“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.

“We should behave to our friends as we would wish our friends to behave to us”

Aristotle

This is part 1 of a 3 part series about creating the mindset for achievement (please also check out “The Power of Questions” and “How to Remove Your Fears“). These ideas are at the foundation of really achieving goals and improving your life.

As you read these articles they will cause you to change your life. These ideas are about the way you think and ensuring you get the best out of yourself and live up to your capabilities. The words in your head are like the fuel for your life. You know the language in your head really does have a great effect on what happens on the outside.

Knowing this, you can understand that you want to make sure you have the best damn fuel for YOUR life. The lucky thing, simple changes can have a huge effect so you really owe it to yourself to think about the language you use within your head. Just understanding these ideas will cause huge changes.

The first step here is to become your own best friend. The first time you listen to your self-talk and what you say to yourself you may be shocked. You wouldn’t say stuff like it to your friends or family but you are saying it to yourself on a daily basis.

When you really consider it, its repulsive the language that you often use. The first thing you will notice in your brain is that there is a “me” and an “I”… or 2 different characters. The “I” always talks about “me”. Sometimes even behind my back!! So when you listen you will notice that you often talk about yourself as “You”. i.e. “You know you don’t stand a chance with that guy”

I tried really listening to myself and was SHOCKED. I listed all the negative and positive things I always say to myself.. I wrote them out on paper, it took about 30 minutes and ended up with a pretty long list… on the negative side and 4 or 5 things on the positive side.

This is something I want you to try as well now. Here is an example of what I came up with.

Negative:

  • You’re ugly
  • You have a huge nose
  • You can’t find a decent job
  • You are poor
  • You find it difficult to make friends
  • You’ve got huge debts which will take forever to pay off
  • You can’t speak
  • You’re are shy
  • You don’t know what to say to new people you meet
  • You never finish anything
  • You are lazy

Positive:

  • You are a good friend and trustworthy
  • People can get along with you easily
  • You’re fun and quick witted
  • You’re happy
  • You’re a great sportsman

That’s pretty much all the positive stuff I came up with and just a little of the negative. When I first looked at it I was stunned. I looked at some of the stuff and thought…if I said that to I friend they would kill me. That realization changed me and when you decide to try this , soon it will change you too.

Before you decide to do this, you have to make the mental choice to eliminate all the negative stuff. There is no point just looking at all the negative stuff that pops out and just saying “oh!”. You will need tospend some time to replace it with positive things. Write these down on the positive side and then practice asking yourself questions with positive presuppositions for these items.

Catch yourself in the act. Say “STOP!” when you hear yourself criticizing you. After that focus on something you wrote down as a positive (this is a great sentence to use to change your focus), and continue on with a smile.

Simply, become your best friend. Encourage and cajole yourself. Challenge yourself, tell yourself you are doing well or you did a great job. Give yourself a treat. Look after yourself and tell yourself how great you are.

Literally pat yourself on the back from time to time. You are going to enjoy doing this and enjoy the change it will bring about in yourself.

Becoming your best friend is the best thing you can do… you will always be there for yourself to pick you up and push you on. Once you start you will find yourself naturally encouraging yourself more and more. You will experience how the more you do it the more powerful the change will be.

The Task:

List the positive and negative things you say to yourself. Now, eliminate the negative and replace them with more positive things you want to say about yourself. Stop and catch yourself in the act when you do say something negative about yourself. Just become a good friend to you.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s face it, the hardest part of any task is the motivation to get it started. Why? Because we create an image in our mind of all the hard work we have to do to get in done and you know, WE HATE HARD WORK!!

This can be anything…. cleaning the house, doing some homework, getting fit. All if these things when we think of them we have an immediate reaction of “ugh”. This is the image of all the hard work, the having to move from a state of comfort.

The basic reason behind this is that the goal is further in the future than the work to get there and the further something is in the future, the less detail it has. So your image of the success and the joy is vague, but your image of the hard work is anything but vague.. right?!

Look at the idea above, think about and you can start to see a solution. Luckily the human mind provides us with an answer to procrastination and that is anticaption. Imagine being able to remove all your demotivation. Doesn’t that just make life seem a whole lot more fun and easier? Think about it.

In addition to showing you how to get rid of any lethargy you feel, today I’m also going to let you in on a simple secret of building limitless motivation and anticipation.

The basic solution to this problem is to bring the images of the future (our target) closer. Try it now… add more detail, make pictures bigger, make them louder, make the ideas brighter. Really build your anticipation and see the power of this idea. That’s it.

Understand how you can focus on the details and make the image clearer than the one of the hard work (try this exercise for your imagination if you need help) – this will naturally give you all the motivation you need. Touch that success and live it now.

