Anthony Robbins once said: “Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
Mark Twain said: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
The day I asked myself some profound questions was the day I decided to quit my day job. Quitting what I was used to doing on ‘autopilot’ was a very scary thought for me. But what motivated me to take action was asking those questions that we always try to avoid.
Although I have refined the questions many times over since I first asked myself: “Will this bring me ‘long-term fulfillment’ or will it bring me ‘Short-Term Gratification’?” “Am I pursuing my own dreams or am I trying to please another?”
Answering those two questions genuinely and as honestly as I could, helped me overcome majority of my fears of venturing out on my own.
Much can be said about the power of asking, and here’s a quick story to illustrate just that:
A salesman for a key-making machine entered a hardware store and gave the shopkeeper a demonstration. “Isn’t it a wonderful machine?” he asked. “Yes, it is.” “It would be a marvelous investment and a great time-saver, wouldn’t it?” “Yes.” “Well, why don’t you buy it?” “Well,” said the shopkeeper, why don’t you ask me to?”
We tend to avoid the questions that can radically change our lives for the better. Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. Don’t let this happen to you. You’ve only got one life to live, so make sure to live your life fulfilled and not unhappy. You need to set aside time to ask yourself good questions.
I know a man in his forties, who decided to spend a few days all by himself, to give some serious thought to what he wanted to do with his life. The insights that these few days brought him have dictated how he lives his life ever since.
The following inspiring story is told in the book “The Aladdin Factor” by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen:
“A woman with two children, living in welfare in a housing project in Chicago’s Cabrini Green district, decided she wanted out of the projects and out of the ghetto. She knew she couldn’t do it alone. She needed a skill she could sell. In order to become a typist, she would need to return to school and get some training. How could she pull this off with two kids to watch all day?
She solved the problem by asking all the other mothers in the project to join her in forming a mastermind alliance. The first thing they did was create a cooperative child care program – a fancy term for “I’ll take your kids on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays if you’ll take mine on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays.” Having freed up three days a week, she took typing and business skills classes at a nearby community college.
Two years later she and several others landed secretarial jobs and moved themselves and their children out of the projects.
Don’t let the following quote by John Greenleaf Whittier describe your life: “For of all sad words of tongues or pen the saddest are these: It might have been…” If you just dare to ask, there is a lot for the taking: personal happiness, professional success, creative fulfillment and more.
Every day, each of us makes a multitude of choices that will impact our lives. Some of these choices are minor and will only impact the next few minutes, hours, or days, while others will completely change the direction of our lives.
Asking good questions and honestly facing the answers will motivate us in choosing what makes us uniquely happy. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself before making life changing decisions:
Will this choice propel me toward an Inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?
Will this choice bring me long-term fulfillment or will it bring me short-term gratification?
Am I standing for what I believe in or am I trying to please another?
Will this choice add to my life force or will it rob me of energy?
Does this choice empower me or does it dis-empower me?
Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?
Is it an act of faith or is it an act of fear?
Ask good questions when it comes to your life. Start with simple questions, and as you gain more experience and wisdom, the questions will surely get better.