Do you have someone sick or suffering in your life? Are you surrounded by well meaning family and friends, and highly trained medical professionals all telling you how it's going to get worse and worse?
What happens to plants when you direct negative thoughts, words and actions at them? Science shows us they wither and die. Are people any different?
What if rather than contributing like this to someone's deterioration by adding your voice to the throng, you asked the person suffering "What contribution could I be to you?" Then listen and honour the person by being that, even if it's just to hold their hand and smile.
You are not expecting a miracle recovery, even if it's possible and could occur. You are honouring the person and offering them energy, space, allowance, and possibility.
What different could you be by contributing that?
What fixed points of view do you have about who and what you have to be/ do/ have/ think in life?
For example, I have to get married because my mother expects it. I can't take a year off school to travel because my father wouldn't like it. I have to get into that organisation because otherwise I'll be a failure. I have to cook dinner every night otherwise I'll be a bad parent. I can't be nice because the tough kids will make fun of me. I can't speak my mind because people will call me a 'Karen.' I have to believe everything other people tell me or I'll have no friends.
Do you spend all your energy, time and money on this hamster wheel? Is it fun? Does it create the happiness you'd like?
If not, ask "What could be possible if I changed my point of view?"
What if every 'I have to' and 'I can't' were just points of view that you could change? What point of view would you start with?
How many people do you have in your life you want to kill, or at least complain about endlessly? One or two? Or too many to count? When you think about these people do you smile, or frown?
When you see other people frowning, how do you feel? Do you feel happy and energetic, or not so much? What about when people smile at you? How do you feel?
Have you ever heard this children's song?
When someone smiles at me,
I feel like smiling too,
When I see someone who is happy,
I feel happy too.
Does this work? If you'd like to find out, ask "Who can I smile at today?" and start with one person. Then try another, and another, until you smile at everyone.
Yes, some of them may think you're insane. And do you really care what they think if you end up happier?
Do you know what you'd really like in life? What you truly desire?
Have you ever allowed yourself to consider it? Or have you always been/ done/ chosen what others have told you is The Right Thing?
If your life is not going quite how you'd like it, maybe you've been choosing for others, rather than for you?
So how do you know what you'd really like? Easy. Ask"What do I truly desire?" and see what comes to mind.
It might not be anything that you've ever acknowledged before. Or maybe you were told it would not be: appropriate/ realistic/ possible/ safe/ healthy/ normal/ sensible/ or any one of 1000s of words people like to use to control you.
Are you willing to look at what you'd really like now?
Once you can see your true desires, then you can invite them into your life. You just need to ask.
Have you been asking questions but things don't seem to be changing the way you'd hoped?
What sort of questions are you asking? Do they sound like this "What's it going to take for my red sports car/ young, blond, sexy date/ prestigious, highly regarded, well paying job to show up/ people to recognise me and what I'm doing?"
Are these really questions? Or are they conclusions with question marks attached? In other words, you've already decided what you want: a red sports car/ young, blond, sexy date/ prestigious, highly regarded, well paying job/ public recognition and appreciation.
So if you think you know how to ask a question, but you're not seeing the change you'd like, check your questions by asking "Am I asking a question, or a statement with a question mark attached?"
If you discover you're in conclusion, simply ask a real question.
Have you ever been stuck not knowing what to do? You've got two or more great (or not so great) options and you just don't know which one to go with?
Are you frozen by the idea that you might make the wrong choice? Have you made this choice the answer to your life? And if you get it wrong, people will say 'there you go again, making no-good choices' and your life will be over?
Is that true? What if there were no wrong choices? What if no choice was the answer to your life? What if a choice was quite simply that: a choice. A choice that is good for 10 seconds, and then you get to choose again.
How does that feel? A bit lighter? Can you choose now?
So go on, remind yourself: a choice is just a choice and you can do it every 10 seconds. When you're stuck, ask "What if I just chose, dammit?"
Then choose. Repeat.
Have you ever been told you're too loud, too active, too energetic, too happy, too full of life and could you TURN IT DOWN or PUT A LID ON IT?
Do you feel bad about it? Do you feel wrong?
What if there were nothing wrong with you?
What if some people simply don't get your energy, your exuberant expression of life?
What if your energy and exuberance is an amazing capacity, a phenomenal talent? A gift the world needs?
If you'd like to remind yourself that your energy and exuberance is not wrong, and that some people will simply not get you and become angry or annoyed, ask yourself "How many people can I wake up with my exuberance today?"
