In Others’ Words: Questions

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ~Dr. Suess, American writer

I call my friend Doug “Wise Guy.” He offers me counsel that often cuts through my “why can’t I figure this out” questions with profoundly simple answers.

I clutter the truth with too many “what ifs.” He sifts through my many questions–sometimes I think he ignores most of them–and lasers in on truth. Reality. Not the maybes. Not the could bes. Not the might have beens or should haves.

Dr. Seuss had it right. It’s not the answers that trip us up. It’s the made-this-more-complicated-than-it-needed-to-be questions.

In Your Words: Have you ever realized you made the question harder than it needed to be? What, or who, helped you simplify your search and find what you were looking for?


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  1. October 3, 2011, 6:08 am   /  Reply

    Oh boy, I’m famous for overcomplicating things. My husband’s pretty good at setting me straight and decluttering my brain. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      October 3, 2011, 7:50 am   /  Reply

      It definitely helps to have someone else talk me through things, Sarah!! A friend, my husband …

  2. October 3, 2011, 7:06 am   /  Reply

    Absolutely – I do this the worst with God – asking why. But slowly, He’s teaching me the question I need to ask is Who. When I focus on God, the questions are no longer important! Beth, thank you for this timely reminder!

    • Beth Vogt
      October 3, 2011, 7:52 am   /  Reply

      Edie–good point! Focus is so important when we’re asking questions. It stills are the “what ifs?” and let’s us hear the answers we need.

  3. October 3, 2011, 7:22 am   /  Reply

    That is a fabulous quote and hits the target so well.
    This post is like some excellent steaks–well-done!

    • Beth Vogt
      October 3, 2011, 7:51 am   /  Reply

      Appreciate your humor, Dee! 😉

  4. October 3, 2011, 7:54 am   /  Reply

    Absolutely! I’m a natural question asker. I have to slow it on the questions sometimes & my man is the perfect one to remind me when.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      October 3, 2011, 7:55 am   /  Reply

      Another good point: slowing the questions down. I tend to barrage people (and God) sometimes with questions, never giving them a chance to get a word (or answer) in.

  5. October 3, 2011, 8:10 am   /  Reply

    Hubby says I make it more difficult sometimes. I typically realize this when I’m saying it out loud. Then, like a light bulb, I think of what I need to do.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 3, 2011, 8:25 am   /  Reply

      Your comment made me smile. I often have my fictional characters talk out loud to themselves when they’re trying to figure things out … 🙂

  6. Jeanne
    October 3, 2011, 8:30 am   /  Reply

    Great quote, Beth. I am a master at making things more complicated than they need to be. My husband and friends have helped me, but journaling is also huge for me when I’m struggling with something. God is able to bypass the mouth and go straight to my heart, coming out of my pen.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 3, 2011, 8:34 am   /  Reply

      Appreciating all the insights … and journaling is another great technique for discovering answers. I used to journal almost daily but have let that lapse in recent years. Need to get back to it.

  7. October 3, 2011, 11:20 am   /  Reply

    Oh my goodness….Dr. Suess peeked inside my head!!

    My wonderful crit partner calls me the Queen of Overthinking. When I brainstormed Lakeside Reunion with Susie and Rachel, they kept reminding me to stop overthinking the plot and to keep it simple. They’ve been great at helping me to see the simplicity in the plot.

    My hubby is my Voice of Reason. He’ll listen to me rant or get upset about a problem, give me *that look* and present a simple solution in a calm manner. Sigh.

    • Beth Vogt
      October 3, 2011, 11:35 am   /  Reply

      It seems we all agree: Others help us avoid over-thinking … and Dr. Suess is a wise, wise man!

  8. October 3, 2011, 11:59 am   /  Reply

    I love me some Dr. Seuss. What a wise man, ay?

    This is a problem I have quite often, Beth. I over-complicate the question!

    • Beth Vogt
      October 3, 2011, 12:06 pm   /  Reply

      :O) Joining the Dr. Suess fan club, eh, Katie?

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