Let’s talk about a question that all of us have had at one time or another: Why can’t I find the answers? And this can come in many different forms; why can’t I find the solution? Why aren’t there answers? Where are the solutions? I think we have all been there in that place where it seems that we are stuck in a loop, a cycle that can be negative and perpetual and it doesn’t seem like we can break free.
And I am sure you have heard this:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
And sometimes we get into that place where we feel like we just can’t find the answer we ask. We try and I think a big reason for that is that we are often not finding the answers because we are asking the wrong questions. If we ask better questions, we will get better answers. We will get solutions. We can find a path to break the cycle, break the loop and to step into that next season of productivity, effectiveness, fulfillment, impact, or whatever it may be.
BUT a lot of times we get stuck in a negative cycle and we are asking the wrong questions…
- What did I do wrong this time?
- What’s going to happen now?
- What is going to go wrong?
These questions are the kind of questions you ask when you are just waiting for the other foot to fall. Why are we asking questions that are defeating, that are not empowering? When you ask questions that are defeating and unempowering that assume the negative… the negative loop!! Those are the wrong kinds of questions to be asking.
- Ask Questions About YOU
If I were to tell you, if you are in that place and you can relate, I am going to suggest that you ask some different questions and see if you don’t get some better answers. See if you don’t see salutations that you couldn’t see before. Because if you feel like you have been asking and can’t find the answer, searching and can’t find the answer then I am going to give you a few areas to look at where you could shift your questions.
If you have some time, pull out something to take some notes; notebook, journal, phone… whatever you’ve got (And truthfully, if you haven’t journaled… you should! For all you Lord of the Rings fans, this is the one habit to rule them all!!). And when I need to work out some of my thoughts and ask some of the good questions in my journal, I ask questions repeatedly in endless variations; depending on the circumstances. It might seem a little hard and you might be asking, Mark, why would you ask those questions of yourself in so many different ways? Because it works!
But remember, don’t ask questions like: why did you do that? Or why are you always failing? Why do you always screw up?
Instead: Why did I do that? Why did I feel that way? Why didn’t I follow through? And I can get pretty specific, like: Mark, why aren’t you going to the gym? And that question led me to a conclusion and a personal belief that I didn’t know that I had and it was holding me back. I asked myself, You said you wanted to go to the gym… why aren’t you going? And the discovery I made about myself was that I identified myself as average. And in my mind an average man doesn’t need to go to the gym because I am healthier than most and way above average compared to some.
Comparisons are a great thing if you want to give yourself excuses. And so I realized by asking myself questions I was identifying as average and I had to shift my identity when it came to my health and fitness. And in time it changed to I’m going to exercise, I’m going to maximize my health and fitness in order to fulfill my destiny.
And asking questions is what got me to ask more questions about what I love? What do I hate? What do I enjoy most? What do I want more of in my life? Who do I enjoy being with the most? These are all questions that are within you that you have the answers to, but sometimes you don’t stop to think about what you want… WHAT ARE MY BIGGEST DREAMS? What is something that I’ve always felt like I couldn’t do? Go as deep as you want. Some of the questions you might be asking are surface and circumstantial, but you can go straight into deep work… Ask questions about yourself and you will find some better answers, with better questions!
- Ask Questions About Your Relationships
Some of you are living on the failure curve. Look it up, there is the success curve and the failure curve and the only difference between the two is the mindset. The mindset of the success curve is responsibility: I take full responsibility for my life. The mindset of the failure curve is blame: I play the victim, I act powerless, I point fingers at other people because life is not fair. Some of you are asking questions that place you squarely on the failure curve. And if you ask better questions in your relationships… How could I be a better dad? How can I be a better spouse? Or how can I pour into that friendship?
These should be your questions instead of:
- Why are my kids so evil?
- Why don’t they just listen to what I say?
Those questions are not serving you at all because it puts you on the failure curve. In those questions, you are not taking back your power or responsibility. So instead ask, How could I serve my children better? What are they feeling or what’s motivating them? What would encourage them? There are also questions that I ask myself about relationships: Who are the people I need more of in my life and who are the people I need less of in my life?
Those are sometimes the harder questions, and digging a little deeper instead of saying, why do they always suck on me like a leach and drain me of my energy… ask questions that can give you more empowering, liberating answers. Ask questions about you and ask questions about your relationships and for the entrepreneurs reading:
- Ask Questions about Your Business
There’s a really great book that I think is required reading if you own a business, don’t think about it… JUST BUY THE BOOK. The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham is packed with phenomenal wisdom. He talks about a little practice/exercise that he sets aside time to think and ask questions specifically about your business. The whole premise to The Road Less Stupid is that you don’t need to do everything right, you just need to avoid stupid. And if we can avoid the stupid, then we can be successful.
So ask questions about your business:
- What is our profit?
- What is our margin?
- What is our frequency of purchase from clients?
These are basic, spreadsheet, numbery kinds of questions but keep asking, dig deeper:
- Who do we want to serve?
- If money was no object, what would we do with our business?
- If I had $20,000 to pour into my business today, what would I do with it?
- How can I make my clients never forget the experience they had with us?
- How can I take a negative right now in my business and amplify it into a positive?
- How can I create more raving fans?
You get the idea, there are so many more questions to ask so ask questions about your business! You have so many answers on the inside of you, but you have been asking the wrong questions and getting sucked into the loop and the repetitive cycles that are disempowering. Stop. It. I have wisdom for you and it is just a few words:
TAKE BACK YOUR POWER!
Take back your power so that you can ask better questions and get better answers!
So I hope that today you were able to take some notes. Pick one of these areas that you’re dealing with, there might be some struggle or frustration in that area and see if you can’t find some better questions and discover some better answers! I love you people. I hope that this served you and added value to you!
And this is where we leave it and go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what is on the inside of you! I love you people!