Then smile and dance on.
Do you feel that you're not enough? You don't fit in? That you must strive to become something that your parents, teachers, friends, bosses, media, governments or others have told you that you should be?
Certainly you couldn't possibly be enough just as you are! You need to be something better, right?
What if there was nothing wrong with you? What if being you -- just as you are -- was exactly right?
What if it were more than OK? What if the world actually needs the full range of your talents and abilities that you've been told your whole life were wrong?
What would that be like? Do you know? If you'd like to find out, ask "What if being me could change the world?"
If you're not clear on who you are, ask "If I were me, who would I be?" and "What's right about me that I'm not getting?"
What if you could be you and change the world?
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?"
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?"
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?"
Always feeling down? Can't seem to shift the blues?
Perhaps there something about being sad that actually works for you?
It may help you fit in with others around you. It may deliver the attention you crave. Or it may simply fill in your emptiness and distract you from the rest of life.
This is not wrong and you are welcome to keep sadness if it truly works for you.
If it doesn't and you'd rather be happy, then know you can ask for it.
Until you ask a question you may simply not be aware that somewhere, somehow you value sadness, for whatever reason.
Are you ready for change? Then ask "What the value of being sad?"
Are you feeling ill or exhausted? Do you have aches and pains that baffle the doctors? Baffle you?
Before you start on a carousel of drug-taking to see if you can alleviate the symptoms, ask “What am I sick and tired of?”
Maybe it's doom and gloom stories in the media? Not being able to visit or hug loved ones? Or being told what to do but your own questions and points of view are censored. Or something else like housework/home schooling/working from home/what else?
Whatever that is for you, when you think of it and groan and slump, worry and fear, or stress and sweat ask “What else is possible?” and “Can I change this? If so, how?”
Perhaps simply choose not to listen to/switch off/walk away from the stories? Or ask "What information do I need?" and "What action can I take?" - repeat - until you no longer feel sick and tired.
What if your body's discomfort was it screaming at you to change something and create a new life, greater than you could have imagined?
Suffering? In pain? Frustrated? Someone doing you wrong? Rather than going into the no good, wrong, trauma and drama default, ask “What's funny about this I'm not getting?”
For example, have you ever tried to tell someone something SO AMAZING that you had just found out and that had changed your life, and you just wanted to tell everyone because you knew it would change their lives too? Did they call you a looney and laugh at you? Did you try every-which-way to explain, again and again, until you started doubting yourself?
What if instead of making yourself wrong, you laughed at yourself being hung out to dry like a rubber chicken? What's funny? Um rubber chicken...I mean a rubber chicken says nothing and makes people laugh.
Or maybe you're in a relationship that's on a wash cycle of wring-your-heart-dry? What's funny about that? Gotta be something. Even if it's to laugh at yourself for pushing the same old wring-me-out-now button and expecting a different result.
Cute, Not Bright.
What's great about laughing? It boosts your oxygen and feel-good body bits and kicks you out of the self-pity spiral. And did you know that joy and happiness can be *infectious*?
Then when you've done, or while you're still laughing, you get to make another choice. Are you willing to see more of life's funny side and choose for you?
If you have something in your life you've been trying to change continually to no effect, ask "What do I love about this?"
How willing are you to change or let go of things you love? Not much? Not at all?
Are you ever distracted by a fear that you will never have it again. For example, a bad relationship is better than no relationship at all?
When something is not working for you, first get clear on what parts of it you love.
Then you can ask other questions like "What would it take for me to find something else that would be an even greater contribution to my life?" and "What would it take for the parts of this that are not working for me, to change into something greater than I could imagine?"
When you become clear what you love about something – and are willing to let it go, or demand that it change – you will no longer be weighed down by it.
Instead, you will have the freedom to choose it, or not choose it. The reality is, you always have choice.
Something not working in your life? Feeling unhappy or stuck? Do you see yourself as a victim and without hope? Do you think you're hard up and done over by someone?
Are these points of view limiting you, preventing you from creating the life you'd really like? Would you like to change that?
People stay in the role of the mournful victim all the time because it has some value for them. For example
On the other hand, some people simply don't realize they have the choice to change.
Was that you? Now you know you can choose, would you like to? If so ask “What's the value of hanging on to this?” If it has no value, you would hang on to it for what reason?
The reality is, you always have choice.
One of the greatest limitations in work, business and life in general is when you decide something is right, best or perfect.
