WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Personal Socrates by Marc Champagne

“At any point , we are one question away from a different life.”

As someone who asks a lot of questions (in both my professional and personal life) this book was always going to be a winner for me! I adored every question and every chapter. This is a book I will return to again and again, for my work and also the sheer joy it brings me and my questioning mind!

The author starts the book by presenting modernised version of the Socratic Method, the technique used by philosopher Socrates to break a challenge down into a series of questions that eventually will provide the answers we seek.

He then presents chapters based on exceptional people, turning their particular wisdom into a series of reflective questions – “narratives of the questions shaping the lives of extraordinary humans”. The profiles are not biographies, but rather “reflections inspired by the subject’s wisdom. The chapter about Robin Williams is called “What does it mean to be unapologetically me? The chapter about Pablo Picasso is titled “What is my art reflecting?” The chapter on Stephen Hawking is “Why do I think I know better?” The chapter on Steve Jobs is “How can I think different?”

The chapters are sorted into three groups. Part 1 includes questions around getting clear; Part 2 covers questions aimed at living intentionally; and Part 3 focuses on questions to expand possibilities. (In a way, these three groupings mirror how my REAL Conflict Coaching System is structured – first help people become clear about their conflict; then support them to identify their values and why the conflict matters to them; then finally expand their choices for the future.

“Even though time, history and circumstances surrounding a question may be different, the outcomes are the same: more clarity, insight, and confidence in processing our thoughts and decisions.”

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