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Questions are the Answer

28 Nov 2023

Many times in life, answers to problems do not come easily.  We want to be told or shown how to resolve challenges. But the greatest learning comes when we figure solutions out for ourselves. And that needs us to ask the right questions – of ourselves and the situation.

Asking the right questions helps us go deeper into problems.  Questions enable us to probe and delve.  Like any enquiring interviewer, we have to be ready to listen to what comes from our investigation.

Let us look at a failsafe method I always use to help me get to the heart of anything that needs my particular understanding.

I turn to Rudyard Kipling’s 6 Serving men.

I keep 6 serving men, they taught me all I knew
Their names were What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who

The order in which you use this method can vary according to the problem.  And you may find you unearth some insights in one area by digging through another prompt. 

Below, you will find a simple example of how to use this 6 serving men method as an End of year Review.

Question: How have I measured up in my plans for a productive, progressive and peaceful 2023?

So here is how I would drill down using the ‘6 serving men’ analogy to get
some a-ha reveals.


What exactly did I have in my plan for a productive, progressive and peaceful 2003 (or whatever your focus for this year was)
What were my key targets in any identified area?
What did I want to achieve this year?
What areas of this year worked out best for me?
What did not work out so well?
What were my high points in 2023?
What goals will I set for the coming year?


Why did I set these particular goals and targets?
Why are they still important to me?
Why were some goals more difficult for me?


When did I achieve the most?
When did I have a particular challenge working on my goals?


How did I work towards my goals each day, each week or each month?
How well did I reach my targets and plans?


Where did I perform my best?
Where am I particularly strong?


Who was my champion this year?
Who am I grateful for in my life?


Continue creating your searching questions in the same vein through all the key areas – What, Why, When, How, Where, Who.

Once you start to hone the right questions, you will find it becomes easy to draft others.  Starting is often the hardest – especially when the focus of our questioning is ourselves! 

It’s all too easy to make the questions less probing but that will not give us the big insights we need to help up plan for a strong 2024.

Get down as many questions as you can to help you understand what worked this year, and what might need more attention.  You want the questions to help you get the best all round view of how well your year went (if that matters to you).

You know your own weaknesses – the things you avoid, and those you lean into.

An annual review is not meant to be a quick process because it does ask us to stand up and face our own questions.  In any problem-solving process, the quality of the questions determines the quality of the solution.

Approach the task with openness, ready to bring your best line of questioning and the best of yourself.

If you do that, you can be sure that you will gain the most from the exercise.

When you come at life with Integrity and Grace you can not help but move your life forward.

With best wishes for a peaceful 2024.

Love and light,



If you would like your own 2023 Year Review Workbook, you can download that at

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