It’s one of those buzzy quotes that floats around; it goes something like “There’s no such thing as a stupid question…”. The idea is to promote creativity and encourage people to overcome their fear of looking foolish by asking ’stupid’ questions.

There’s a quote I like better. I’ve no idea of where originated (on a postcard, it fell out of a book I bought yesterday, so in one sense, I suppose do know where it came from). It goes “There are no such things as stupid questions… but they’re easier to answer”.

I like this better because it reminds me that the questions we ask determine the responses we get. There may not be such a thing as a stupid question, but there are certainly lazy ones.

Lazy questions are the ones we ask by rote; they are routine and dull, but they are easy because no thought goes into them. They often start with “Why…?”.

Questions are the single, most powerful tool we have in language. They can transform your life. But beware, the questions you ask (or fail to ask, or are frightened to ask), also shape your life on a daily basis.

You see what I don’t like lazy questions?