Questions

I love to get up early in the morning. It is quiet and peaceful. It is unlike any other time of the day.

It is 5:45 am. I woke up early to develop the curriculum for leaders of a New Generation (LONG). LONG is a youth leadership training program that is focused on training a new generation of leaders by equipping them with leadership, entrepreneurship, community service, and health skills. 1 am very excited because we have expanded the training to 6 high schools in Kenya and are looking to have 20 schools by the end of 2012.

Anyway, I digress. As I was preparing to write the curriculum, I thought about “questions” and how they impact our lives.

We are constantly having an internal dialogue in our mind and very often that dialogue consists of questions. When we ask other people questions, we normally ask purposeful and deliberate questions seeking answers.

On the other hand, besides some deliberate questions we ask ourselves such as “where did I leave my keys”, for the most part, the internal questions we ask ourselves tend to be more subconscious, less purposeful or deliberate, and quite repetitive. More importantly, unbeknown to us, they are a powerful driving force in our lives.

What internal questions are you constantly asking yourself? Why have I lost motivation?  Why am I always broke? Why am I always so tired? Why is life so hard? Why do I hate my job?

I don’t know what questions are constantly replaying in your mind. However, I know that a very subtle but powerful change in your questions can have a dramatic impact in your life.

The questions you constantly ask yourself have a powerful impact in your life. Whether you ask them deliberately or not, they drive your internal dialogue, shape your philosophy and outlook on life, and most importantly drive your actions. If you are constantly asking yourself “why” things are not going the way you imagined in your life, you will invariably come up with disempowering answers that will not help you improve.

The key is to ask empowering questions rather than disempowering and de-motivating questions. Successful people ask themselves empowering questions while unsuccessful people allow disempowering questions to dominate their lives.

I encourage you to ask yourself questions that will empower, motivate, and spur you to positive action. There are many ways to do this. I recommend one very subtle but powerful change that can make a dramatic impact in your life.

Make a subtle change and start asking HOW instead of WHY. Instead of asking WHY you have lost your motivating; ask HOW you can regain your motivation. Instead of asking WHY you are always broke; ask HOW you can save enough money. Instead of asking WHY you are overweight; ask HOW you can lose weight.  Instead of asking WHY you have a low paying job you hate; ask HOW you can get a high paying job you will love!

You will discover that the answer to a WHY versus a HOW question is dramatically different. A WHY question is focused on the PAST and will yield a BACKWARD looking answer while a HOW question is focused on the FUTURE and will yield a FOREWARD looking answer. I hope you will agree with me but the FOREWARD looking answer will beat the BACKWARD looking answer 99.9% of the time! The FOREWORD looking answer will empower, motive, and spur you to action. How about the BACKWARD looking answer? Not surprisingly, in most cases it will lead to excuses and blaming others. Let me give you an example.

If I ask any of my lovely daughters (love them dearly!) why their room is such a mess, 99% of the time they will blame it on each other. However, if I ask them how they can make sure their room is always neat, I get a very positive and thoughtful answer. Guess which question I have been asking lately?

What questions are you constantly asking yourself? If you start asking empowering and motivating questions, you will discover motivating answers that will have a dramatic positive impact on your life.

There are many ways to ask empowering questions. I encourage you to start with changing most of your questions from WHY to HOW.

Oops, it is 6:46 am; I need to get back to writing the curriculum. How can I finish writing the curriculum in the next 1 1/2 hours before everyone gets up? I will start by signing off now! Oh yes, and ask my wife to drive to church so that I can “create” 1 more hour to write the curriculum to make up for the time I spent posting this!

Stay inspired

Peter

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