In response to a letter about life’s challenges from his protege, Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke writes in Letters to a Young Poet in 1903:
“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
Live the questions now… So simple, so beautiful, and yet, so challenging and scary. We live in a world where Google is at our fingertips and there is a “How To” or “Do It Yourself” guide to absolutely everything. Today we are so preoccupied with solutions and answers, even for the things that may be entirely unsolvable and uncertain. But how can we show up in the world differently if we focus on life’s journey as one wrapped in questions rather than directing to an answer that is to be arrived at?
What if we tried to love and embrace the big questions, the “who am I?”, the “where do I belong?” and the “is this it?” rather than fear them and push them away?
As Rilke writes, by living the questions we may stumble upon the answers without even noticing. For the answers, if there even are any at all, won’t be what is the most important, because they would be what makes a life.
At Unsettled, we have found so much more than answers when we have embraced the solo journey of life itself.
Questions spark growth, transformation, and possibility, whereas answers end conversations and halt discoveries. At Unsettled, we believe that there is no destination because life itself is a constant process, a continual discovery. “How can I live my life differently?” is an active question to be lived, explored, and discovered. Our lives change and evolve and so do we. The point is to live everything…
When Luke Skywalker doubts himself and his abilities, Yoda gives him sage advice that is relevant for both Jedi and adventurers trying to make sense of it all: “You must unlearn what you have learned. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” Like Rilke, Yoda wants you to live everything too. And so do we.