Are you compelled to always try your hardest to win, be right, better than, or different to anyone else? Or at least not to appear to lose or to be wrong?
How's that working for you? Is it fun?
Or do you feel trapped in a race for which you don't seem equipped and are never enough? Are you frozen by the fear of failure? Do you become depressed when you don't meet other people's standards or expectations?
Are you the same as anyone else? No. So how can an apple and a nightingale compete? Only by both becoming something else that they're not.
So if you feel limited, frustrated, frozen or depressed by the rules of a race that doesn't exist ask "What's the value of competition?"
Then ask "What is the greatest contribution I can be to my life, family, business and communities?" That's the generative kind of competition, which is all about being more of you.
Do you get how amazing you are?
Do you think you're at best, just not good enough, and at worst, a hopeless, lost, good-for-nothing pile of rubbish?
Is that your point of view or someone else's?
If you're not clear, ask "When did I buy the point of view that I was no good?"
Then return that point of view to sender -- to your mum? your dad? a teacher? the school bully? a friend? -- with consciousness.
When if there were nothing wrong with you? What's right about you that you're not getting?
What if you were just different and amazing in ways that other people simply don't yet get?
Do you have a business? Do you get caught up in all the things you think you have to do to be successful and help it grow?
Do you run out of steam and worry about what you should be doing when things don't seem to be going so well?
When that happens, pause and ask "Who or what can I be or do today that will contribute to my business?"
Whatever awareness you have, notice it. Even if it seems strange — for example, go and get a massage when you think you should be doing your accounts — check how light it feels.
If it's light, it's right remember?
You never know where your awareness will lead you, and who or what you may meet on the way.
Do you have lots of great ideas for business and life in general? Do you get enthusiastic and pour loads of energy into them, but nothing seems to happen?
Then to top it off, someone ELSE comes out with exactly the same idea a little later and it's a hit! Does that get you down?
What if you were just too quick for the rest of the world? What if you were having ideas that are perfect for one, five or even ten years in the future?
So when you get a great idea, ask "Now or in the future?" Then notice what feels light: now / in the future. Remember, if it's light, it's right for you.
If it's in the future, write down your idea in a Special Ideas Notebook and re-visit it from time to time.
This is a great way to nurture and contribute energy to your ideas when the time is right.
What's your relationship with money?
Do you enjoy it? Is it a fun partner that helps you create the life you'd like? Or do you feel it has power over you and limits everything you do?
Does every cent you spend contribute to your life? Of does money leak out of your pocket and you never have enough?
If you'd like to change your relationship with money, next time you thing about buying something, ask "If I buy you, will you make me money?"
Certainly a banana, or shoes, or a book may not bring a direct cash return (unless you're a fruit, a shoe, or a bookshop owner). But what about their contribution to you in nutrition, style, information and feel good energy? Would that energy help you generate more money? Maybe?
When you ask the question, pay attention to your senses. Do you feel light or heavy?
If you feel heavy, then move on. You always know if something will contribute to you or not. How often do you ignore yourself?
So wake yourself up from sleep mode and ask "If I buy you, will you make me money?"
What have you made the answer to your life?
Relationship? "When I find The One I'll be happy"
Money? "When I have $XXX in the bank I'll be secure"
Work? "When I get that job my parents will see I'm successful"
Happiness? "When people admire my work I'll feel respected"
Will these things in themselves make you feel happy, secure, validated or successful? Or does your point of view create your reality?
If you didn't have the point of view you lacked something, would you feel dissatisfied and unhappy?
So when you're feeling less than, or dissatisfied with your life as it is, and you hear yourself repeating "When I have X, I'll be Y" or "If only I had X, I'd be Y" ask "What am I making having X about?"
Then notice what the real target of your desire (Y) is and ask "What will it take to be Y now?"
Did you grow up with 'the best' always kept in the cupboard? Were you made to justify why you should be allowed to wear your 'best clothes,' eat from the 'special dinner set,' or sit in the 'good room'? Did you live in terror that if you in fact used 'the best,' something bad might happen?
What happened when you grew up and bought something special for yourself?
This is what I* did. Some years ago, I ordered a high quality hand-made penny whistle. It cost me $350; it had great tone and was a pleasure to play. But, for the nine years after I bought my special whistle, I never used it. Whenever I played with music groups, I usually took my $15 whistle. On special occasions I took my $40 whistle.
I never took my 'good whistle.' It stayed in its case in the cupboard. I was afraid that if I took it to play at a concert or dance, something might happen to it. Sound familiar?
