Personal development means absolutely nothing unless we are ready to change. We can read a hundred books, attend a hundred seminars, read a million blogs but it still won’t change us unless we are ready to change. A lot of us are looking for answers but we still haven’t formulated a question. Questions are key to solving anything whether it be a mathemtical problem or your own life.
James Dyson asked the question; How could I get rid of the bag in the hoover without losing suction?
Richard Branson asked the question: How can I compete with the big airlines?
Robert scoble asked the question: How can I change Microsoft’s public image?
Darren Rowse asked the question: How can I make money blogging
Once you’ve formulated your question how do you know it’s the right question? The answer to that is: when it moves you toward a positive outcome for the good of yourself and harms no other.
I have a friend who has been been trying to get out of his current job for 2 years. The benefits and salary are the key things that hold him there. I have asked him several times ‘If you left your job just now, what would you want to do?’, to this day he still doesn’t know what he wants to do. He knows if he seriously asks himself this question it will be a step closer to making a decision and leaving the company. So if he doesn’t ask the question he can go on with his life and complain about his job.
It takes balls to ask the right question
There are many people in the situation I described above and many people who have still not asked the right questions and deep down don’t want to. Questions drive us forward, right questions change our lives.
Think about this scenario and the questions we could ask:
You’re fat and you want to lose weight. You’ve lost a few pounds and are quite pleased with yourself and your progress. You are looking in the cupboards one day and see that packet of biscuits that the kids have not seen (rarely ever happens, but it could). What questions do you ask?
Will one biscuit really do any harm? It’s only got 100 calories, surely that’s not going to harm me? I’ve done so well I should have some reward?
Are these the right questions to ask. Any overweught person knows, deep down, they are not. The right questions to ask in this situation could be:
If I have this biscuit will it disrupt my program? Will this one biscuit throw out all the good work I’ve done? Will this one biscuit lead to another one? I’ve done so well, it’s crazy to stop now isn’t it?
Asking the right questions takes guts.
Changing your questions
If you are stuck in a situation and you have been asking yourself questions which are not driving you forward in some way try asking a different set of questions.
As an example I have written about ‘paying off my mortgage to become a professional blogger’. I have an agreement with my wife that if I can pay off our mortage I can give up my full time job as a homeless support worker and become a professional blogger. I like working as a support worker however I want to work for myself but not have to worry about money whilst I am doing it. So I came up with paying off the mortage.
Now my first questions were: How can I make money to pay off the mortgage? How can I get £75,000? What can I do to make that much money?
When these questions are asked I felt doomed to fail, I felt this is an unreachable target. Then I realised I was asking the wrong questions. I started asking
What can I do to earn £1000 (If I can do £1000, I can replicate it 75 times) What service could I offer to help people who would pay me? What skills do I have that I could convert into money? What would be a win win situation whereby people are getting something for paying me to do something?
So I came up with the eBook , not the best way to make £75,000 but it offers readers an easy way to read the articles on my blog whilst helping me toward my goal.
I have also been pushing my services as a blog consultant over at my other blog.
I also have a few ideas to help people lose weight and charge £499 for a 3 month program and limit it to 50 people, I am still working on this.
There are also a few other things I have in mind.
All this from changing my questions. I feel energised to really go for this goal and get to the target.
How to change your questions to change your life
Break your goals down
If you have big goals, break them down. For example if your goal is to lose 30 pounds, start asking how you could lose 2 pounds. Do this 15 times and you have reached your goal. Sound too simple, that’s because it is, its our thinking that makes it hard.
Think of 5 questions for each problem
We often ask ourselves the same question over and over again. Ask 5 different questions to a problem you might be stuck with and start answering them all. This was you might have 5 different solutions.
Ask questions all the time
Ask yourself questions in every area of your life. How can I make my kids happier? How can I free up more time for myself? How can a work smarter? How could this process be improved? How can I become more organised? why have I not bought this guys eBook yet?
When you ask questions in all areas of your life, you will gradually learn to ask good questions and filter out the bad questions. Practice is the key to changing your life and asking questions is a great skill to have.
What do you want to change in your life today?
Ask yourself this question often as we often get stuck in our life and stop thinking about what would make it better.
I hope this article has helped you in asking some questions about yourself. What questions would you ask yourself to change. Let me know by leaving a comment.