Early in my career I had the very good fortune to meet my mentor, a man named Dean Schennum. Over the course of the 10 plus years we worked together, Dean helped me see opportunities when I saw problems. When I was ready to throw in the towel and quit, he would encourage me. When I was taking life too seriously, he would poke fun at me, and we would laugh.
As I think back over our time together, when I would go to him with questions, the really important questions, he would not give me answers. Instead he would ask me more questions and listen.
It was a bit frustrating at the time because I just wanted him to give me an answer.
Dean passed away earlier this year; I realize now that through his mentoring he trained me to think. He taught me the incredible power of asking a good question. He helped me to realize how important it is to listen.
So in the memory of Dean, I have a few questions that I think you might enjoy.
1) If you learned that you had 5 years to live, then how would that change how you spend your time?
2) If you found out you had 24 hours to live, then what are you most proud of? What do you most regret?
Dean used to say “life is not a dress rehearsal, you get one life so make it great.” These questions make sure you are living your best life.
Two good questions that I’ve pondered for years are:
1) How will you be remembered?
2) What have you contributed?
These make sure we begin with the end in mind and live our legacy.
But after having had a friend and a mentor like Dean, the two questions that I find myself asking are:
1) Who did I love?
2) How did they know they were loved?
The Bible teaches us, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1st Corinthians 13:2
This is right about the time Dean would poke fun at me for being too serious.
He would listen.
We would laugh.