"I love simple solutions to seemingly complex issues, don’t you? So often we seem to complicate the daylights out of things by over-analyzing, dissecting and brainstorming. I gravitate toward simple solutions whenever possible. Asking yourself the right question is one of the simplest ways to direct your thoughts in a positive direction without jumping through a bunch of mental or emotional hoops. What are the right questions? In particular, those that stimulate your mind to consider new possibilities or interrupt old established response patterns. Basically, any question stimulates actions or thoughts that can change your life for the better.
Why do questions work so well? As soon as we ask ourselves a question, our mind immediately begins searching for an answer. Our mind thrives on questions because they provide it with incentive, direction and focus. So the right questions give us a simple way to steer our thought processes in a more empowering direction. In this way questions can be used as simple tools to change your life and broadening your perception of the world around you. I regularly use the following three questions with my coaching clients to lead their thinking away from limiting thought patterns and toward thoughts of new possibilities.
1. What else could this mean? We all assign different meaning to everything in life. The meaning is different for each of us because our beliefs about almost everything are based on our personal interpretation of, and our response to, our unique life experience. These beliefs serve as filters through which we view our world and the people in it. Because we all have a vested emotional interest in our personal belief system, we are constantly looking for evidence that our beliefs are true and accurate. This emotional investment can cause us to cling to a belief even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. How can we override this emotional security system and open our belief system to new possibilities? The simple solutions here is to ask ourselves What else could this mean? Asking this question will switch off the emotional defenses and allow new possibilities to be considered and explored.
2. Who can help me with this? Human nature seems to be such that we always want to figure everything out ourselves. With most people there is a certain amount of resistance to asking for help or assistance. Apparently this is hardwired into us because even very young children will say “I can do it myself.” Don’t get me wrong, I have a great appreciation for self-sufficiency. But insisting that we must do everything ourselves can also stifle our progress in numerous ways. Let’s face it, we only have so much time and resources, and no one is good at everything. Whatever it is that we want to do, someone else already knows how to do it and has created a simple solutions that we could benefit from. How much time and frustration could we save by getting them to either teach us how to do it, or do it for us?
For example, in the world of entrepreneurs, trying to do everything yourself can create huge delays. The quickest path to success is to stick to doing the things you are good at and have others help you with the rest. In fact, realizing the wisdom of this approach is one of the main reasons why so many people now enlist the services of a life or business coach. Want to achieve your goals quicker and easier and change your life in positive ways? Start by asking yourself “Who else can help me with this?
3. What am I grateful for right now? There is probably no other question that will change your attitude as quickly or dramatically. It doesn’t matter what situation or circumstances you find yourself in, you always have something to be grateful for. Being aware of, and focusing on, your blessings regularly will profoundly alter your perception of reality. The more you focus on gratitude the more reasons you will find to appreciate your life. As a result, the happier and more content you will be. It’s been said that the happiest people are not the ones who have the best of everything; rather they are the ones who are grateful for everything they have. How many other simple solutions do you know that can make such a claim? This one is so simple and powerful that you can’t afford not to incorporate into your life daily. Why not stop reading for a moment and prove it by simply asking yourself, “What am I grateful for right now?”