Everyone has heard the quote: ‘Ask yourself the right questions and you will get the right answer.’ I’m sure Benjamin Franklin would support this saying because he had a clever habit every morning to ask himself the right questions. One of the most important questions was: ‘What can I do today?’
This question changed his life. He believed that this was the prime question that helped him achieve his goals. Therefore, I propose believing in this authority and inspirer who changed this world. One of them is James Allen, one of the pioneers of self-development who loved to say: ‘For true success, ask yourself these four questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?’
‘I see; you can change your mind with questions. But something is wrong here,’ a reader intervenes, adding: ‘Sometimes I ask myself similar questions, but my life doesn’t improve. Maybe I’m doing something wrong?’ the reader will say. That’s an interesting question.
There are six reasons why questions may not work.
Asking yourself questions is much easier than making major changes
Scientists state that the human body is a big battery. In their opinion, a person has enough energy to power a mobile phone and other devices. As you know, the body uses this energy for various processes: physical and mental loads. Each action, movement and thought consumes a certain amount of energy. For example, preparation of tea requires quite a little effort; turn on the kettle, put a bag of tea into a cup etc.
However, some activities require much more effort. For example, quitting smoking is much more difficult than asking yourself ten times a day: ‘Why can’t I give up my bad habits?’ Since asking questions requires less energy than finding answers (and executing), people choose the convenient activity: bask themselves with questions that have been heard a million times.
People avoid serious conversations because answering questions requires responsibility, effort, and takes up a lot more energy.
There is no determination, responsibility, or commitment
Imagine a handsome, professional spectacle-wearing financier. He works for an established entrepreneur on the Forbes list. Although he has more knowledge than the rich do, he earns less. Why is this happening in the end; after all, couldn’t a financier earn a lot of money on his own sake? The answer is simple. The rich are more determined and more ready to take responsibility; the financier is not ready for this. Therefore, those who know how to use the experience of wise people win.
In other words, when we talk about big business, the winner is not the financier who gave the right answers to the questions, but the one who was motivated enough to take advantage of the answers given by the financier.
It is the same with all other values and goals in life. The winners here are those who use the answers to complex questions rather than create them. Imagine you want to be a smart person. In this case, you do not have to search for an answer yourself. You just have to commit to doing whatever you can to find a list of wise questions and answers that you will surely use.
There are many question masochists
A question masochist is a person who asks themselves the same questions a hundred times a day but does not answer them. It’s like listening to the same record over and over again. Some people listen to the ‘Why doesn’t this person love me?’ or ‘Why is my destiny so bad?’ record repeatedly.
I remember listening to similar records. It brought me a lot of suffering. I tried changing it, but it wasn’t easy. As time went on, I realised that I liked to torture myself because I thought I deserved my suffering. Realising that I was a questions masochist, I decided to change. My changes only came after I started spending more time on answers than I did on questions.
Some people are superficial
They don’t believe that answering questions can improve their lives and change their personality.
I’m sure everyone has seen business or relationship psychologists talk to patients. Usually, the conversation looks like this: the psychologist asks a question and the patient answers. Why do psychologists and even wise parents all do the same thing? Why, when asking a question, do they wait for an answer and try not to interfere so that the person can answer it on their own?
You know the answer. After all, answering questions helps to change your attitude. The more honestly you answer questions, the better your chances are to understand yourself, see your mistakes, and control your thoughts and mindset; this proves that questions possess tremendous, amazing power. While we understand all of this, only a few spend time having a good conversation with themselves, and each question takes more than a minute to answer. Why? First of all, working on mindset is boring. Besides, it takes time.
Moreover, people don’t have much time to stick to it; therefore, they choose the easiest path. These people are easily captivated by catchy ads that offer six-figure monthly earnings. They think success depends on how much money they have, but true success may only depend on how much effort you put into changing your mindset and become a person whose actions generate more success.
The questions pertain to only a few topics
When I was little, I only cared about toys. I asked myself, “What can I do to get my mom to buy more toys?” But growing up, I faced challenges that were new to me. This proves that as we mature, we face various problems that we did not expect before. This happens every decade of our lives. When I started to study medicine, I faced one problem. When my first daughter was born, I faced a new range of problems.
When my daughter has children, new questions will arise. I’ll have even more questions when I retire. Maybe I will regret not having done something because I was blind. Our continually changing human values cause anxiety; however, I already know how to answer the questions that will come to me when I reach a decent age. How do I know these questions and answers? In 2013, I became interested in research conducted with seniors and wise people. I wondered what they felt most sorry for. I spent a lot of time on this.
I wrote down the questions they faced at the age of 50, 60, 70. This work helped me identify exactly what questions will arise in the future and how to answer them. I value this information more than bitcoin or gold because it helps me predict the future, which gives me self-confidence and divine peace. Now I know that when I get old, I won’t regret having missed out on anything.
Unfortunately, people are lazy to delve into what will be in, say, three years. They only care about what they will achieve tomorrow. By striving for short-sighted goals, they think only about money. If you ask yourself how to get rich but don’t think about how to be happy without money, how can you discover happiness and change as a person? Therefore, it would be good to ask many different questions every day, related to at least five different purposes, in addition to relationships, well-being, social activities, and other values. I suggest asking the seniors around you what they regret and what questions they ask themselves.
Many people only work on their mindset once a week or month
You can’t change your way of thinking that way. Likewise, you can’t pump up your muscles while exercising just once a week. The same is with your mindset.
If you want an inspiring human mindset, if you want to be emotionally strong, you should work on yourself every day. You should spend some time asking and answering questions each day, because only in this way can you keep your emotional form and make sure you are mentally flexible and resistant to criticism.
For a long time, I had to work with coaches to ensure my clients had comprehensive development. Together with specialists, I have created an online tool (Onbo), in which many questions are posed, whose participants answer 300 different questions a month. After all, those who answer such a number of questions learn a multitude of interesting things about themselves.
Moreover, scientists say that while changing your mindset, it’s important to write down your questions and answers on a piece of paper. Studies have shown that if you’ve marked them down, your subconscious will find the answer easier to remember, and you will be able to answer much faster next time. If you answer this question every single day over a few weeks, it will become even clearer and begin to affect your personality.
Science has shown that if you work your mindset every day by answering the right questions, you will feel a change in just 14 days. Your mindset will start to change. Remember, answering questions about values is the best tool to change your mindset.
Alex Monaco is life provocateur and an author of motivational books.