If you’re like me, there are things in life that you don’t understand or you might find confusing. For instance, I presently don’t understand the behaviors of political officials (as is portrayed by video and printed material). I don’t understand why some people “make it” and others don’t. I don’t quite understand where all government spending in the United States goes. I often wonder what I could do better in my marriage to further have a more enriched life. I have a personal thesis that asking the right questions leads to a more enriched life.
Questions Can Be Scary
First of all, questions can be downright frightening. A few years ago I started asking questions about my religion and that has opened up a Pandora’s box in my life. I opened this box without consulting my wife first, and I’ve realized that is now something I have to ask further questions about and seek understanding as I learn and move forward in this area. So I questioned religion and it is scary. Because, after all, I could just be a biological organism and life might not persist after death. Or it may. I hope it continues on :)
I question my career. I make good money and am pretty darn good at doing web development. I learn fast and get a crap load of work done. This helps me earn a decent income and live comfortably. But is this my ultimate pinnacle of success? To sit in a cubicle doing website performance? I ask this question and the answer points more toward “No” than anything else. But this is scary. Because if I don’t have work, I don’t have pay and support for my family and I don’t have health insurance and can’t go to the hospital, which said hospital has saved my bacon in the past.
Questions can be scary. It’s easier not to ask questions. Sometimes I just want to be like an Ostrich with my head in the sand and to just live my life and not succumb to my curiosity which leads me to gather the fine details of what is going on around me. Could I just be a naive young man and live in a bubble without questions? My answer to this question continues to be, “I must be curious to protect and understand myself, others, and the world around me.”
Bad Questions To Ask
I’ve found myself hitting dead ends when I ask questions that don’t lead to a real solution. A bad question is vague and generally doesn’t have much thought put into it. Here’s a nice long list of questions that probably won’t lead you to a solution.
- Why am I so tired?
- What am I supposed to do?
- Why don’t I have any money?
- Where’s all the money going?
- Why is he/she so lucky?
- Why can’t anything ever seem to go right?
- Why can’t I lose weight?
- Why can’t I get out of debt?
- Why am I so frustrated?
- What’s wrong with our government?
- What’s wrong with the world?
- What’s wrong with my husband/wife?
- Why doesn’t my significant other get it?
- Why can’t people see things my way?
- Why can’t we all just get along?
- Why should I care what you think?
- What’s in it for me?
- When will this be over?
- Why do bad things happen to good people?
- How do I get rich?
- How do I find the love of my life?
Good Questions To Ask
Good questions require careful thought and are very specific and detailed. Because of the specific details, the human brain stands a good chance at figuring out a solution to get an answer. I’ll take the bad questions now and replace them with good questions.
Why am I so tired?
When am I tired? What am I eating that might make me tired? Who could I talk to to learn more about being tired? Is it possible for me to not be tired?
What am I supposed to do?
What do I want? What makes me happy? When have I been happy in my life? Can I duplicate that happiness? What can I learn or experiment with in order to be able to do more?
Why don’t I have any money?
Why is there money? What can money do for me? What skills can I learn to earn more money?
Where’s all the money going?
How can I breakdown my spending to know where my money is going? What tools are available to help me manage my money? What habits could I adopt to help automate my finances more?
Why is he/she so lucky?
Is luck the real reason? What makes someone lucky? How can I create my own luck?
Why can’t anything ever seem to go right?
What is not going right? What do I want it to be like? How can I make it that way? How can I prevent what is going wrong? What are people doing who have things going right for them?
Why can’t I lose weight?
Is it possible for me to lose weight? If it is possible, what changes and habits must I make to lose the weight? What will losing weight do for my energy level and confidence? Will I live a longer and happier life by losing weight?
Why can’t I get out of debt?
What got me into debt in the first place? Where could I go to get practical advice on getting out of debt. What expenses must I cut to get out of debt faster? Is debt a bad thing? Is my debt a bad thing?
Why am I so frustrated?
What are my expectations? How should things be going right now? What is making things frustrating? What leadership could I exhibit to reduce or eliminate the frustration?
What’s wrong with our government?
What is our government for? What role do I have with the government? Is our government necessary? What can I do and who can I lead to help make change in the government?
What’s wrong with the world?
What does wrong mean? Where are things wrong? Are things wrong everywhere? Where are thing right? What makes them right? What kind of people are in the wrong parts of the world? What kinds of people are in the right parts of the world?
What’s wrong with my husband/wife?
What are my expectations for my husband/wife? Have I clearly communicated those expectation? What changes are we both going through? How can we grow closer together? How can I enable my husband/wife?
Why doesn’t my significant other get it?
What do I want my significant other to get? How can I communicate this to my significant other? Are we compatible? Do we enjoy our time together?
Why can’t people see things my way?
What is my way? How does my way affect other people? Is it possible that my way has faults to it? Is it possible there are other views and opinions superior to mine? Where can I go and who can I talk to to learn more about how things should be?
Why can’t we all just get along?
What’s causing us not to get along? Is it healthy to have some debate, friction, and competition? What would be the benefit of getting along? Would we work together and succeed if we got along?
Why should I care what you think?
Is it possible that there are views more beneficial than my own? Are their potential problems I might face unprepared without listening to others? Are their people who have advice and insight that I might not be able to come up with on my own?
What’s in it for me?
Why do I want something? Am I worth giving something to? Would I give something to someone who said the same thing?
When will this be over?
Why do I want it to be over? Can I find a way to enjoy what is going on? What benefits could I add to what is happening? What might I influence by having a good attitude?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Are the things happening bad? What makes them bad? Are the things that are happening random or is there an order to them? How can I prepare and protect myself to avoid the bad things happening. How can I help others prepare and protect themselves?
How do I get rich?
Why do I want to get rich? What kind of person must I become to be rich? Are there rich people I could learn from to become rich?
How do I find the love of my life?
Why do I want to find the love of my life? What will that do for me? Am I the right person for the type of person I want to be with?
By taking questions and dissecting them thoroughly and asking new detailed questions, you give yourself a chance to find clearer answers. This is useful because it brings progress. I’ll share an example from my own life.
At work I used to look at the clock constantly and ask the question, “When will this day be over?” Somehow I got to a point where I changed the question to, “Why do I want the day to be over?” Invariably, the answer was that I was bored and uninterested in what was going on.
So I asked new questions, “How can I be interested in what is going on? How can I conquer my boredom?” This led me to seek out people who had opinions on the matter. My discovery was people like Jim Rohn and Anthony Robbins. These people had expertise in life skills and helped me see that I could change the way I think and really enjoy what I was doing.
Had I not asked the right questions, I would never have been led to this change. It’s kind of scary when I think about it – that I could be stuck by not having the capacity to ask the right questions. My message to you is to get specific and seek out the right questions. This will lead you to solutions that will give you a more enriched life through curiosity and self discovery.
- Ask Why
- Something From Nothing
- Always Verify For Yourself
- What You Should Do With Yourself
- Part of Life is Evolving