“My husband doesn’t love me.” “My wife doesn’t respect me.” “My children think I’m a tyrant.” “My life is miserable.”
These are millions of similar conclusions that people come to every day. We “know” what’s happening to us. We “know” what’s coming. Then what is wrong if we already have all the answers?
How to Change Your Life by Asking Better Questions
I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
– Socrates (told by Plato)
Have you noticed that there are people who have everything others can dream of and still they are unhappy? Or that there are others who seem to have so little, yet enjoy their lives? The difference can’t be in having or not having things then — money, cars, houses.
What is it then?
What is your vision of life? What do you think of it? Do you enjoy it? What do you like in it? Those questions lead to some answers if you start asking them to yourself.
On the other hand, if you ask: Why is it so bad? Why is my life is such a mess? Why do people hate me? What is wrong with the world? We get different answers.
The funny thing is that there will always be answers out there to your questions, as you will always find what you’re looking for. That’s why which answers you get depends on the questions you ask.
That brings our focus to some specific points. The more concrete questions we ask, the more concrete answers we get, and the more positive questions we ask, the more positive answers we get.
Based on this principle, we can call our life a quiz of questions and answers. And questions are playing the primary role for us.
If I tell you that you must behave a certain way, it doesn’t give you many options. But if I ask you, “What do you think is the proper behavior in this situation?”, it invites you to stop, think and choose.
All of these processes are happening in our brain all the time. After a while, we create behavior patterns and get comfortable enough in our habits that we stop asking questions and simply react with the prepared answers. This is the moment that progress stops, and we don’t develop anymore. When you stop questioning because you think you “know” the answers, it leaves you with a very short list of choices, and cuts you off from all your opportunities.
So now I have a question for you: Do you want to make the best out of your life?
If the answer is “YES,” then let’s get to the second question: Do you remember how to ask questions? Not small talk, but the ones that are meant to challenge you and create new opportunities. For example: “What can you learn from today’s experience?” Or “What makes you happy about your family?” These types of quality questions can be a game-changer.
You can only develop when you have options for growth.
So this is as simple as it gets. Lousy questions bring lousy answers and create lousy lives. Quality questions bring quality answers and create quality lives.
Which one do you choose?