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.
Are you stuck in a rut with someone? Your insignificant other? A parent? Your boss? A co-worker? A celebrity or authority figure? Or even a friend?
Do you sense something is not quite right between you and them, and no matter what you do, you can't seem to make it work?
What have you decided this person means to you? Have you made them the answer to something?
For example, have you made your boy/girlfriend The One? Are your parents proof that you're The Good Child? Is your boss The Enemy around who you rally with your co-workers? Is a co-worker The Unfair Competition to excuse your own uninspired performance? Is the celebrity or authority figure The Hero Coming to Save the Day? Is your friend ...... [fill in their role and it's value here]?
If you'd like to be free from these limits and to see people for who they truly are — rather than what you've decided they are -- ask "What have I made this person mean to me?"
Then acknowledge it, and say farewell (to the rut).
If you'd like to continue having that person in your life, ask another 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.
What's your point of view about magic? That it's voodoo and a lie? Or that it's a bit of a laugh for kids? And wow...what if you really could do things like Harry Potter and X-men? Wouldn't that be fun!
Do you ever have wonderful people or things show up in your life with ease and by surprise? Is that like magic?
Does it make you smile?
What if magic were simply things appearing from a source you couldn't see and didn't yet understand? What if magic was simply science you couldn't yet explain? Like if only just now you saw fire for the first time?
If you'd like to invite more magic into your life and create things you thought impossible, ask "What magic can I ask for today?"
And then ask.
How many times a day do you hear yourself saying "I'd like to be/ do/ have X but I can't/ shouldn't/ because of X? Once, 10, 100 times a day?
Sure you're clever. You've analyzed the thing from all angles and worked out exactly why you can't/ shouldn't. And you're not wrong. When you decide something is not possible, you're absolutely right. It's not.
Would you like more possibility in life? Would you like to be/ do/ have all those things you've decided are not possible?
If so, ask "What if I stopped being my greatest limitation and started living?"
Think of this as a gentle slap on the cheek to remind you all things are possible. Then ask another question, or three hundred, and create your life as you'd really like.
How do you shop for clothes? Are you a bargain hunter? Do you rely on a friend, shop assistant, or internet influencer to tell you what to buy?
Do you consider what other people will approve? For example, it's the latest fashion that your friends will admire, or its safe-conservative that your workplace will accept?
Do you ever ask your body?
How does your approach work for you? Is your wardrobe full of clothes you absolutely adore? Are your clothes a joy to wear and make you feel happy all over? Do they make you smile and strut your stuff?
Or do you shuffle through life feeling slightly uncomfortable and dressed not quite right?
For fun, next time you go shopping or open your wardrobe, ask "Body, what would you like to wear?"Notice what draws your hand or eyes. Touch it. Notice how your skin feels.
You'll know when your body wants to wear something. And if nothing draws you, keep on moving until you find something that does...even if it's your birthday suit...
Do you have hideous amounts of money? Or just as much as you need to enjoy life? Perhaps you have none at all?
What have you decided money is? Dirty? A necessity? The root of all evil? The answer to your life?
Are any of these true? Or does money simply have the meaning you give it?
How much have you decided is okay to have? How did you decide? And have you defined the things you can enjoy to fit within its limits?
If you would like to change your money flows, start by clearing all the definitions you have about money, and ask "What have I decided money is?"
What if instead, you considered money a fun, fabulous tool to enable you to do all, and more, of the things you enjoy in life, including contributing to you, your friends, family and communities?
Would that be an invitation for more to come and play?
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 a pain? Feeling sick?
Have you put your body in the hands of a 100+ doctors and other experts and still don't know what's wrong?
Have you asked your body?
What if it knew more than anyone? What if pain was simply your body screaming at you to listen?
It might start out as a slight twinge or ache: your body saying "Excuse me, I need something," which if you ignore becomes a nagging discomfort "Helloooooo! I REALLY need something!" Until finally your body screams in pain "HEY YOU!!!!! I NEED SOME ATTENTION NOW...OR ELSE!!!!!"
So before that happens ask "Body, what are you telling me?"
Once you start listening to your body, keep asking questions like "What information do I need?" and "Who do I need to talk to?" until you discover what your body is asking for.
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?"
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.
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?"
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?"
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?
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.
How often do you limit your choices, before you even consider them, by deciding you don't have the time or the money?
Time and money are two reasons (excuses) people will always give for not doing something. What if you took them out of the equation so you could see what you'd really like to choose?
