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Ten Questions that will Transform Your Life

By Lex Sisney

"One who asks a question is a fool for five minutes;
one who does not ask a question remains a fool forever."

--Chinese Proverb

I want to share with you a radical idea. Your results in life are largely determined by the questions you ask yourself everyday. It's not your IQ, EQ, Rolodex, or even your experience that determines your success and happiness in work, relationships, money, and life. Instead, it's the questions you ask yourself.

Sound crazy? Try this exercise and see... Pick one question from the list of ten below. Which question jumps out at you as the one you would most want to answer in your life if you could? If more than one strongly resonates, that's fine, but pick one that would feel really great to resolve right now:

  1. I wonder how I can have all the money I need for everything I want right now?
  2. I wonder how I can be closer to God?
  3. I wonder how I can have more fun doing what I'm doing right now?
  4. I wonder what my body really needs right now?
  5. I wonder how can I improve myself today?
  6. I wonder how I can best serve today?
  7. I wonder how I am contributing to this situation?
  8. I wonder how I can be more creative today?
  9. I wonder what I should do next that will bring me great joy?
  10. I wonder how I can best fulfill my mission?
Have you picked a question? Please pick one before proceeding.

Great. Now take a deep breath. Exhale. Let go.

Next, sincerely and with a sense of genuine wonderment, ask yourself this question but this time, wait and listen for a few moments for an inner response.

What did you experience? It might be some words or even instructions; it might be a positive emotion, a physical feeling, a hunch, or new insight.

Why are questions so powerful? Most of us tend to accept answers to life's challenges and mysteries (with a little searching and questioning mixed in) from an array of expert sources including parents, teachers, authors, doctors, gurus, consultants, family, friends, philosophies and religions of all kinds.

In my own quest for answers, I've dived into more expert sources than I care to count. And while I pick up incredible nuggets of learning, wisdom and tools along the way, I also realize that it's not the answers I receive but the questions themselves that provide the greatest benefit to my life. Imagine that. It's not the answers but the questions!

Here's why. When you ask yourself a question, especially the right question, some really incredible things start to happen.

  • First, forming a question causes you to focus your attention on an outcome. "I wonder how I can get Jenny to go to the dance with me?" Or "How am I going to pay the bills this month?" Or "What is the nature of space and time?" Depending on who's asking the question, your attention is on Jenny, the bills, or the nature of space and time. That's obvious. But what might be less obvious is that YOU GET WHAT YOU FOCUS YOUR CONSISTENT ATTENTION ON. By asking questions, you naturally place your attention on your desired outcome. And just like Einstein, if you ask yourself consistently enough "What is the nature of space and time?" you'll eventually get a solution.

  • Second, asking questions causes your awareness to expand and become open to greater possibilities. Feel the difference between the statement "Jenny will never go to the dance with me," and the question "I wonder how I can get Jenny to go to the dance?" The statement creates negative feelings of anguish and pain. It keeps you closed and stuck. Even a positive statement, maybe an affirmation like "Jenny and I will go to the dance... Jenny and I will go to the dance... Jenny and I will go to the dance, etc.," can feel forced and doesn't provide any insight into what to do next. The question, on the other hand, creates the space for new possibilities and accesses your greater talents and intuition to produce a superior outcome.

  • Third, the answer to every problem lies inside of you and the process of asking questions challenges you to be more independent and skilled at finding and making the right decisions for yourself. When you ask the right questions, you train yourself to overcome different kinds of problems in the future. And when you achieve your desired outcome, you have the inner wisdom to ask even grander questions, thereby raising your attention level to create greater and greater levels of success and transformation in your life.

How to Ask a Question
Here are a few tips on how to ask the right inner questions:

  • Outcome. Focus on the positive outcome you desire and craft a question to capture its essence. For example, if you desire more success in your career, you might create internal questions like "I wonder how I can be a better leader today?" or "I wonder how I can improve my salesmanship today?"
  • Wonder. Ask your question sincerely and with a genuine state of wonder. Wonderment takes your conscious mind out of the equation. It tells your subconscious that you are genuinely interested in a response, you're not tied to a particular outcome, and you want to access your deeper resources of insight, intuition, and creativity.
  • Wait. Wait for a response. Don't just run through the motions. Ask a sincere question and wait for a response. With a little practice, your inner responses will be nearly instantaneous.
  • Coaching. Get coaching. A trained coach is excellent at helping you to ask yourself the right questions and they provide the support for you to be consistent with changing life conditions. I can't speak highly enough about coaching. If you haven't been coached yet, try it and see.

