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The Power of Questions

We were never taught the power of questions in our everyday lives.


I just started a new book called "Questions are the answers" by Hal Gregersen. I've only read about 30 pages so far, but I wanted to share some things I've learned, and also get the discussion going around questions and their importance in our lives.

Put simply, questions shape our lives more than we think, both in everyday situations, and long-term outcomes.

Think about it. Let's say you're constantly asking yourself (or a higher power), "Why is my life so miserable?"

When you do this, you will always get answers as to why your life is miserable. There will never be a shortage of reasons why, and you will live in a continuous loop of asking and getting answers explaining why.

The problem isn't that your life is miserable. The problem lies in the question you're asking.

If we flip that question to something more empowering, something like, "What's most important to me in my life, and what are the things that make me happy?" then we suddenly focus on getting answers to those questions.

It may be hard at first, because you've wired your brain to ask the "miserable" question so much, but like a muscle, asking better questions is a habit that can be developed and strengthened.

You see, the mere act of asking these questions has now opened our mind to hopefully dozens of enticing possibilities, putting us on our way to a better life.

Once we have a few answers to better questions, we can explore them deeper, and then ultimately pursue those things.

Opportunities to ask better questions come up all the time in our lives.

We have plenty of time and space to practice. That's one of the beautiful things about life and self-improvement. There's never a shortage of opportunities to improve.

I personally struggle a lot with asking the right questions. I have a bad habit of asking disempowering questions, and will be making more of a conscious effort to ask better questions that will help my well-being.

For example, the question "Why does this always happen" is rarely a good one after we experience something negative. For me, this is never a good question because it never even leads to an answer. Never mind bad answers, it just doesn't give any answers.

A better question for me in these cases might be, "What could this mean?" or "What's something positive that could come out of this?"

It might be hard... no scratch that, it WILL be hard to ask these questions and come up with positive answers to them at first, but that's okay. Like a lot of things that are good for us, if it's hard, we should probably pursue it because we know it's right.

I hope by now you've realized just how important questions are in our lives. The questions we ask determine our focus, and as Tony Robbins says, "where focus goes, energy flows."

Some other interesting points I've picked up in the book so far, but will expand on later, are:

  • Most of our education system places an emphasis on answers, not questions. Facts, not inquiries. This makes students worry about memorizing answers rather than deploying curiosity and exploration into topics, which always starts with a question.

  • The most brilliant leaders and companies are better at asking questions than struggling people or companies. The mere act of asking crazy, implausible questions, opens the mind to new possibilities and different ways of looking at things, resulting in innovation and solutions to grand problems.

More on the power of questions in a later post. For now...

Live with substance!




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