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?
Are you happy with life? It's okay to say you are. But you probably can't, or won't admit it, right?
What is that? When did you decide that you couldn't be happy and had to be dissatisfied and complain about life?
Would you like to have more happiness in life? Will moaning and groaning create it? Or will choosing to be happy create it?
If you'd like to find out, ask "What can I smile about today?" and then SMILE and smile some more.
You may only find one thing to start with. A really great cup of coffee. A break in the traffic. A clear blue sky. So SMILE.
You can also smile at the not-so-great stuff. Illogically restrictive regulations. SMILE. Waterfalls of fear around you. SMILE. Unable to see family or friends. SMILE. Lost your job. SMILE. Feeling depressed. SMILE.
After a while, like magic, your sense of happiness will expand and you'll see more and more great stuff in life. Previously unthought of possibilities emerging like new grown weeds from a scorched earth.
You may even infect others with your choice to choose happiness, and would that be something to smile about?
Do you ever have those moments when your computer just won't work? It dies for no apparent reason? You're just about to buy something online, or give a presentation, or send an email and KAPUT..
It could be anything. The hardware, the software, the connection, the (non) service provider, or maybe you kicked the cord out of the wall?
What if there was nothing wrong with the sudden non-functioning of your electronics? What if the Gods in the Machinery were letting you know that doing something else would be more rewarding?
What if by not buying that item online now, you got a discount later? What if by not sticking to the Powerpoint slideshow your presentation was so much better? What if by not sending that email you go the result you actually desired?
So next time your electronics go CLUNK, ask "Computer, what are you trying to tell me?" and consider what else you might choose instead.
Do you find that your work, business, relationships or life in general never quite get to where you'd like them to be? You're talented, diligent, smart, cute, funny, intelligent, well-read, hard-working, kind, understanding and more, but somehow it just isn't happening?
Do you like to do it all yourself, rather than have others help? When others do help, is there a limit to what you will accept? Do you think involving others will weaken your control? Or that if you take too much, someone else will get less?
Consider nature. Do plants keep a ledger of how much oxygen and food they gift us? No. They just keep giving. The planet is an infinitely abundant place and keeps creating magically.
What if you functioned from abundance, rather than scarcity? Would lifting the limit on what you were willing to receive help expand your work, business, relationships and life possibilities?
Like to find out? If so, ask "What if limits weren't real?"
How often do you ask for what you'd really like? All the time? Sometimes? Almost never?
And how much of what you'd really like do you have in your life right now? A lot? A little? Almost nothing?
Do you see the connection? Don't ask, don't get.
What stops you from asking for what you'd like? Do you think that you're being selfish? That there's not enough to go around and you should give up your bit (whatever that is) for someone else? That you don't deserve it? That you don't need to ask for anything from anyone? That people should know what you want? Something else?
Are these true? Or are they interesting points of view that you may have bought from someone, sometime?
Have you ever heard the axiom: ask and you will receive? Have you ever asked?
So if you don't have the life you'd truly like, ask "What if I asked for the life I'd truly like?"
Then ask. And receive.
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.
Do you ever blame other people or circumstances for things that don't work out in your life?
Does it make you feel better and help you create the life you'd actually like? Or does it side-track you into an Alice-in-Wonderland like maze of distraction?
If you'd like to create the life you'd truly like, acknowledge your role as creator of everything that shows up in it.
How? For every good, bad, ugly, beautiful thing that shows up in it, ask "How did I create this?"
It'll likely be easy for the good, beautiful things. What about acknowledging that you created the bad, ugly things?
By taking ownership of everything in your life, you gain clarity on how you created it. And then you can see how to create it differently.
How? Ask questions.
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.
What have you decided you don't want in your life? People who lie, cheat and steal? Unreliable and flakey people? Bossy and know-it-all people? What else?
How much energy do you spend judging others in an effort to keep certain people out of your life? Does it ever work? Is it fun for you? Does it expand your life in ways you'd like?
If not, rather than judging and excluding, be in allowance and inclusive.
When you exclude, you define the limits of what you are willing to receive and shut off your access to infinite possibilities.
So when you notice you're trying to avoid someone, ask "What am I excluding here, that if I were to be in allowance of would contribute to my life in ways I can't yet imagine?"
Will this put you at the mercy of other people? No. When you are aware and inclusive, you will see what's going on and how to choose the bits that work for you.
Be aware that they may end up excluding you from their lives. Why? Some people are only interested in you so long as you're under their control.
What title have you decided you must have to be valued? Girlfriend/ boyfriend? Husband/ wife? Mother/ father? Community leader? Volunteer? Best friend? Executive? Director? CEO? Master chef? Business person of the year? Dux? No. 1? Sir? Ma'am? Professor? Cool dude? What other title do you value?
Will a title make you into the person you'd like to be? Does not having it make you less? Or do you create you, regardless -- and often in spite of -- your title and other people's opinions?
When someone gives you a title do you automatically become that? Have you ever had a boss/ friend/ partner who wasn't that? Did their titles automatically make them what you desired?
And what if by accepting a title you limited yourself to what other people decided was right/ wrong good/ bad for that role, which may not work for you?
What if even without any title, you were an amazing gift to the world? So ask "What title am I limiting myself to, that if I didn't, would allow me to see and create the life I truly desire?"
What gift could you be if you chose for you, beyond the limits of any title?
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?
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.
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."
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.
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?”
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.
How much do you put off doing? How much do you not do all because you think you won't succeed? How often do you end up doing something less than you'd like as a result?
What do hesitation and fear contribute to your life? Is there any value in having them?
Or are they simply distractions that keep you from creating what you'd truly like?
If you'd like to be free from their control to create the relationships, work, business, life and change you'd really like, ask “What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail?”
This will clear such distractions so you see what you'd really like to choose. Then ask "What action can I take?"
Are you willing to have that much freedom?
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.
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