Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good questions - ask, and it will be given to you

What questions do you ask yourself?

Imagine that something "bad" happens, something that you wish didn't happen, but it did. It might be something you said, something you did or something external that happened to you. What questions do you usually ask in this situations?
"Why am I so stupid?"
"Why bad things happen to me?"
Or rather
"What can I learn from this situation?"
"How can I use it to grow, to learn?"

Things happen, but the way you will use them depends on you. Some things that happen to you cannot be even controlled by you!
You can choose to beat yourself up every time you screw something, but in my opinion the more constructive way is to try to learn from it. I believe that things happen to make us grow, why not take advantage of it? 


Power of good questions

Do this small experiment.

Say to yourself: "I want to loss weight" (you don't need to lose weight? Go to (*) below and do exercise with your own example!). Observe how do you feel with this statement, how your brain reacts to it, what pictures do you see.
Now say to yourself: "What small thing can I do everyday to lose some weight?" and observe how is it different than previous question. Which one creates more drive for action? Which one creates less tension? 

(*) To feel it better try it on something that is adequate to you. It may be losing weight, being more productive, exercising on a regular basis or meditating on regular basis.

Do you feel the difference? For me it was huge! I can feel my brain working differently. When I ask question I immediately see my brain generating ideas. I don't have to think about it. This is like your own brainstorming. Let go and see what ideas are coming to your mind, don't rate them at first, let them flow. You will be amazed what ideas you are generating, some of them will be unreal, some will be weird, some will be constructive. Then choose the couple of them that makes sense for you and use them.

Ask small questions

In small excercise above I've used "What small thing...?" question. Why did I form it this way? It puts much less pressure and makes you think about small part of the solution not about whole. But doesn't it mean that we will achieve less? From my experience - NO. I believe that the power of small, consistent action is priceless. To find out more check out the book about the Kaizen method (here) - there is whole chapter on asking small questions.

In addition to everyday small question, ask "big" questions as well. As they give you long run perspective. Bigger picture of what you want to achieve. It's very important to have something you can focus on.

Small off-topic  about small changes - Anthony Robbins says that in many cases the difference between success and failure is just "2 millimeters" (check this for more details and some nice stories - http://youtu.be/_nZcbIGlCQk).

What if I don't know the answer?

It can happen. 

Come on!? Nobody knows everything and it's good to use other people's knowledge. And if you already have a question you are way ahead to finding the answer. Find someone that you think will know answers and ask them. Find someone that was in similar situation and that found way through. People are more willing to share than you may think. Sometimes they share in the form of book, other times as a movie on youtube, article in newspaper or blog. 

Summary

  • whenever something happens to you, good or bad, ask yourself "what can I learn from this situation?", "how can I use it to grow?"
  • when you want to change something, ask yourself small questions everyday (it's good idea to stick post-it with them) eg. "what small thing can I do today to move ahead?". Ask big questions to create holistic plan.
  • if you don't know the answer or you want to get better ones that you can think of by yourself or simply you want to - go and ask someone, it may be face-2-face conversation, email, book, movie (yeah! These all are ways of communication). Have your questions prepared up front, this will cause your brain to pick important 
  • make asking good questions a habit!
  • and as always - enjoy the process. Asking questions is fun!
Take an action and comment below - what questions works for you? What questions makes you want to live? Examples from my life would be:
  • How can I make it better? What can I improve?
  • What can I do to be better man, to smile more, be more social?


Make it great life!

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