A quick break from the Words to Live By to talk about Questions of Power. First, let me recognize Tony Robbins as really first bringing it to mind for me. There is another blogger out there that offers some coaching and some books under the title “Afformations” that also helped keep the power of questions in mind. His name is Noah St. John. I give them both credit and Kudos.
I am often guilty, as we all are, of asking myself questions that are not empowering. In fact they are often downright destructive.
If you’ve read my other blogs and posts you’ve learned that, probably like you, I’ve had some really tough spots. I mentioned the year 2009 was pretty tough for me. I lost several loved ones that year, lost my job, and had a tough time financially, personally.
Things actually started going quite bad for me financially in 2008. An investment property took longer to get ready, because I wanted to do it all on my own. I missed a window of opportunity, and it sat vacant for 15 months. Ouch. I started asking, “can it get any worse?” I sold it for a big loss. Investment property #2 rented quickly and looked OK for a while, but then many, many things went wrong. I often asked “how can it get worse?” Guess what? I found out.
2009 came, I lost too many people that I cared about. I lost my income. I lost some of my confidence and pride. I asked again “what else can go wrong?”
Well, I’m not going to go on and on about what else did go wrong today, but things definitely did. It seemed that I was practicing the Law of Unattraction. I’d fix one thing, another would come up. I’d get $1500 coming in and I’d have to spend $1600. I was asking things like “Why Me?” “Why am I so unlucky?” “Why can’t I find a job?” “why do I feel so bad?”….you get the idea. I hate to even list the questions now. There were more.
I wish that I could say that I changed my questions one week and it all turned around overnight. Instead I can tell you that little by little I started asking better questions. I read some things here and there and it gained momentum in my cranium.
I started asking myself things like “What am I excited about…. What am I grateful for….What do I enjoy…..What am I happy about…. And then I started even using things …what Could I be happy about, etc.”
I had index cards and recordings of questions like “Why am I so happy?” “How am I paying off my debt so quickly?” I even was asking myself questions like “How can I find a job that pays over $XX,000 that is fulfilling and that I enjoy?”
I began to get specific on some subjects. I can’t say that when I asked about a better paying job that I got a call the next week. But I eventually found something and even if I had not, it kept my mind on the right thing and I felt better – I was searching for what was working and what might work in my life, rather than what didn’t.
In Pscyho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz MD, they say that the mind is like a computer. Ask a question and the mind will try to answer it – especially if you ask it over and over. If you ask – even in a kidding, joking manner – “how could I be so dumb?” Eventually, if not immediately, the mind will search for answers and will find them, at least on an unconscious level. It’s about focus. You’ve heard about a self-fulfilling prophecy, right?
Why not throw some better questions into your life. “What can I learn from this?” “Is there a way that I can make money from this situation?” “Is there a way that I can be healthier?” Or maybe switch some of those old, bad questions around to something like “how can things get any better?” —notice that it acts as a pattern interrupt. It stops you and ends the bad thought for a moment.
Then, actually take a moment and try to answer the question. How can things get better? First start off with some realistic things: I could find a quarter on the sidewalk, a $10 in my old jacket, I could be on-time, etc. Then throw in some cool things: I could accidentally run into a talent scout looking for my style, I could get a great idea to improve something on the way home, I could win money, I could find gold/jewelry/Babe Ruth’s rookie card, I could run into a billionaire who wants to pay me to help others.
Why not ask crazy good things? If nothing else, this exercise re-focuses you and now you’re thinking big time cool stuff right? I also read somewhere that an author asks himself “Wouldn’t it be cool if…..” then go crazy. That’s a lot better than saying, “why don’t I ever win things?” (or whatever).
Instead of “why is my boss a jerk?” or “I don’t like my boss.” Ask “How can I work better with my boss?” or “How can I find a job that I enjoy and that brings fulfillment?”
Can you create some questions for work? The family? Your health? Your dreams?
Try to be aware of your daily questions. Then stop the bad questions and create questions of power that get your thinking of opportunities, of possibilities, of good emotions, good situations, and good times. (Remember, like anything else, you must also take action.)
I’d like to ask you (really try to answer it), “What possibility excites you right now? Why? What can you do to move a step closer?