To find out, ask “If time and money weren't the issue, what would I choose?”
Once you are clear on your true desire, you can ask other questions to make it happen, for example
Make sure you ask for more than you think you want, or can even imagine, without incurring hardship, by adding “...with ease, or something greater?”
Do you find you other people are always telling you what to do, things that you'd rather not do, and convince you to give up the things you prefer?
Other people will always try to get you to do things, using obligation and guilt to control you. Why? It makes their lives easier, and you usually do what they tell you to, so why not?
Listening to other people's points of view can be useful. You can learn a great deal. And did you know that when you don't feel light and wonderful about a request or demand, you don't have to do it?
Next time someone asks/tells you to do something, first ask yourself "Does this work for me?" If it light light and breezy, then go ahead and do it.
And if not, smile and with a light, joyful energy say “Thank you so much for thinking of me! Great idea! It doesn't work for me right now. What will it take for you to find someone to get it done?
Then smile again and change the subject. You are stating a fact about which no one can argue (it doesn't work for you right now). Don't offer a reason or excuse; these only allow the conversation to continue.
If people push you, smile again and say “I'm sorry, it doesn't work for me. It's an interesting idea and I'm sure other people will be keen." And if that still doesn't work, smile and walk away/hang up/delete/block/ whatever it takes until your lightness returns.
What do you do when things don't fit into the form and structure you've decided your life must have? When things vary or change? Like now, for example. Old normal gone. Enter 'new normal.'
Do you say “Oh that's interesting. It's different! It's something I never thought about! I wonder how much fun we can have? I wonder what new better and beyond normal can I help create?”
Or do you react with upset and say “This is strange/crazy/stupid. If they only did it this way life would be better! OMG how can I put up with this?”
How much stress or unhappiness do you have because you've decided things have to be a particular way?
If you'd like less stress and more happiness in your life, ask "What if form and structure had no significance?" Then
How? Ask more questions. There's a bunch here www.thedailyq.co you can start with.
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.
Are the things you'd like not showing up in your life?
Perhaps you're (select any and all that apply): smart, educated, articulate, hard working, diligent, polite, kind, good looking, well connected, in the zone, lucky, [enter your own special talents here _________________________], and generally have everything going for you, and yet the things you'd like are just not showing up. What is that?
Do you have any of these points of view?
Having any of these, or similar points of view will cut off your ability to receive. In other words, even when things try to show up in your life, you won't see or allow them in.
So if you'd like to allow the things you'd like into your life, ask yourself “What am I unwilling to receive?”
When you're clear on your points of view about receiving, ask "What's it going to take for X to show up?" again. Then notice what shows up - no matter in what form and including somebody else's point of view - and ask "What action could I take?"
How many things do you have in your life that don't work for you, that you think you have to be/do/have because someone else said so?
You have to study for that exam, go to that school, study that subject, enter that company, learn that language, marry that person, have that many children, attend that event, vote for that person, put that in your body, follow that rule and so on. How well do you do them?
Just because someone else says you need to be/do/have something is a good idea, will it always work out well for you?
Who is the one person who does know what will work for you and what is true for you?
YOU. Only you know if something works for you. It feels light as a feather. Unlike all the heavy stuff you know doesn't work for you, but you do anyway because you were told to.
So if you're not as happy as you'd like to be, start listening and trusting you more by asking "Does this work for me?"
Notice whether you feel heavy or light. And if you'd like to change any heaviness, ask "What else is possible?"
What would you like to have show up in your life?
A great new job, a successful business, smart staff, more customers, reliable suppliers, an investor, money, greater ease, less stress, better health, more fun? For life to become better than the normal you had before the fear and panic? Something else?
Whatever that is, invite it into your life by asking "What's it going to take for X to show up?"
Be aware of the specific details of your question. For example, if you ask for the 'perfect job,' you may create a job based on other people's expectations of perfect, including how long and hard you have to work, doing whatever your boss says even if it makes no sense, taking sides in office politics, and so on.
So instead, be clear on what you'd like by asking, for example “What's it going to take for [a rewarding job that I enjoy and allows me to extend my talents, with flexible, fun, creative people] to show up, that would contribute to my life more than I can imagine, or something greater?”
Make sure that when you ask, you let go of any conclusions you might have made about what it will look like, and how it will show up, and be willing to receive it when it does. You never know what might happen when you ask a question.
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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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