The right subject to study, the right school, the right career, the right job, the right person for the job, the right product, the right strategy. The One.
Why? It stops you looking for anything greater and blinds you to other possibilities.
So even if you think your work, business, relationship, strategy or life is working very nicely right now, and you don't feel stuck or limited by anything, ask “If I didn't do it this way, what other ways could I do it?”
This is an invitation for greater awareness. Especially if you're in the business of change. Questioning the people and strategies you think are the answer, can make you an industry leader and innovator.
And if you do end up choosing to do things the same way as before with the same people, it will be because that is still the most generative option. Not because you were stuck in a rut or blinded.
Are you stuck? Is something or someone not working out the way you'd like? Or perhaps you'd just prefer to generate something even better in your life?
Whenever you'd like to create change, start by asking a question.
Why? A question creates an opening for something that you might not have been able, or willing to see before, to come into view. A question also empowers you to shift out from wherever you're been stuck. .
An answer, decision, conclusion, or judgement serves only to limit your field of vision and disempower you.
This is the aim of The Daily Q; providing you a bunch of the simplest, most effective questions within easy reach.
So today's question is for when you have a brain freeze and can't think of a question.
Ask yourself “What question could I ask here?”
It's so simple it might even make you smile, which is always good too.
Got problems? Do you like them? Does it give you something to chat about with your friends, a puzzle to solve?
What if you didn't have problems?
What could you enjoy using the time and energy you now pour into problem solving?
If you'd like to find out, ask “What have I decided is a problem, which if I looked at it differently is something to be thankful for?”
For example, rather than being upset that you have to work from home, be grateful you're getting paid to work in your PJs. Rather than be frustrated about home schooling your kids, be grateful you can create a special time together before they grow up and never want to see you again. Rather than be angered that someone is limiting your choices, be grateful for the chance to find out what really matters to you. Rather than wallowing in victimhood, be grateful that you still have choices and can create the world you'd like if you choose.
So next time you find yourself complaining about something weighing you down, rather than trying to fix the problem (make it a better problem?), what if you looked at it differently and transformed it into something else?
How? Next question: "What action can I take?"
Has someone been angry with you recently? Called you names for something you said or did?
How did you react? Did you start thinking you were stupid or wrong? Or perhaps you responded with your own anger?
Did any of that work out for you? If not, ask "What about this anger am I grateful for?"
There is always something. For example, what was their anger was trying to do? Control you? Distract you from something? Shut you down? Or maybe it was a mechanism for distracting them from something going on in their world and really had nothing to do with you?
Once you become aware of someone's anger, you can choose to keep it in your life or not. If you'd like them in your life you can say "This anger doesn't work for me. Does it work for you? Would you like to change it?"
If they say yes, great, there is an invitation for change. If not, then at least you know and you get to choose for you. If you prefer not to have them in your life, genuinely thank them for their interesting point of view, smile and walk away/hang up/delete/remove them from your contact list.
This question will help you step out of the autopilot of reacting to anger, which will only serve to distract you from creating the life you'd really like.
To change something, first get clear on exactly what you 'd like to change by asking “What is this?”
Next ask “Would I like to change it?” To change something, you must truly desire it and be willing to do whatever it takes.
Then you can ask “If so, how?”
Can you ever change someone else? No. The only thing you can change is you and your points of view. For example, do you get upset and fight back when friends, family or perfect strangers reprimand, bully or gaslight you about something you say or do? How well does that work out?
So what else is possible? Great question. When you ask a question, possibilities will show up. For example, in this case you could
- walk away and stop talking to them; they can't reprimand, bully or gaslight you if you're not around
- put your own points of view away, push all your barriers down, smile and ask them genuine questions about their points of view; you never know, if you ask the right questions with genuine interest they might learn something new...and so might you, or
- notice your buttons being pushed and smile; consider your friends, family and even perfect strangers are cute for trying to save you from your idiotic ideas/actions, saying “Thanks so much. Tell me more", then shut up, listen, nod and listen some more till they run out of steam.
Remember, just because you listen to their stories, doesn't mean you have to buy them.
If you're brand new, then you might also like to start from Q1 here and work your through to now? Or search for the topic of your choice above. What would you like to ask about? A relationship? Money? Work? Body? Health? Or life in general? Enter your keyword below and see what shows up!
Why questions? A question will always empower you to see and create more. An answer will only limit you to what you have decided is right.
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