How to Ask the Right Questions

“If you ask lousy questions, you get lousy results”

Anthony Robbins

This is part 2 of a 3 part series about creating the mindset for achievement (please also check out “Why You Should be Your Best Friend” and “How to Remove Your Fears“). These ideas are at the foundation of really achieving goals and improving your life.

Introduction to the Right Questions

Today we are going to look at asking the right questions. I want to focus on the questions that you ask yourself. This is simply because the questions you ask yourself direct your mind. They truly have a direct and strong relationship with success in your life. This is because they can control what you look at and so can simply control what you achieve or don’t achieve.

If you don’t ask questions that move yourself forward then you won’t. Its as simple as that. Ask bad questions and you will get bad answers. Ask questions that really suck then, yup, you know what’s going to happen. Make it your job to change the way you ask questions to yourself.

You will find if you just ask yourself the right questions then your mind will naturally find the rights answer that you were searching for. Now, think about how powerful this concept is. Anytime you ask yourself a question your mind will go looking for the answer, there’s no way you can stop it. Thats how the mind works.

Just take a look at this question, something you commonly might ask yourself:

“Why don’t I have enough money?”

If you ask yourself this then your mind is going to go looking for the answers and start telling you why!!

Yes, your mind is going to say:

“You don’t have enough money ‘coz…. “

And that is no way to go about changing the situation, in fact it is going to reinforce it.

Just looking at the example above will help you realize the importance of the questions you ask and the fact that you need to think about how you ask them. As I began to understand this I started to research more and looked for the best ways to ask the questions.

I wanted it broken down to the simplest and most effective format.

I found stuff written on this in a million different ways, but they didn’t provide a basic template. It was all shrouded in some techno-babble that didn’t really provide any answers. So I simply created a template for myself. Something my pea-sized brain can cope with and use easily on a regular basis.

1. The Why? question:

Usually we ask this in a negative way:

  • “Why am I so shy?”
  • “Why do I have to do such a sh#$ job?”
  • “Why does everyone hate me?”

These all have negative presuppositions. This is something that has to be true for the sentence to make sense. i.e. I am shy, I have to do this terrible job, everyone hates me. Not so hot, huh?!

To simply find to power in why questions, you just need to use positive presuppositions. Things that you are looking to achieve. Things you want. i.e. I am a genius, I love making money, I am creative all the time. Then ask why you have it and your brain simply goes searching for the answer.

Here are some examples of empowering questions with positive presuppositions:

 

  • “Why am I such a genius?”
  • “Why does money always come to me so easily?”
  • “Why does everyone love me so much?”

 

If you ask yourself why questions like this, soon you’ll wonder why you ever asked the negative ones.

2. The can I questions

If you are looking for answers to problems then these are the questions for you. Again just phrase them so your wants, needs and solutions are included. So for example if you are looking for a way to earn more money and have fun, your question is:

“How can I earn more money and have fun?”

You can use these with where/how/what/who. When you ask these questions look to include words such as easily, and, naturally etc. Also ask it with sincerity and just wait for the answer.

Here are some examples of more empowering questions which positively force you to find a solution:

 

  • “Who can help me build a website for free?”
  • “How can I get more energy naturally?”
  • “Where can I find the best answers to my problem?”
  • “What can I easily do to save money right now and have fun?”

 

When I ask these questions I also just ask for a clear signal with the answer so I can’t miss it.

So for example I ask myself:

“Who can help me build a website for free? And please bang me over the head with the answer when you show me.”

That is it, the answer will simply come to you. Don’t let yourself think “I wish” or “I can’t” or “I could never”. Replace these thoughts with can I questions.

So, instead of thinking “I wish I could have a house like that” (negative)… think “How can I get a house like within 2 years” (positive).

Anytime you start to ask questions which deny yourself something, just change it to a can I question. Can you imagine yourself just being bombarded with solutions to your dreams? Now, it can be a reality.

3. The could/would questions

These are the questions of potential. They are a neat way to navigate your mind when it rejects you thoughts or intentions. They can give you a new perspective when your head wants to reject everything you say.

An example of there use is this. Just imagine you ask yourself:

“What can I do to avoid making my husband upset today?”

You are focusing on avoiding something here and your husband getting angry. Best case scenario… your mind might tell you something you don’t want to do… worst case scenario your mind might just turn around and say “Nothing!!“.

This is the kind of thing where you could use questions of potential to focus on a possible positive outcome. Changing it to something of positive potential would be:

 

  • What would we both enjoy doing tonight?”
  • What could I do to surprise him and have some fun?”
  • What would happen if I let him choose something to do?”

 

These are questions of exploring potential and navigating around your mind rejecting ideas. Start using these to challenge your current thinking and you could be surprised.

These would/could questions are great for creativity and removing obstacles. The would question can focus you on the solution to a problem when used correctly. It lets you explore ideas and positive solutions or opportunities.

The could question is used to navigate around you head when it says “NO!”. It could be used to make anything a possibility if you want. Think about the possible potential.

The one idea running through all these questions is to focus the questions on solutions to your problems while not mentioning the problem. Focusing the questions on the problem just magnify it as your mind justifies itself.

Looking at the problem is kind of addictive, we all do it at some point. However, only by looking at a positive solution will you move forward. So why not do it straight away and have some fun with it?

The Task:

Write out the 3 types of question. Keep them on you and look to use them whenever you spot yourself asking a bad question. To focus on this spend 5 minutes when you are in the bathroom asking yourself some solution based questions and you will soon be able to spot the bad ones.