One of the major differences between people and their outlook on life is the questions that they consistently ask themselves. If this seems like a strange observation, it may be that you have been underestimating the power of questions.
Questions have the ability to change our focus in an instant. Asking the right questions can change our mindset from a limiting one to an empowering one. Our personal view of reality hinges on what we focus our minds on. Questions are one of the fastest ways to change our mental focus.
Incentive, direction and focus
We are all in the habit of asking ourselves questions every day, most of the time were not even aware of their effect. Our minds love it when we ask ourselves questions. Questions provide the mind with incentive, direction and focus. As soon as we ask a question, our mind immediately begins searching for an answer. If we don’t like the answers that we are getting, it probably has a lot to do with the questions we are asking.
Questions have a dramatic effect on everything we do in life. They determine our abilities, the quality of our relationships and our income. By asking the right questions we can empower ourselves to change any aspect of our life.
So what are the right questions?
Questions that cause us to focus on possibilities and solutions are the ones that empower us. The problem is, we can easily slip into the habit of asking ourselves questions that are limiting, or even mentally and emotionally disabling.
Whatever we focus on the most will eventually become our reality. By training ourselves to consciously ask empowering questions, regardless of our circumstances, we will direct our minds to continually focus on new possibilities and solutions. This is exactly the kind of focus that enhances our personal growth and development.
Choosing to ask empowering questions
Now let’s look at a couple of situations that could arise and notice how asking different types of questions can radically alter our mental disposition.
Let’s say it’s Wednesday morning and the alarm just went off, what’s the first question you ask yourself? If you say, “Why do I have to go to work today?” how is that going to affect your attitude? If you say “Why do I feel so tired and run down?” how is that going to affect your energy levels? With those two simple questions you have set yourself up for a disappointing day. Why? Because now your mind is focused on finding reasons why you’re tired and have to do something you don’t want to do like go to work.
What if the first two questions you asked yourself were, “What do I have to look forward to today, and what am I most grateful for right now?” Even if you don’t have the immediate answers to those questions, your mind will focus on finding the answers. Ask yourself those questions a few times and notice how the answers make you feel. All of a sudden you have something to look forward to and something to be grateful for. How will that kind of mindset affect your day?
Here’s another situation
If someone makes a thoughtless comment to you, what’s the first question you ask yourself? If you ask, “Why don’t they like me?” how will that make you feel? Probably pretty bad, because now your mind is looking for reasons why people don’t like you and the answers aren’t likely to be very encouraging.
But what if your response was, “I wonder what I can do to help them feel better?” As your mind searches for the answers to that question you’re going to be focused on positive things, because you’re looking for a way to help someone else.
As you can plainly see, asking the right questions can produce very positive results. The challenge is that most of us are on automatic pilot. Most of the time we fail to take conscious control of the questions we ask ourselves.
In the next article we will look at some exercises we can do to train ourselves to consistently ask empowering questions. For now, try working with your morning questions and notice how it affects the rest of your day.
Do you think your questions have power?
Do you agree with the question-mindset connection?
The lines are open!