Travis G. Cashion


The Most Important Question

June 18, 2019

What is your MIQ?

This post is inspired by the Tim Ferris podcast with Josh Waitzkin.

During the interview, Waitzkin spent a short time talking about his coaching tool that he called the "MIQ". During sessions, he asks his subjects to block out time to reflect on their individual MIQs. This elegant approach strips away superfluity and directs attention toward the highest priority objectives. After hearing this discussion, I began pondering on what my MIQ might be.

This morning (the morning allows for pre-input brainstorming as suggested by Waitzkin), I carved out a few minutes to ask myself: what is my MIQ? Here is what bubbled out of my subconscious: How do I achieve uninhibited self-expression?

Once this question was painted across my mind, many useful answers came to the surface: seek feedback from others about what I am good at; ABL (always be learning); be jealous of my time, and don't fall for the trap of the 9-5; seek out coaches and mentors.

I think it's important to state that everyone's MIQ is different. The beauty of the human experience is that it is ambiguous, meaning that people can choose their purpose and beliefs at will. This is what differentiates us from machines: we have the capacity to create our own destinies. Therefore, each person's MIQ can be, and must be, chosen only by his or herself. Otherwise, it is fundamentally not a MIQ.

And just as each person must choose their MIQ, I believe that the MIQ changes and evolves as time goes on. Therefore in order for this to be a useful tool, one must regularly choose to reevaluate and understand their present MIQ. Here are some samples of other MIQs that I think applied to me recently (whether I properly addressed them, I'm not sure), or could become relevant in the future:

  • How can I add value to another person's life?
  • How can I avoid hurting others?
  • What is the most productive use of my time and energy?
  • How can I express myself creativity in a way that is novel, unique and cannot be replicated?

This is to list just a few.

For many, many years I have struggled to find (or decide on) a purpose. The MIQ tool has potential to focus my energy and resolve the inner tension of always wondering what to do next. I think there could be a lot of power in the practice of studying the MIQ, and I plan to incorporate it into my daily practice.