Remember the days of limited educational choices? Back then, the state board was the only option, a true “choiceless choice.” This “choiceless choice” reminded me of a concept in Indian spirituality – but that’s a conversation for another time!

Fast forward to today, not only there are so many boards but also they are USPs of each. Recently, in one session in my daughter’s school where they were introducing parents to different boards, the presenter emphasized the importance of asking questions as a core value. This sparked a thought: isn’t this very principle a cornerstone of both business success and spiritual exploration?

Inquisitiveness, they argued, was a core value of their educational philosophy. It got me thinking – I actually did the same thing with my daughter, Adviti, from a young age. I instilled in her the habit of asking “why” whenever something wasn’t clear. Though she is too young still and was even younger at that time to understand the meaning of asking questions.

Questioning Your Assumptions (Even in Business)

I have written on questioning your assumptions earlier as well. Here is an interesting story – I’ve been into management consulting. In such service business we do have tailored solutions yet the solutions have similar framework. We’re presenting to a potential client, during the discussions prospects and we were asking insightful questions to each other simultaneously learning about needs and challenges.  By actively listening, engaging and asking for clarification, we tailor our solution as per their needs and secure a happy client.

The learning is – Asking questions demonstrates genuine interest, builds trust, and leads to better outcomes.

The Art of the Question (and When Not to Take Offense)

However, there are times when asking questions can be misconstrued. Imagine being added to a group by a senior colleague, only to discover a highly charged political atmosphere. When someone questions a post and you provide factual references to support it, you might expect a discussion, right? Wrong. Suddenly, you’re removed without explanation. This frustrating experience begs the question: When does a simple “why” or “what are the rules” become offensive?

It happened with me twice. A very senior person of my institute added me in his group of institute alumni. I did not know the rules of the group and later on came to know he is highly politically motivated. One fine day someone posted something and the admin questioned the varsity of the post. To bolster the original post, I shared news article links. Admin removed the person who had posted the message.

I replied, why have you removed him, I gave you references of sources, what the person wrote is correct. He did not respond. I asked – “what are the rules of the group?” What constitute a valid datapoint? “I was removed”.

This person is very senior retired officer of a PSU. I wondered if government offices in India worked like that few decades back. There were no set of rules and still you have to follow some rules? This is an inference from this individual’s stupidity, I may be wrong about the functioning of Govt offices in the past though.

So, when I asked some other alumni, I was told “Lunatic hai”, “even after retirement PSU mindset not gone”. I said, I want to know the rules of the group. I never got a response from him nor others in the group. I wish he gets a ticket to contest an election from his favourite pollical party, he would have a reality check ????

Is Curiosity a Lost Art?

Perhaps it’s a self-esteem issue. Could a fear of being challenged lead someone to shut down curiosity? It certainly makes you wonder what happens to those who can’t tolerate a healthy exchange of ideas. (This is a great discussion point in the comments! What are your thoughts?)

The Power of Curiosity in Spirituality

Now, let’s explore the spiritual angle. Indian spirituality often emphasizes the importance of inquiry. I have written on it earlier as well – there is no other religion of country where so many people have asked so many authorities. I am pretty sure if Indians will see God in human form, they will not spare him/her and ask umpteen questions to him/her. Take an example of Arjuna asking Krishna!

The Buddha travelled from one monastery to the other and had many teachers in his quest to Nirvana. He too had many questions, some answered by each of the teachers and some he learnt himself. Isn’t the entire concept of seeking enlightenment fueled by a deep-seated curiosity about the nature of reality and our place within it? Just like in business and education, asking questions paves the way for deeper understanding.

So, Let’s All Be Curious!

Here’s the takeaway: There are no bad questions! Asking questions demonstrates your engagement, your eagerness to learn, and your openness to new information. It helps you grasp information better, challenge assumptions, and ultimately, find better solutions. So next time you have a question, don’t hold back! Your curiosity might just unlock a world of possibilities, both personally and professionally. After all, life is short. Let’s embrace open discussions and learn from each other, just like my daughter is learning at her school!

Image source – Photo by willsantt:

KRD Pravin

Here I am supposed to write about myself. Professionally, I am quite serious and a workaholic; personally I am an individual who enjoys what he does and takes life as it comes. I am passionate about my work and actions and empathetically careful, attached and committed to them. All this makes me a fierce competitive professional and yet a compassionate soul, the Yin and the Yang together. Balancing is the art to be practiced using the middle path. From -


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