Asking Different Questions
The human brain is wired up in such a way that whenever you ask yourself a question you have to give yourself an answer. The very act of asking a question sets up a tension within the mind that must be resolved.
It is arguable that the majority of human thinking, of itself, is nothing but the process of asking and answering questions. Most of what you do day in day out is ask yourself questions.
This is how it works – your subconscious mind does everything you ask it to, I like to think of it as my faithful servant and like all faithful servants if you ask for something they bring it to you. When you ask yourself a question your faithful servant has to give you an answer, so let’s say you ask the question, “Why am I always feeling down?” Your deeper mind has to find the answer for you – it will do this by attracting to itself the reasons why?
It is doing what you asked it to. However if you ask the question, “How can I feel better and brighter today?” it will attract the right kinds of circumstances and events to help you to lift your spirits.
Because your brain is so sophisticated and complex whenever you ask a question your subconscious mind always has to give you an answer. For the purpose of this exercise just imagine that you have this fantastic computer within and you want to know something so you ask a question. Your internal computer has a search engine just like ‘Google’ and so it goes on the search.
OK, let’s just think of some of the questions we may be asking ourselves that may be unhelpful for us. Let’s just start with a simple one that is common to lots of people at some time in their lives. “Why do I always feel so tired on a morning?”
Your computer’s search engine gets onto that straight away and gives you all the answers it can find from your subconscious filing system and these will include things like, “I’m not sleeping very well,” or “There must be something wrong with me,” at this point you may recall a television program you watched or an article you read about someone who was always tired then found out he had some terminal disease.
You’ve got the picture now haven’t you? These thoughts will all be accompanied by the relevant feelings which will push you into a circle of more negative thoughts followed by more negative feelings which will often result in negative actions throwing you into a circle of self-destruction. Oh dear, your poor computer was only doing what you asked it to.
Let’s try a different question though, one that is guaranteed to get better results. “How can I feel more alive and ready for the day in a morning,” again the search engine gets on with its search and gives you whatever it is you’ve asked for. You will recall times past when you have felt alive in a morning; you may decide that you could go to bed earlier so that you get more sleep.
You may remember that someone told you about a remedy for soothing sleep. Whatever it is the energy is now better and you are getting something positive instead of negative.
As an exercise I would like you to say the first phrase, “Why do I always feel so tired on a morning,” followed by the second one, “How can I feel more alive and ready for the day in a morning,!” and feel the different energy in them. Think of some questions you have been asking and change them around.
Often the answer doesn’t come from our own minds but instead it comes from a book, a paper, a television program or someone we meet.
Here is a story I tell my clients to illustrate how this works:
Imagine that you are walking down the street today and you see that workmen have dug a large hole in the road. They have surrounded the hole with safety barriers to keep people out but somehow you fall down the hole anyway.
You are sitting at the bottom of the hole and you ask, “Why did I fall down this hole?” The answers you may get from your subconscious mind, your memory store, would go something like this, “Because everything is going wrong in my life, because I’m stupid, because I’m unlucky, because if anything bad is going to happen to anyone it’ll happen to me.”
The question is not designed to get you out of the hole in fact it will definitely keep you in there feeling sorry for yourself. You won’t start to get out of the hole until you start to ask different questions, such as, “How can I get out of this hole,” or “What can I do to get out of this hole.” Your mind will then start looking for ways to get you out of the hole.
As soon as you start to ask questions designed to look for the solution to your problem your deeper mind will then start looking for the solution. “Why have I fallen down this hole,” sends you into your emotions and, “How can I get out of this hole,” leads you into inspiration.
You have within your mind a small marble sized piece of grey matter called the Reticular Activating System, RAS for short and its job is to filter through all the information you are surrounded by and bring to your notice those things that are meaningful to you.
The answer to any problem, it is believed, is already there around you but all the while you are looking at the problem and asking questions which only make the problem worse you are oblivious to the answer. Start to ask the questions designed to find the answer and your deeper mind will find the answer for you.
Whenever you have a problem have a look at what sort of questions you have been asking about the situation and then change the questions so that the answer appears to you. If for instance you have been saying, “I don’t know what to do about………..,” or “There’s nothing I can do about ………,” or “Why is this happening to me,” your deeper mind will make that be your reality.
If instead you started to say, “What would be the best thing to do about …………….,” or, “There is a solution to this problem and even though I can’t see it now I’m willing to have it present itself to me,” or “How can I ……….?”
Have a look at each problem area in your life and make up some questions you can start to ask yourself on a daily basis so that you can the best out of your internal computer. To help illustrate the power of asking the right questions I am adding the story of a man who’s used the right questions that saved his life.
The man’s name was Stanislavski Lech and he was of Jewish origin. During the Second World War, the Nazis stormed his home and took him and his family to a concentration camp. Once there, his wife and children were shot before his eyes, and he was put to work in the death camp in Krakow.
One day, he looked at the nightmare around him and confronted an inescapable truth: if he stayed there he would surely die. He made a decision that he must escape and that the escape must happen soon, very soon if he were to live. He had no idea how to do it and for weeks he asked the other prisoners, “How can we escape from this place.” The answers were always the same. “Don’t be a fool,” they said, “There is no escape. You’re simply torturing yourself even thinking about it. Just work hard, keep your head down and hope you survive.”
But he couldn’t accept this – he wouldn’t accept it. He became obsessed with escape; he kept asking himself over and over again, “How can I do it? There must be a way. How can I get out of here healthy, alive, today?” It has been said that if you ask you shall receive, and, one day he got his answer. He noticed the smell first, the sickening smell of rotting human flesh. There, only a few feet from where he was working he saw a huge pile of rotting bodies that had been piled on the back of a truck.
Instead of asking, “How could the Nazis be so cruel, so inhumane? How could God allow these things to happen?” Stanislavski asked “How can I use this to escape.” Somehow he managed to avoid the attention of the guards and taking off his clothes he dove straight onto the top of the rotting mound. He hoped that nobody would notice that there was one living man among the dead.
After what seemed an age the truck started up and drove outside of the camp. He was dumped into an open grave with all the rest of the bodies. As darkness fell he made his escape and ran, naked 25 miles to freedom. What saved Stanislavski? What was the difference between him and the rest of the inmates? While of course there were many factors, one critical difference was that he asked a different question.
He asked persistently, he asked with expectation of receiving an answer and his mind came up with a solution that saved his life. But before he could get the answer, make the decisions, and take the actions that saved his life he had to ask the right questions.
Millions complained under communism while Lech Walensa asked, “How can I raise the standard of living for all working men and women.” Mahatma Ghandi didn’t fight back when he suffered racial discrimination, instead he asked, “How can I free my people.” All of the most successful people in history have asked the right questions, questions that have helped them to find solutions. Stop asking why something is happening to you and start from today to ask how you can get what you want.
To your success, Christine
Tel: 01243 841498 / 07747 865982