In my last post I mentioned the idea that the answers we seek are always there. We just ask the wrong questions. And even on those rare occasions that we DO ask the right questions. far too often we don’t take time to listen for the answer, but I digress.
Voltaire once said, “Judge a man by his questions rather by his answers.”
How often have you found yourself asking such things as . . .
“Why is this always happening to me?”
“How can I go on?”
“Why doesn’t he (she) like me?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“What if it doesn’t work out?”
“Why am I always screwing up?”
“Why can’t I just feel better?”
If you want to change the
quality of your life,
change your questions.
In his now-classic book Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins dedicates an entire chapter to the idea that questions are the answer. “It’s not the events that shape my life that determine how I feel and act,” he writes, “but, rather, it’s the way I interpret and evaluate my life experiences.” Evaluations, he says are nothing more than questions. “So if we want to change the quality of our lives,” he continues, “we should change our habitual questions.”
The poet E. E. Cummings once said, “Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.”
Instead of asking the questions I’ve listed above, what if you were to ask . . .
“What lesson can I learn from this? What can I do with it in order to better myself and those around me?”
“Where can I go from here? What new and exciting path can I choose for myself?”
“Why am I concerned about what he or she thinks?”
“What are my greatest qualities?”
“What if it does work out? How great will that be?!”
“Why do I think I’m screwing up? I just found out what doesn’t work. Now . . . can we try this again a different way?”
“What healthy thing can I do right now to feel really good?”
The idea of the triad in psychology is that there are three things we can do to change our emotional state in a heartbeat . . .
. . . our FOCUS
. . . our LANGUAGE
. . . our PHYSIOLOGY
- We can change what we focus on simply by asking a different question.
- We change our language simply by using different words — much more productive and positive words — and doing away with the negative.
- We change our physiology simply by changing our posture. Instead of slumping with your head down and your hands in your lap, next time you’re tempted to ask yourself one of these negative questions, stand up (or sit up) straight, put your head up high, look straight ahead, give thanks for the good things in life and ask yourself, so . . . what do I do now to move forward and make it a great day?