Less ‘I Know What I Like,’ More ‘What’s Working for You?’

Less ‘I Know What I Like,’ More ‘What’s Working for You?’

It’s easy and common to settle into the comfort of preference and routine. On some level, this is to be expected. Over time, we craft our lives around what we know we like, from the coffee we drink and the shows we watch, to even the ideas and opinions we hold dear.

And the more we do that, the easier those patterns become to repeat.

This familiarity in life isn’t inherently bad. On some level, it gives us a sense of security and identity—it makes up the people we are and the lives we live.

But there’s a danger when comfort turns into complacency. There’s a point where “I know what I like” can close the door on growth, new experiences, and even wisdom that others can offer us.

There is a subtle line where “I know what I like” begins to take away from joy and even a potentially more meaningful existence.

At all stages of life, but maybe even more the older we get, we would be wise to focus less on “I know what I like” and more on “What’s working for you?”

It’s foolish, of course, to assume that we know all things and have everything figured out in life perfectly. So on some level, this shift in thinking that I’m encouraging today is an invitation to humility.

But it’s not just about the fact that no matter our age, we can still learn from others. It’s about actively pursuing that wisdom.

It’s about intentionally moving away from “I know what I like and I’m not going to change” to “What’s working for you? And how can I improve life for myself and others by moving toward it?”

Think about it this way: Shifting from “I know what I like” to “What’s working for you?” is a small change in wording but a significant shift in mindset.

The question invites a dialogue and opens us up to learn from the experiences and successes of others. It’s an acknowledgment that perhaps there’s a different, maybe even a better way, to approach various aspects of life that we hadn’t considered before.

We can see this in small ways. Questions like “What restaurant do you like to eat at?,” “What movies have you enjoyed seeing?,” “What books are you reading?,” or “What hobbies are you currently enjoying?” can introduce us to new foods, new experiences, and new passions.

But the application of this mindset goes well beyond leisure activities. It can (and should) extend into more profound areas of our lives.

We can ask our friends and people we look up to questions like:

What’s working for you in your physical health?
What’s working for you in your personal finances?
What’s working for you in your relationships?
What’s working for you in your career?

Or imagine the insights we could gain by asking a friend, “What’s working for you in managing stress?” or “What worked for you in restoring that broken relationship?” These questions can uncover wisdom, advice, and strategies we might never have learned otherwise.

But to get there, we need to move beyond being content with what we like and how we’ve decided to live our lives. We need to purposefully desire to learn from others.

Adopting this approach to life doesn’t just benefit us individually. For one, it sparks a culture of sharing and community and deciding to learn from one another rather than argue with one another (and don’t we all need more of that these days). When we live wise and intentional lives, everybody wins.

So let me encourage you today. Think less “I know what I like.” Ask more “What’s working for you?”

And let’s all grow and be better because of it.

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