Then last year — 2020 — I started playing Scottish and Irish airs on my neighbourhood street corners in the evening. I took a folding chair, walked from block to block, stopped to play a couple of tunes, and then moved on to the next corner.
It was nothing special. I was playing for whomever wanted to come outdoors, or stand on the porch and listen. What was different? I simply made the choice to play my best for everyone, and so I brought out my "best whistle" for the first time.
It was then I realised that I had never played my best; I had hidden it away for nine years, afraid something bad would happen. Then I wondered what other great bits of me I had been hiding.
What have you been hiding? If you'd like to find out ask “What am I saving my best for?"
What if you didn't need anyone's permission, or a special occasion? What if you could simply open the cupboard and share your best? What contribution would that be?
*Thanks to John C for this question and anecodote. Do you have a question or a situation? Send them in to share.
Got clutter in your life? Are some things - work tasks, relationships, or actual stuff in the corner - piling up and weighing you down?
How often do you have on to habits, people and things, that you know deep down you'd really rather let go?
How much of your must-hang-onto-this comes from what you think other people will say? Obligations you imagine you have that may not be true?
What if you delegated the task? What if you created space in your life for people who made you smile? What if you reintroduced yourself to the corners of your house? What could you create as your life if you no longer cluing to things that you don't truly desire?
If you'd like to de-clutter and create more space, ask "I am hanging on to this for what reason?"
If it feels light to let it go, thank it and send it off on a new adventure with consciousness.
Do you ever get stuck on something that happened in your past, no matter if it was yesterday, last week, last year, or 50 years ago? Do you ever hear yourself saying "If only A, B, C hadn't happened, I'd have been X, Y, Z better off"?
Does that help you? When you have that conversation with yourself, do you feel lighter, or heavier?
Does regretting, blaming or shaming your past help you create the life you'd like now? And truth, can you ever change your past?
If you'd like to be free of the concrete shoes you've made for yourself, ask "What if there were nothing wrong with my past?"
What if everything you have ever been, done, said, worn, studied, worked, loved, hated has been exactly right to create the you you are now?
Then ask "Am I willing it let it go and ask what would I like to create as my life and living now?"
Then listen to yourself and ask "What action can I take?"
Would you like to create the life you'd truly like? If so, step out of judgement and into awareness.
What's the difference? Judgement, discrimination and discernment are fixed points of view. You will often feel emotional heat and even be willing to die to prove your points of view are right. Awareness, on the other hand, is simply an interesting point of view, that you can change with ease.
Judgements — regardless of whether they're good or bad — will serve only to control and limit you. Awareness gives you access to infinite possibilities.
So if you'd like to be free of limitation, whenever you find yourself coming to a conclusion, ask yourself "Am I in judgement?"
Then, if you find you are in judgement, repeat as many times as required "Everything, even my/their strongest option, is just an interesting point of view."
How aware are you of the words you use everyday? Listen to yourself today and notice the number of times you use these words: why, try, need, but, never, because.
Where do why questions go? Around in circles? Nowhere? Listen to kids: "Why is it cold? It's winter. Why is it winter? That's the seasons? Why do we have seasons?...." and so on.
Need, try, but, and never are all lies.
Do you really need anything? No. The world is an abundant place; need is the lie that it isn't.
Can you really try to pick up a glass of water? No. You either do or you don't.
But negates everything you just said:"Your work is good, but..."
Never is the lie that you can't create time to suit you, when you could if you liked.
Because tells you all the spurious reasons and justifications you give yourself for not doing something, when you really could if you chose.
If you'd like to expand your possibilities ask yourself "What words can I leave behind?" then eliminate these words, and their energy, from your conversations and thoughts.
And then ask "What else is possible?"
What is missing from your life? Money? People? Health? Fun? Would you like to expand your possibilities?
Then leave this word behind: want.
Want originally means 'lack' and as such it contains an energetic limitation. When you say "I want money" you are actually saying "I lack money." In other words you are reinforcing both your point of view, and your reality, of not having money.
If what you'd actually like is more money, then instead ask a question, for example "What will it take for more money to show up in my life?"
Questions will always help you see how you can create the change you're looking for.
So every time you catch yourself in the act of saying "I want XXXX," stop, smile and ask yourself "What if I didn't want for anything?" and then "What questions could I ask here instead, that would help me create what I'd really like?"
Not happy? Got problems?
Do you sometimes find problems with your life when everyone else seems to have them? Do you think if you didn't have problems you wouldn't be normal, you wouldn't fit in, and you certainly wouldn't have anything to talk about?