Ten Questions that will Transform Your Life
Here's a list of the Ten Questions with my notes on how and when I've used them. They're all awesome questions that produce incredible results...

  1. I wonder how I can easily have all the money I need for everything I want right now?
    Ask this expansive question and notice the difference between how it makes you feel and the ideas you generate versus "I don't have enough money." Or "I need more money." When you openly wonder, you increase your energy, ideas, and satisfaction. I picked this question up from a great little book by Gay Hendricks called The Ten Second Miracle. It's out of print but you should be able to pick up a copy at Amazon.

  2. I wonder how I can be closer to God?
    I think I have made more strides towards enlightenment with this single question than I have with all of my other spiritual practices combined. What we focus on increases and asking a question doesn't put any limitations on the response. Just waking up and asking this question every day created a miraculous number of transformation and transcendent experiences in my life. I want to thank Deepak Chopra for sharing this great question with me. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend his book How to Know God which does an amazing job of explaining how our relationship to God/Source/Spirit changes as the questions we ask change.

  3. I wonder how I can have more fun doing what I'm doing right now?
    Gay Hendricks taught me this one too. Use it with a deep breath and you're sure to get a new and better perspective on whatever activity you're engaged in.

  4. I wonder what my body really needs right now?
    I picked this one up from a Ganga White, the co-founder of the White Lotus Foundation. It's a great one to use in front of the refrigerator. When I first started to practice it, I wasn't able to get a clear response. But over time, my physical body has become a great and finely tuned instrument. I have a much better sense of which foods serve me and which do not.

  5. How can I improve myself today?
    Imagine the consistent improvement and transformation you will experience when you ask yourself this question everyday? I picked this question up from Rinaldo Bruttoco of the World Business Academy. He's one of those rare people that has accomplished five life-time's worth of experiences in this life so far.

  6. I wonder how I can best serve today?
    Life is ultimately about contributing to others. This beautiful question pulls you out of your ego and asks you to consider a larger and ultimately more rewarding picture. Another one from Deepak Chopra.

  7. I wonder how I am contributing to this situation?
    I've come to realize that life is lived inside-out. My inner beliefs, thoughts, and feelings create my reality. As much as I might like to point fingers or cast blame at someone or something, with coaching I realize that it always comes back to me. When I ask this question, I eventually gain some valuable self-discovery.

  8. I wonder how I can be more creative today?
    This is a great method to use with your authentic profile statement. I use it to go through my statement word by word. It takes just a minute or two and it almost always gives me great insight into a blocked area of my life.

    For example, my authentic profile statement reads: "I use my talents of coaching, conceptualizing, and communicating to help others experience more wisdom , love, and efficiency so that we all wake up to the truth of who we are. I am true to my core values of joy, wisdom, and creativity." So I'll use this statement by its key words as in, "I wonder how I can be more creative today?" and wait for a response. Same with wisdom, joy and so on.

  9. I wonder what I should do next that will bring me great joy?
    By nature, I tend to be list oriented and highly focused. However, I've found that when I hit a snag in my day - physical, mental or emotional - rather than continuing to press on with my current task, instead if I step back and ask myself, "What will bring me more joy right now?" and follow that, then at the end of the day I end up getting more done and having a better time too. By following my bliss, the original snag often clears itself or I come back to it later with renewed perspective and energy.

  10. I wonder how I can best fulfill my mission?
    Indecision and apathy are the two great energy saps. If you've ever been caught in the "Should I or shouldn't I?" trap then you know what I mean. For example, "Should I stay in my current job or accept this new offer?" "Should I marry Jim or date around?" "Should I move to New York or stay here in Wisconsin?" These are all classic indecision traps and can weigh heavily on your psyche. The result can be sleepless nights, wasted time, and the fear of making a bad decision. When you know your personal mission, then you can ask this question and gain clarity on which direction you should take.

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