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It's one thing to say "I've answered most of 12,500 questions about life, all by hand." It's another thing to show it. Thanks to some MIT students, I was able to show it recently, displaying 8,000 cards in an MIT lobby, just long enough to take photos. Take a look!

It's a good time to reflect on the project. What have I learned? Seeing the hundreds of ways that people can phrase a question that's common has given me insight into what people are really asking. Here's a card with more.


What have you learned about people, doing this?

 


  • We don't show it on the outside, but everyone has a troubling problem or question.
  • We have enormous control over our own lives. Making a change is possible; it just requires conquering our fear of failure.
  • Most people love the concept, but don't offer to help.
  • I like saying hi to strangers.
  • :) <3 <3

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I'm excited to hear in the news that Egypt and other states may become true democracies. But I'm not surprised. It's part of a long trend, and shame on the people who think we'll "never" see democracy in China, that instead there will be some kind of totalitarian takeover or dominance. Here's a card on that.


Do you think we will ever find peace?

With other countries, and with ourselves?

(I hope so)

 


The world is already half at peace. We're at an all-time low for number of armed conflicts worldwide & for deaths as a fraction of the population per year, even including the cave man days.

Half the world now lives in a democracy, and world commerce helps to stabilize relations, too.

Hang in there! We'll see world peace by 2050.

<3 <3

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I handwrite every answer I give, so having been asked "What is the Meaning of Life" a hundred times, I've given a hundred answers. It's a big question that lends itself to a variety of responses. Here's a good one.


What is the meaning of life

 


Every person you meet is an opportunity to change someone's life.

Taking actions that cause you Regret is the worst thing that you can do to yourself.

Make a difference in the world that survives longer than you will.

<3

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Every time you catch yourself thinking, "Am I normal?"... that's normal. :)


If I have never had a boyfriend what am I doing wrong?

(I am a girl.)

 


You're not asking any boys out.

Work on gaining confidence by sorting out all your "issues" actively, instead of waiting & hoping.

It's the most attractive thing about a person to be confident.

:) <3 <3

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Being an author of a memoir gives me a different viewpoint on life. When something good happens, I wonder if I can write about it. When something bad happens, I'm sad of course, but I also think: Damn! This would make a good chapter! I've even caught myself feeling a bit jealous of the noteworthy disasters in the memoirs of others. Damn! Why can't I be chased by dinosaurs like in Jurassic Park?

Yesterday I saw my dad and we were going through old photos when he made a comment about my weight. Three, actually, one of them being. "You sure were a chubby kid!" Instead of being hurt or annoyed as usual, I just rolled my eyes and chuckled to myself. "I gotta write about this!!" I thought. A nice change.

(What, you're saying Jurassic Park is not a true story?)


What is the difference between love + addiction?

Sometimes I can't remember...

 


True, healthy love is when you have the confidence to say "no" and not be permissive of your partner mistreating you -- but you don't need to because your partner is consistently giving & never gets angry, and you are too.

Addiction is when you feel love, but the relationship is not giving two-ways, and you have this delusion that you're "trapped" & can't leave.

<3 <3

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Anyone who's able to question whether he or she is a good person... is a good person. Here's a card on that. :)


I so badly want to be someone else. Anyone else. Why?

 


Everyone has a hero.

Maybe it's time for a reset.

Plan a party with friends to announce the new you.

Make a list of resolutions & ask for their help.

You really can be anyone you want. Defining it lowers anxiety & asking for help makes it stick.

<3

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Here's a card about letting your inner child out for a while. Or all the time. :)


Is life really over after college??

 


Many people choose to end fun hobbies, late nights with friends, learning, & living in a close community. But you don't have to give up your creative, playful approach to life just because you get a job! Just be sure to get a job that's inspiring & doesn't drain you. Then rock on!!

<3 <3

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I'm feeling happy today, having just finished a great new revision of the Wheel Questions book proposal. Over the last 12 months I've improved it seven levels up that I can think of. Most of the time I'm a blabbermouth, eager to fill the whole card with ideas, and wanting to avoid sounding slogan-y. Here's a nice short poetic one.


What is art?

 


Art is beauty, made on purpose.

<3

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Happy New Year, everyone. Do what you can to nudge people into being nice, but don't get drawn into trying to help someone who can't be helped.

-Johnny


Why are some people mean & others so nice?

Why can't all people Be nice & kind?

 


People who are mean are usually lashing out because they're hurt & frustrated.

It's a mistake to get too close to that. Learn to spot the nice people and don't be permissive! Sometimes nice people have unreasonable expectations about reciprocation. Watch out for that, too!

<3

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I'm revising the Wheel Questions book proposal! This time, I've made a full, detailed outline of all the chapters. You can see my post-it notes all over a wall on the Wheel Questions Backstage Blog.

Also, I'm looking for a few good people to read over the proposal. I don't need time consuming, low-level comments on grammar. Really I'm just looking for some people to pretend to be a busy editor who gives a readover of maybe an hour, and get your high-level feedback as to whether it works. I'd like to wrap up this next revision by January 3rd, so if you are interested over the holiday break, please email me at johnny@wheelquestions.org, and thanks! :)

Happy holidays!

-Johnny


Is Santa real?

Ho! Ho! Ho!

 


Santa is not a real person, but it is a real idea. When people act on an idea, it makes real changes to the world. How would the world be different if we didn't have the concept of Santa?

Would we still give gifts?

<3 <3

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