Misery loves company. What about you? Do you love company so much you create misery-filled problems?
Or have you bought the idea that being happy is somehow wrong?
What if being happy were OK? What if it were more than OK? Would you choose it and find new company?
So next time you think you have a problem, ask "Is this my way of fighting happiness?"
Would you be willing to choose how you'd really like to be, even if you have to smile on your own for a while until you infect others?
What does success mean to you? Getting into that school? Getting that job? Or that person? Or that house? Having a cool sports car? Or a millions dollars in the bank? Or a beach view apartment? Or an impressive title?
Nothing wrong with having a clear idea about what would be fun for you. The question is, did you select these things because they would be fun for you?
Or did you select these things because you decided - or someone else told you - that they would show other people you were successful? And that until you had those things, you must work long and hard, and make sacrifices, including not doing the things you really enjoy?
If you're not enjoying life right now, ask "How have I defined success?" and get clear on what is driving you.
What if you drove yourself and defined success in ways that worked for you? For example, "What will it take for me to bounce out of bed every morning, smiling and inspired by everything I do and everyone I meet?"
You can of course add "...with some fun, cool wheels to get me around, or something greater?"
Do you sometimes feel like you're not being who you really are? That you're being all sorts of things for other people, and nothing for you?
Do any of these roles sound familiar? Super mum/ breadwinner dad/ hardest working employee/ best boss/ A-grades daughter/ sports champion son/ dutiful child/ sacrificial parent/ host-with-the-most/ community hero/ volunteer star/ best friend to all/ any combination of the above/ [fill in your own identities here _____________].
Do they weigh you down?
Do you feel lost under the layers of masks you wear to try and make other people happy, but don't quite feel like you?
Would you like to rediscover who you really are?
If so, ask "If I were me, who would I be?"
What if being you was more than just fine? What if it was wonderful and exactly what your family, home, office, communities, and the world needs?
Has someone, sometime, somewhere sold you the idea you can't be something?
Did they tell you that you're not clever/ pretty/ thin/ tall/ strong/ handsome/ rich/ creative/ healthy/ hardworking/ tenacious/ talented/ [fill in your own limitation here ______________] enough to do what you'd like to do?
What if it weren't true?
Just because something says something about you, does that make it true? Only if you agree.
So if you're feeling limited, ask "What have I decided I can't be?" This will help you see and unlock the doors to anything you have decided it is not possible to be.
What if there was nothing wrong with you? What's right about you that you're not getting?
What decisions have you made about who or what you must be? A doctor, lawyer, public servant, part of the family business, father/mother, a good child, what else? Have you decided that to be anything else is to be less than?
Were they your ideas? Or someone else's?
Whatever reasons you may have given yourself, decisions with only limit you. You've decided, so you can't change it, even if it's no longer working for you.
Questions on the other hand will help you see possibilities you might not have been willing or able to see before. Questions will empower you to choose consciously what you'd really like.
So if you'd like to create the life you'd really enjoy, the world you'd prefer to live in, ask "What have I decided I must be?" followed by "If I could choose anything, who and what would I be?" and then "What action can I take?"
You may choose exactly the same as you are now. Or you may not.
In either case, the choice will be consciously yours, so how will you feel about it? The same or different?
Have you been trying for some time to create the job, business, relationship, policy, organisational culture, societal change, or the life you'd like, but can't ever seem to make it happen?
If you've been stuck on something for a while and not achieved the result you'd like, you may have some deeply held, unconscious decisions that are limiting you.
For example, is there anything you believe can't be changed? Where you have to live, study or work, or what you have to do or be for someone else? That you are just one person, alone, too small, insignificant and powerless to effect any change on the world?
What if you could change anything? What would be possible for you then, and what would you choose?
If you'd like to move beyond the places that have been keeping you stuck, ask "What have I decided I can't change?" and notice what comes to mind.
When you start seeing where and how you've been keeping yourself stuck with unspoken decisions, then ask "What else is possible?" "Can I change this? If so how?" and "What action can I take?"
How often do you feel tired at study, work, or home simply because you're 'tired of it'? You've had enough.
Think of 3 o'clock on Friday afternoon and you're winding down at work. Do you start to feel tired?
What happens then at 5 o'clock when you meet your friends for drinks, dinner, chatting, dancing or watching sport?
Do you still feel tired? Or do you come to life and have boundless energy?
What is that? Is it the fun factor? Could fun be enough to keep you energised?
So when you start to feel tired ask "Am I tired or bored?"
