(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)
New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.-Sarah Ban Breathnach
Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.-Paulo Coelho
Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.-Henri Nouwen
Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.-Voltaire
Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.-Chanakya
To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.-Albert Einstein
I don’t pretend we have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about.-Arthur C. Clarke
The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.-Claude Levi-Strauss
Word to Live By:
question-[kwes-chuh n] –a matter for discussion or under discussion; a matter for investigation. to dispute; challenge; to explore, investigate, ponder
We all ask ourselves questions each and every day, all day, whether we realize it or not. They say we have up to 60,000 thoughts running through our minds each day, and many of these are questions. Are they good questions? Are they useful? Do they empower us?
When we ask “What is wrong with me?” or “What can’t I be ___?” or “Why am I lazy?” or “Why do I struggle?” – these questions almost never help us. Remember, part of your brain is like a computer. It is a wonderful problem solving organ/tool. We can ponder on a problem, sleep on it, and when we least expect it – maybe in the shower, while driving, often in some relaxed state of mind, boom- the answer pops into our conscious mind.
So when you ask your unconscious something, it goes out and looks for the answer. When you ask yourself, “Why can’t I “ …do something OR “Why do I struggle?” your brain will search for an answer or answers. So why don’t you change those around and ask empowering questions instead?
Many of us have heard of incantations or affirmations and some of us have used them. They can help. However, sometimes when you try to say an affirmation that you don’t believe, it isn’t very effective. I recall when I was young, single and broke, I used some affirmation like “I am successful.” I was not and when I said it, the affirmation seem to just make me uneasy or feel inauthentic in some way. So, if you ask the question, “Why am I successful?” your brain will work on that. You change the focus. Plus if you can spend a few minutes each day on trying to answer the question consciously, you’ll feel better and build some momentum. Maybe just one thing this week will make you feel successful, and you’ll build on that.
A question is very powerful. The question Why probably should be asked whenever we start anything significant. If we can ask, and partially answer ‘Why’ we’re doing something, we can always go back to that when we face challenges. I recall getting my first mortgage with my wife. I was self employed and pretty poor. However, I had a ‘why’ in mind and when we got declined at a bank or two, or had other challenges, I just focused on the why.
Why’s are important for relationships, charities, and long term career choices. Many people volunteer. They do it for some reason. They have a ‘why’ which gives them hunger and motivation to help others. “Ask Why and the How will appear”.
Also….The “how’s” don’t matter. How you solve a problem will work itself out later. It is easy to get caught in the how’s.
Question yourself……the right way!
We all question ourselves, right? They say we have tens of thousands of thoughts each day.
Think about it, each and every day we ask ourselves questions – often they are NOT good questions.
We might say, ‘why can’t I get that person’s attention’, why am I so broke, why do I run out of money so quick, why am I so unlucky, why do I feel so bad, why are others smarter than me, why do bad things happen to me, why can’t I get that job, why am I so depressed, why can’t I get ahead in my career/business/life….etc. etc.
So what if you asked yourself QUESTIONS OF POWER?
What if you asked yourself something that Empowered you?
- Change the questions!
If you ask it a question, it will search for an answer.
Ask yourself “Why am I so rich?”
Why am I so likeable? Why am I energetic? Why am I healthy? Why am I a good parent/spouse/friend/employee/boss,etc.?
If you ask your brain a ‘bad’ question like ‘why can’t I get ahead in my job’ – it will go look for why you’re bad, what’s weak and you focus on the bad stuff. You reinforce your weaknesses.
If you ask instead, “Why (or what) am I great at my job?” and then try to answer it sincerely.
Even if you’re ‘poor’ – if you ask yourself sincerely “why am I wealthy’ you begin to think about why you are – maybe it is just wealthy in friends or health or talents – or maybe you’re wealthy compared to a Haitian citizen but you’ll find an answer, maybe you never thought about the equity in your home, or whatever.
So …..we really need to catch ourselves each and every day -…..interrupt the pattern…..stop the disempowering thoughts and questions….then replace it with an empowering question…….
….asking question is better than just stating an affirmation.
With a question, it is open ended, it can be answered in any case, and it ‘sends’ your brain in that direction. Your brain will try to answer it.
Your brain will search for an answer and then ‘believe’ the answer – whatever it is….so why not just ask a good question? HOW? Read them, Write them, Speak them, Visualize them.
Parting questions, for fun…..
Why do you like this email series “Frey Freyday”?
Why do you think that “Frey Freyday” is so good?
Why do you want to email a great comment?
Why do you want to tell your friend about this email series?
Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.
So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….
- The below is from a previous, similar Frey Freyday, still good content…
Several years ago I had a nice job and got an offer to move to another employer. I would receive an increase in my salary, a signing bonus, and I’d be able to work from home. It was a no-brainer. I made the move and it was a great opportunity.
But for different reasons that I’m still not totally sure about, I began to focus on the wrong things, react poorly to ‘typical’ challenges, and ask myself poor, dis-empowering questions.
I began to really complain about work and some of the management’s decisions. I began to complain about business and the economy. I even began to focus on and complain more about my wife and our relationship.
Basically, when I was making lots of money, almost at my peak, when I had a great house that we just bought, when I had a nice job and great opportunity, and when I had a great, caring, beautiful wife, I was almost at the least happy point of my life – and I’ll tell you now that it was self-inflicted.
“When something disappointing happened, my mother would remind me not to let that become my focus. There’s still so much to be grateful for.” Katherine Heigl
I was unhappy because I focused on what didn’t work and because I asked poor questions. I would focus on how management made bad decisions or how my wife didn’t do this or that. Meanwhile management did do good things and my wife did many great things, but I chose to ignore them.