If you want, we can expand on this power and idea even further if we think of what we do with our pictures of the hard work. At the same time as building our anticipation of the result and really pumping up our anticipation, we can also dim the images or ideas of the hard work, of the struggle. Make those ideas fade away to nothing. Make them small, dark, weak. Just use your power.

I really love this idea of anticipation, you can use it anytime, anywhere, for anything. Just add the detail and your mind will naturally take care of the rest.

Anticipation is the bodies natural answer to motivation, we just have to learn how to use it effectively. We all know the anticipation of eating a nice piece of chocolate cake when its right there in front of us, our mouth begins to water and you begin to taste it and you can’t wait to start. It can be the same for anything if you just bring the result to the fore of your mind.

This is another idea that is stunningly simple yet incredibly powerful . This is the kind of stuff I love. You can use it for anything. Consider all that you could achieve using this idea of destroying apathy. Well, you can go beyond that into a whole new world as you build on success upon success.

This mind hack is just the start, you can learn even more secrets to destroy procrastination and get things done right here. Don’t delay!

The Task:

Do this once a day. Pick a task you don’t want to do and think of how good you will feel after it is done. Now add more and more details of those feelings until you have an uncontrollable desire to get it done. Now go off and do that task.

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why”
Eddie Cantor

If you are one of my regular readers, then you know we’ve been really rushing along so far and I’ve shown you some pretty high powered, highly focused ideas. As my friend said to me “it stops you right where you are and dumps you on the train to success“.

It’s now time for a little change of tact. We’ve already talked a bit about words of power and getting focus and this is all stuff for getting us motivated and moving towards our goals. It’s all quite pumped up stuff so I want to focus on something different today. Something just as important but much slower

Why Do We Never have Time?

In the modern world its quite easy to get caught up in the rush and become anxious, short sighted and make rash decisions. When these are over there are more choices to be made yesterday!

However, even if you are moving at the speed of light, these anxious feelings are not going to take you where you really want to be going. In fact, they are most likely taking you the opposite direction. You need tochoose to slow down from time to time.

Before you decide to make the effort to slow down, realize that in order to get ahead and improve your life you have to choose your direction. As you live, choose your destination.

If you are just floating along then you might get lucky, but if you take the time to look where you are going and to plan your route then you WILL get lucky. Once you understand this, then you can see the importance of slowing down.

If you are being pulled along with the demands of daily life then you aren’t choosing your direction, its being dictated to you like one-way street. You need to pull over and plan your route, decide where YOUwant to go.

How Can I Slow Down?

As you sit there and begin to slow down you will find yourself becoming more self-aware. As you become more self-aware you will start to make more decisions that point your life in the right direction. If you don’t then you will also have the chance to notice this fact. Slowing down allows you to make choices that will last for longer.

Here are 10 things I sometimes do to slow down and notice where I’m going:

  1. Take a long bath and lock the door.. heaven!
  2. When I’m late for an appointment, I don’t rush, I’m already late
  3. Brush my teeth at half-pace (it’s more difficult than you imagine)
  4. Notice all the beauty and wonder around me when I walk, even of a concrete building
  5. Slow down my inner dialogue like a record going s.l.o.w.
  6. Do a 5 minute meditation
  7. Take 3 deep breaths and decide to go about whatever I’m about to do peacefully
  8. Stand. Don’t walk on the escalator
  9. Sit behind the driver sticking to the speed limit when I’m driving and smile
  10. Turn off my mobile phone and enjoy being uncontactable

You can choose 10 things of your own and get in the habit of just slowing down and noticing where you are going for a small time everyday.

As you learn that those pressing demands, those anxious voices and that constant pressure isn’t what has to control you, you will become more liberated and free to choose your own direction.

You can begin to notice your thoughts rather than just react to them. It gives you the control over your destiny. See a pressure and decide to do nothing. Sense a thought of anger and decide how to react to it. Hear a call and don’t answer it. Make your reaction your choice. This all comes from slowing down.

Simply put, slow down, look where you are going and don’t get caught up in useless sh$&.

The task:

Remember to make the choice to slow down at least 3 times a day for a month and take the time to notice your thoughts and reactions. FOR 1 MONTH!!

“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.”
Frank Outlaw

pure power (and words)What I’m going to share with you now is both beautifully simple and stunningly powerful at the same time. It is simply the power of words and how in order to get their power you have to discover how to use them properly.

If you’ve ever read a self help book then you probably know something about affirmations, I mean they always preach on about this stuff, talk about it as some kind of holy grail, but how many people has it actually helped? Yup, very few.

You know why? … simply because there is a little voice called common sense in our minds, which stops what it considers outrageous thoughts entering our unconscious.

