrote his answer in an article on his website #COUCHKILLS.

 

Question for you: What would your life be like if you were truly and deeply connected to your family, spouse, friends, etc.?

Result: I can’t guarantee that asking and answering questions will cause a truly deeper connection but I can say that it is worth the attempt and effort as I can guarantee that the process will transform you and your connection to those relationships.

Questions

Family

  • What is your favorite personality characteristic?
  • If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?
  • What are your greatest fears?
  • What do you think we as a family can do to improve the distance we experience both in geography and in our connection?
  • What was your favorite birthday
  • When and where was the last time you were able to relax?
  • What is your happiest childhood memory?
  • What will people say about you or would like people to say about you at your funeral?
  • What are your favorite memories of each family member?
  • Submit a family photo and describe what was going on in your life at the time of the photo and what the photo means to you?
  • What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you?
  • What help would you be willing to ask your family for that would make your quality of life better?

Significant Other

  • What is the most romantic thing your partner has ever done for you?
  • If we could quit our jobs what would we do with our time?
  • What non-wexual things does your partner do that really turn you on?
  • Share your favorite photo(s) of your partner?
  • What is your favorite vacation that you have taken together and why?
  • What is the biggest laugh you have shared?
  • What do you want said about you as a couple?
  • What were the reasons we fell in love?
  • What do you find emotionally appealing about your partner?
  • What have you learned about yourself from the relationship?
  • Favorite date?
  • The Greatest Gift you received from your partner?
  • What does your partner do that makes you feel loved?

In Memory of… http://connect52.com/dead-or-alive/

  • What is your relationship to the departed?
  • What is your fondest memory of the departed?
  • What is the greatest lesson you learned from the departed?
  • What advice would the departed want passed on?
  • What would you like to say to the departed?

Friends

  • How did we become friends?
  • What does our friendship mean to you?
  • Have you been the kind of friend that you want to be?
  • What do you value you most in a friendship?
  • What is your fondest memory of our friendship?

Personal Transformation (Free when you sign up for Connect52)

  • Who am I?
  • What are your values and are you being true to them?
  • I should be… Are your “shoulds” getting in the way of your happiness?
  • Do I love myself? What do I love about myself?
  • If you could eliminate fear, what would you do?
  • What’s your WHY?
  • If you are the average of the 5 people you most associate with, do you like your average or would you like to make some improvements?
  • What is the thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  • Are you in control of your destiny or do you put your life path in the hands of others?
  • What are your greatest accomplishments in life and what do you want to accomplish?
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