Peak Performance Key Number 3: The Questions You Ask

admin - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

man questioning

You’ll know now that your Patterns, Stories and Questions together are the 3 keys to Peak Performance.

Here we focus on Questions. Questions are both useful and dangerous. The power of a question is that it points our mind in a certain direction.  Whatever we ask, there our thinking will go.  AND, our mind won’t challenge the wisdom of our direction or doubt its ability to answer.  There is no question too big, too small, too tricky, too anything that it won’t point our mind in that direction.  Our mind simply goes and finds the evidence to match our question.

At times the question sets the mind on an adventurous search that can last years and other times the answer is readily available. None-the-less, the evidence your mind presents to you to consider creates your current experience and therefore your reality.

I recall a time when I was still in the cult I grew up in and I was very depressed and lonely. That was a result of some of the stories I told myself, but also the questions I asked. I wanted to have friends, but I asked, “Why would they want to be my friend”? Now, that might sound like I was asking FOR evidence of being worthy of friends, yet my tone implied the opposite. The ‘energy’ of my question was that I have nothing to offer as a friend.

Later though, when I decided to leave the cult, although I had what seemed insurmountable barriers: I was illiterate, I had no knowledge of how to pay a bill, no job, no bank account, no friends outside the cult, no idea about social security or women’s refuges, no family, I ASKED A USEFUL QUESTION, “Where will I go”.

I was already in the car and driving with no idea where to go. As I think about it now, I giggle because I must have sounded like Pooh Bear, “Think, think, think. Where can you go”? Then I recalled having been to someone’s house six months earlier. I didn’t really know this person. I had been to his house for a work matter that had been conducted there. He struck me as a ‘decent person’, so I drove there and asked if I could stay the night until I worked out what to do and the rest is history (for me anyway).

I will blog about these experience more, but for now the important thing is; these experiences illustrate the power of a question.

There is much you can learn about the types of questions you can ask, but today I’ll give you just 2 tips:
1. Start to listen. Really pay attention to the questions that you ask (in your mind and out loud). Pay attention to the questions you are asked and if they aren’t useful, answer a better question.
2. Beware of ‘Why’. If you are going to ask ‘Why’, ask, ‘Why is it important I do this’, ‘Why is this important to me’, But don’t ever ask, ‘Why is this the way it is’?. You can work out for yourself why that is a dangerous question and the result you’ll get. Better to ask, ‘How can I ….’, or, ‘What can I do about …’, or even, ‘How many ways can I find a solution’?