So, we go “I’m confident”… “I’M CONFIDENT” … “I’M CCOONNFFIIDDEENNTT” … our voice of common sense yells, “yeah, right, stop joking around, you are the shyest little thing in the world, dumb ass”.

So, what if there was a way to use these words, where the unconscious didn’t automatically reject them as a load of trash. How can we use these words effectively?

I have tinkered with many ideas for a while, but have found the best way to use them in order to get results is to focus on their personal meaning to yourself. This way you don’t create some fantasy your mind rejects, but something solid that your mind can focus on. Your mind will go “ooooh niiiiice!”

Simply ask yourself the question: “What does _____ mean to me?”

I love this, its no fluff, just solid and works. It can act like an affirmation as the more you focus on it, the more powerfully you begin to think about it. The more you start to step into those shoes. It naturally also acts as a goal, because we know that what we focus on is what we become.

Spending a bit of time focussing and feeling a word of power like confidence is immensly powerful, like a huge tank. It can remove and go over all obstacles in its path. Feel its power in your hands, feel the strength. Who’s going to stop you now? Exactly – no-one!!

This really is so beautiful. It just creates your future and the more you use it the more powerful it becomes. If you stop using it for a while, you will naturally come back to it as you realize the power. Think of this like a magic key to creating a great future for yourself.

It will help define you life and take you beyond what you can dream of. It can be effective in such a variety of situations and in so many areas of life which is what I really love about it. It is also incredibly simple and so easy to see the benefits.

This really is a useful tool to have in the toolbox and something that is easy to fall back on should you forget it. But my advice, make sure you remember it and use it as much as possible.

Here are 20 words I think are important for a successful and enriching life. You can change them to whatever suits you. Wealth, Confidence, Happiness, Energy, Determination, Love, Creativity, Health, Motivation, Kindness, Wisdom, Compassion, Learning, Achievement, Memory, Leadership, Success, Freedom, Power, Friendship.

The key to this is to really focus, really ask yourself, “what does energy mean to me?” Feel it, see it in different situations and live it. Expand on it and ask yourself again and take the answer even further. The power and clarity of your thinking will insure your success. Make it clear. Make it strong. You will like what you see. You will like what you achieve.

Once you get the hang of this, you can move on and learn even more sentence structures that empower yourself. Don’t miss it.

The Task:

Take 2 or 3 words for 1 week. Focus on them for 10-30 minutes everyday and ask yourself the question “What does ____ mean to me?”

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our
thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world”
~Buddha~

First point… I’m not a story writer, I’m a teacher… I just want to get my point across in a simple way for you to use it if it hits your switch.

We all know this old topic – the words you use in your daily life and even more so, the words you use in your mind have a huge influence over your life… but few use it – that is why you absolutely have to listen to this, because I will to show you how to use it easily.

If you need more examples of the power of words or  the one sentence that changed my life then take a look when you have time.

You know this is a well known and well proven principle and after I show you how to use this knowledge, the energy you have for life or any task will multiple and multiply beyond what you can imagine. This is something you want to understand.

If you look around in books and on the internet, its easy to find hints and tips, but nothing solid – which is the one thing we are truly seeking. I’m trained as an engineer which means I naturally like easy to follow, detailed plans that lead to something solid and reliable. So that is what I do.

One thing I am not going to do is produce some airy fairy, wishy washy stuff that might inspire you for a while but just doesn’t provide anything in the long term. If thats what you want then please go away, I’m not for you. If you what something solid you can easily implement, read on.

For now I just want youto focus on what I think is the most growth enabling word that you can simply use in your everyday language. If you learn just one thing, learn this.

The word is “REALIZE”. Later on I will introduce more words that you should substitute into your vocabulary in order to make you grow further. But for now this is just THE word. When I was experimenting, trying to train myself to use more and more powerful and emotional words, this is the one word that I found can do everything.

This is the one word that will inspire you to do so much. Its so powerful, because you don’t have to understand, you don’t have to discover, you just have to realize. Begin using it, and the more you do, the more you will. When I say it, I say it with strength. REALIZE. The power it contains it immense.

For example, if you need energy… just say, “realize the energy I have“… say it again with emotion, “realize the energy I have”. When you wake up say, “realize how much I love life”. When you are with you friends say, “realize how much I can love this conversation”. You get the idea. I am just bouncing up and down now as I write this and feel its power.

This one word can turn anything in a mantra. It’s way more powerful than affirmations, because you can remember it so easily and the power naturally comes from within it, rather than having to hype yourself up. I hope you enjoy this one.

Your Task:

For one week, practice everyday for 10 minutes inserting “realize” into as many sentences as possible and realize the power.