Are you finally ready to improve your circumstances? Are you ready to take it to the next level? Are you ready to step forward to begin the journey of never-ending improvement?
If so, asking the right kind of questions will be your best guide. Basically, thinking is nothing more than the asking and answering of questions. All discoveries, both great and small, are realized by asking questions. You’ll need to continually ask questions and be inquisitive if you want to expand your consciousness and increase the quality of your life.
Ask yourself these questions in order to improve the quality of your life:
1. What is the lesson? Living life with an open mind is easier than living with a closed mind. With an open mind you are much more likely to learn from your mistakes, become aware of new ways of doing things and discover wondrous things about yourself and others. If you are in constant search of learning, you will see the lessons in every event rather than shutting down or becoming self-absorbed.
2. Who can help me achieve my goals? This question will give you the focus needed to target the people who can help you. No one climbs the ladder of success without the aid of someone else. Brainstorm on paper a list of people whose assistance and cooperation you want or need to achieve your goals. Choose the top three names. Then approach each one and ask them this question: Will you help me?
“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
3. Am I living an honest life? Do you ever find yourself twisting words and thoughts with the intent to deceive? Or worse, did you realize it only after the fact? How much time and energy did this cost you in the end? The adage, “The truth will set you free” is not meant for the benefit of mankind but for the benefit of you. Being truthful to yourself and others saves you time and reputation. Truthfulness will bring you a sense of peace. And it will save you all that time and effort of backtracking, re-spinning or trying to keep your stories straight. Perhaps that is why Thomas Paine wrote, “It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself.”
4. On a scale of 1 to 10, what is the rate of my current performance? Have the courage to examine your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly progress. If you regularly write out your goals it will be easier to rate your performance. If you don’t write your goals, start. You will find that accomplishing anything long-term is easier when you take the time to see how your short-term steps are progressing.
5. What am I grateful for? A great place to begin the process of improvement is to reflect and be grateful for the things we already have. It is easy to lose sight of all the blessings we experience while on our journey through life. Few people take the time to think of all the things they are grateful for and appreciate.
6. What are my strengths and weaknesses? This can be a scary question. The trouble is that most people are afraid to look within, fearing what they might find. If that describes you, get over it! “Know thyself” is a mantra that has been echoed for thousands of years. Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side list your strengths, the other your weaknesses. Be honest with yourself. Examine your list when you are finished, then resolve to accentuate your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses.
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
7. What is the No. 1 obstacle that is preventing me from achieving my goal? In football, your goal is to score a touchdown. Your obstacle is the other team. Professional sports teams study video footage of their opposing team in order to gain insight as to how to better overcome their obstacle. What potential challenges or obstacles stand between you and your goal, and what can you do to overcome them? Practice overcoming the obstacles in advance and then perform better, as a sports team does, when the real game is on.
8. What can I not change? Many people needlessly worry about things over which they have no control. The Serenity Prayer is a great reminder. We all know how it goes: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. It is easy to dismiss such platitudes. Ponder the question again and take it to heart.
“To fear to face an issue is to believe that the worst is true.”
What do I fear? This question freaks most people out. They avoid it like the plague. How many times have we lamented over doing something? The concern, worry or terror continued to grow bigger until we were immobilized by the fear. When you really want to do something and it is the fear that is holding you back, then acknowledge that you are fearful and do it anyway. The only way to conquer fear is to push through it by taking immediate action. Feel the fear and go for it! Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Remember that a question not asked is an answer not given! When you take the time to ask the right questions you are already on the road to self-discovery and unlimited self-improvement. The process of asking the right questions will undoubtedly increase your overall personal value. And there is only one person that can ultimately improve the quality of your life—and that person is you. Wouldn’t you agree?
Best of success to you!