Then, the Lehman Bros. crisis hit, the economy tanked. I asked another poor question, how can it get any worse? I lost my job along with many others. I asked again ‘ how can it get any worse?’ I struggled for many, many months to find a job.
I kept asking, in different ways, ‘why are bad things happening to me’, ‘what else bad can happen’, ‘why do bad things happen to me’, ‘why aren’t things working’, and ‘how much worse can things get’. I’m serious. I asked all of this.
Guess what? Tenants in my investment property moved out without telling me. They owed me lots of rent. They trashed the place and I had to pay thousands to repair it. My parents both died within 5 weeks of each other. My wife lost 3 other relatives that same year. Unemployment continued. My confidence disappeared and I really found out what it meant to be unhappy.
Before I had so many good things in my life, yet I failed to recognize them.
After months of reflection, I began to appreciate the simple things. I began to appreciate what I had. My wife had been consistently strong and supportive throughout our whole marriage and I was just being negative. I now longed for that job about which I complained so much. I longed for any job.
Soon I did find another good job. Things began to improve. I do believe that, at least in part, things got better because I began to think better, focus on things that were going well for me, asking better questions, and being grateful for what I had. I lived more in the present.
You see, my reactions, my responses, my questions to everyday things – the challenges that any of us might face – were very poor. Then when things really got bad, I almost fell apart.
I had lots of good things in life yet I chose to respond that way, I chose to ask myself these questions. Now I feel much happier and I don’t have many of those materialistic things that I once did have. I don’t feel that I need them to be happy either.
How do you respond to everyday things? Some people love to complain. They can also ‘explain’ why things aren’t going their way. They can tell you 10 reasons why they aren’t in a better place in life and 11 reasons that they aren’t happy. Can they tell you one thing for which they are happy? Probably not. Many of these people really react or respond poorly to things. Can you say ‘overreact’? Everyone knows that person who flips out over small things you or I would simply shrug over….
Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. Denis Waitley
They probably (like I once did) ask bad questions – things like “why me?” , ‘why am I so unlucky”, ‘why do bad things always happen to me?” Your brain is like a computer – it will search out the reasons why. If you believe in things like the Law of Attraction, etc. these questions will also draw to you poor results.
What questions do you ask yourself? What do you focus on each day? How do you respond to things? We all face some kind of challenge, how do you handle it? Wayne Dyer once said “When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.”
We all experience challenges, tragedies, loss, difficultis and surprises. We ach have less than perfect days. It is how we react that makes all the difference over time. It is also key how we talk to ourselves – the questions we ask ourselves.
When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance. Joel Osteen
Here is a great article that relates to what we just talked about above.
A Question that Changes Everything. By Michael Hyatt
In 2003, I was named President of Thomas Nelson. It was an extremely busy time. I made some major changes to my executive team and had two vacant positions. As a result, I essentially had three jobs.
One morning on my way to work, I grabbed my computer case in my right hand, a fresh cup of coffee in my left, and headed downstairs to the garage to leave to work.Four steps from the bottom, I slipped on the carpet. Without a free hand to grab the stair-rail, I tumbled forward. The next thing I knew, I was flat on my fanny on the landing.
I wasn’t immediately aware of any pain. However, my dress shirt and tie were soaked in coffee. I remember thinking, Shoot! I’m going to have to completely change my clothes. This was particularly frustrating, because I was already running late, and I had a very busy day ahead of me.
My wife Gail heard me fall and came running. “Are you okay?” she asked as she raced down the stairs to help me up.
“I’m fine,” I assured her. “However, I’m afraid I’ve made a mess.”
“Don’t worry about it,” she offered as she helped me up. “I can clean this up while you get changed.”
When I put my weight down on my right foot, I let out a yelp. “Oh my gosh! I think my ankle is sprained.” As it turned out, it was more than sprained. It was broken.
My day was, of course, scuttled. In fact, the next ten days were scuttled. I had to have surgery, including a plate and six screws to repair the damage. In addition, for three months I had to wear a therapeutic boot (in lieu of a cast). This couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
At this point, I could have asked myself several questions:
- Why am I so clumsy?
- Why did I have both hands full?
- Why does this have to happen now?
- Why did I have to be in such a hurry?
- What did I do to deserve this?
The problem with these questions is that they are completely unproductive and disempowering.
They are natural, of course, and probably even necessary. It’s all part of the process of grieving a loss. But ultimately there are better questions.
One of the best questions you can ask when something negative happens is this:
“What does this experience make possible?”
Do you see the subtle shift? Suddenly, your attention moves from the past—which you can’t do a thing about—to the future.
It is also an acknowledgment that nothing happens by chance. Everything has a purpose. Even the bad things can have a positive impact, when we open our hearts and accept them as “part of the plan.”
In my particular case, a broken ankle had several positive benefits:
- I couldn’t go to work for a week, so I got some much-needed rest.
- I had time to set up a new blog and start writing on a regular basis.
- I got to board first when flying and usually got to upgrade to first-class—for free.
- I learned first-hand about the challenges you face when you are in a wheel-chair or on crutches.
- I was forced to slow down and “smell the roses.”
- I saw my colleagues take more initiative and gained a new appreciation for them.
- I got to meet several people I would have otherwise never met, including an amazing surgeon who gave me a whole new perspective on what it means to integrate your faith with your profession.
- I had a ready-made conversation starter, when I met people I didn’t know.
The bottom line is this: you can’t always choose what happens to you. Accidents and tragedies happen. But you can choose how you respond to those situations. One of the best ways to begin is to ask yourself the right question.
Question: Consider a negative situation in your life. Ask yourself, “What does this experience make possible?“