Then ask "What could I add to my study/ work/ business/ relationship/ life that would make it more fun?" and add that.
Is someone giving you hell? No matter what you do or say, you're always wrong? Perhaps you really did do something less than bright, and they're coming down on you hard?
How do you respond? Do you try to justify your actions and prove that you're not wrong and are doing your best?
Does that work? Even if you really did nothing wrong, do people believe you and make your life easy?
If you'd like to vacuum up all the bad feelings and start again, do this: first acknowledge the other person's point of view. Say "You're right. I'm wrong" three times, naturally in various ways.
Then ask "What can I do to make up for the damage I've done?" Check your energy matches thewords. Sarcastic or angry energy won't work. The magic is in the energy of allowance and vulnerability.
When you are willing to give up your points of view about being right, then you are free to create new possibilities.
At the very least, this will difficult people them off your back, so you can get on with the fun of living.
Yes. I know this is not a question. Sometimes no question will make it stop. So try this instead.
Some people love to fight. Do you?
Some will fight to the death to prove the rightness of their point of view. Some just like to fight for the fun of it. In either case, will anything you say or do change their mind and resolve the fight?
Do you ever see the insanity of an argument and try to stop it or change it with well considered and logical arguments? Does it ever work? Or do you get more frustrated, tangled and drawn into the fight?
If you don't enjoy arguing and would like to move beyond the with to new possibilities, smile and say "You're right. I'm wrong" three times.
You're not agreeing the other person is right. You're acknowledging their right to their point of view, and you are being in allowance of them not seeing yours.
The words are easy. The energy behind the words might take practice. Saying these words sarcastically or angrily will not work. Your energy must be of complete allowance.
Will they work? Next time someone wants a fight, use them and find out.
Is work usually hard for you and not much fun? Do you think that's just the way it has to be? That it's wrong to show that you enjoy your job, or that doing things elegantly – getting the best results for the least effort – is somehow cheating?
When you were young, did your parents frown and complain about their day at work? Do you do that now?
Would you like to enjoy work more and get better results more easily? If so, start by giving up all the fixed points of view you have about work. Then ask "What if work were easy and fun?"
Are you willing to enjoy every moment of your work life, and get the best results, and make money?
It is possible. Many people create good income from doing things they enjoy all the time. How? They choose to do things they enjoy well, rather than suffer and do badly things they don't.
Happiness is just a choice and a smile is very good for business.
What are your points of view about study, including about going to school, college, or university and about learning anything in general?
Any of these? That it's hard, will take a long time and lots of money? That you're not smart or diligent enough? That you shouldn't rest, sleep, or enjoy yourself because you should be studying?
How many vested interests are making study hard for you? Do teachers want you to outshine them? Do after school tutoring businesses want you to hire them? And other students? Do they want you to see your talent?
Are you willing to consider a different possibility? If so, ask “What if study were easy and fun?”
What if you approached study with the energy of insatiable curiosity about things that inspire you?
What if you were excited about learning new ways to expand your natural talents? Would study be easier, and more fun and rewarding then?
How do you function in life? From the give and take, mustn't be selfish, must-be-responsible / do-my-duties / fulfill-my-obligations / do-what-I'm-told standard operating procedure of this reality?
Is that fun? And do you really give it your best? Or do you engage half-heartedly and do the least you can get away with?
Would you prefer to enjoy wholeheartedly every interaction you have with the world?
If so, start here. Ask yourself, are you willing to nurture and care for you? Are you willing to let go of everything you think you have to be or do that other people tell you is real and important?
Are you willing to see your talents and abilities? Are you willing to gift and receive freely, with no expectation of what it means? Are you willing to be the contribution you are by being you?
Then ask “What contribution could I be?”
What if by choosing for you and freeing yourself from the confines of other's must be/ do/ haves, you were able to be and contribute all and more of you.
Is that being selfish?
How well do people understand you? Are you frustrated that no one gets you? Not even - or especially - your friends, family or insignificant other?
How often do people listen to your point of view? Or are they usually focused on their own points of view about what you should be or do, telling you that it's for your own good. (Is it really for your own good, or is it simply because it suits them))?
And how willing are you to tell others what you require or desire? A lot, a little, or not at all?
When did you decide that you couldn't ask for things for you? How many people have told you that choosing for you is selfish (so just do what they tell you, for them)?
Truth, can you contribute to anyone else if you don't first wholly contribute to you?
So ask “What am I unwilling to ask for, that if I did ask for and receive it would be a greater contribution to me and my communities than I could possibly imagine?”
What if you could change the world by choosing for you?
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