The 4 Questions

“The 4 Questions” serves as a general introduction to my workbook: Who – Me? Yes – You! (the companion volume to Giving Your Money Away – How Much, How To, Why, Where, and To Whom). I have done this exercise with my audiences more than 100 times. It has proven to be the most useful stimulus I know for people of all ages who want to match their individual personality with specific kind(s) of Tikkun Olam. (See my other blog posts regarding Tikkun Olam projects – though relating to Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids, the ideas are for everyone.)

(And, yes, there really are 11 questions. But, as the joke goes, there are 3 kinds of people relating to math — those who can do it and those who can’t. If I had called this “The 11 Questions” no one would have paid much attention to it.)

1. What are you good at?*

2. What do you like to do?*

3. What do you care about? What do you really care about?

4. What things do you do that make you feel good about yourself?

5. What are you passionate about? What are you really passionate about?

6. What bothers you so much about what is wrong in the world that you weep or scream in anger and frustration. What is so terribly wrong that you are at a loss for words…and you are determined to do something to change it?*

7. Who are your heroes, and what is it about them that you admire?

8. Whom do you know?

9. Why not?

10. What can you do right now?

11. What are you not good at, but might do anyway because it would make a big difference in someone else’s life?

*A Comment and a Hint

Comment: #1 and #2, though frequently identical, are often two separate categories. For example: You are a fabulous salesperson. Your friend says you could sell double-layered overcoats to Tahitians. Sometime in your career you realize you no longer enjoy it and that it is time to “get on with your life” and do something else. An example of the opposite: You love to play the clarinet, but you have no sense of rhythm and your off-key performances drive others crazy. Worn down by the cacophony, your friends and family politely (but firmly) insist that you play when no one is around.

Hint: 6 often gets the most articulate and deeply-felt response.

About the Author
Danny Siegel is a well-known author, lecturer, and poet who has spoken in more than 500 North American Jewish communities on Tzedakah and Jewish values, besides reading from his own poetry. He is the author of 29 1/2 books on such topics as Mitzvah heroism practical and personalized Tzedakah, and Talmudic quotes about living the Jewish life well. Siegel has been referred to as "The World's Greatest Expert on Microphilanthropy", "The Pied Piper of Tzedakah", "A Pioneer Of Tzedakah", and "The Most Famous Unknown Jewish Poet in America."
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