What if I told you that you could make drastic improvements in your life by simply asking the right questions? Would you believe me? Well it is absolutely true. Here is a simple phrase I encourage you to integrate into your life:
For many years I did not know how the value and importance of asking great questions. Growing up I was taught how to answer questions. Starting with simple things like, “Do you know your ABC’s?” and “What is 1 + 1?” Those are important things to know, but for the most part that is just basic information most people take for granted. As I continued in my formal education I learned more facts and some useful skills, but I still was not growing in wisdom. In The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success, Andy Andrews reveals to us the second decision to determine personal success is, “Today I will seek wisdom.”
In Do You Have Any Fruit I discussed the importance of seeking wisdom from others and considering their advice by their “fruit on the tree”. It is important to consider the long term consequences of following “free” advice from someone who is not bearing fruit in their life.
Another great way to ask better questions is to shift your focus from disempowering questions to empowering questions. This is one of the Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires And The Middle Class.
Our world is filled with negativity and we are constantly influenced by all of the negative messages out there. As a result we often times ask disempowering questions that yield negative results in our lives. If we simply flip the switch to ask EMPOWERING questions instead we can begin to yield more positive results in our lives. Here is an example:
Disempowering question: Why can’t I lose weight?
Possible answers: I am lazy, I am addicted to food, I do not like to exercise, I have poor genetics, I am too busy, It’s too cold outside, It’s too hot outside, etc.
Empowering question: What could I do to lose weight?
I could go on a walk with my spouse in the evening, I could join a gym, I could hire a personal trainer, I could stop drinking soda, I could stop eating out, I could bring my lunch to work, I could get more sleep, etc.
Both questions are focused on the same issue (weight loss). The disempowering questions focus on all of the problems while the empowering questions focus on the solutions. When we focus on problems we can be deterred from accomplishing what we want. When we focus on solutions success is an inevitable conclusion.
We live in a world full of lies. Another great question I have learned to ask myself is, “Is this true?” We have all been programmed and conditioned to think and believe so many lies through the education system, media, and the government that we often times do not realize we are allowing many lies to impact our lives. My friend, Danielle Butler, wrote an awesome blog post about lies being sold to women today http://www.butlerpartyof3.com/2014/01/attention-young-ladies-what-i-wish.html
One last example of the power of asking great questions is actually discussed in Andy Stanley’s The Best Question Ever. Our society often times wants us to ask the wrong question when it comes to our day to day decision making. When we consider what we watch, who we hang out with, what we consume, and how we spend our leisure time we often times ask ourselves, “Is this wrong?” and the answer is often no. It is not wrong to watch football on a Saturday, have a few beers on a Friday, skip a workout, or go out on a weekend with a friend from college who still has growing up to do. None of those things in and of themselves are “wrong”, but that is not what we should be asking ourselves. The Best Question Ever is, “Is this wise?”
We need to weigh our decisions against what we want in life. Since we now understand The Slight Edge we know that everything we do either moves us closer to or further from our goals. We can spend our whole life doing a whole bunch of things that are not “wrong” and wind up never accomplishing anything because we never asked ourselves, “Is this wise?”
These are just a few examples of how asking better questions can drastically improve our lives. There are so many other great questions we can be asking ourselves that can yield better results. I am sure you can think of way better questions on your own.
Questions: What is a GREAT question you ask yourself that has yields positive results in your life? Comment below