It has been said, if you want a better result, ask a better question. What questions are you asking yourself in this New Year? If your questions are not getting you the results you desire, here are eleven questions you can ask yourself in 2011.
1. Who am I? You answer this question every day whether you mean to or not. When you are kind in the midst of drama, you represent yourself as one who has self control. When you consistently show up late for appointments, you represent yourself as one who is unorganized or one who is disrespectful. Do others see you as you see you? Why not answer the “who am I” question consciously and see where you may be out of alignment.
2. Where am I incongruent? When the way you see yourself is not the way others experience you, there is a measure of incongruence. If you say your top value is family but you are a workaholic, this is an integrity gap which requires you to align what you think, what you say and what you do. This is much easier if you can answer the next question.
3. What am I committed to? If you don’t know what your top values are, you will experience drama in the form of confusion. If you don’t know what your commitments are, then just look at your choices, because by your choices you reveal your commitments.
4. What are my choices? If you do not recognize your power of choice, your unconscious mind will run the show. Why you do things you do not want to do, and why you have reoccurring regrets is because of programming, not because of choice. The good news is, every day you have the opportunity to choose differently. If there is something about your life or yourself that you do not like, you must first recognize choice. Once you have recognized your choices, you quit operating from old programming and you can create new more empowering habits that serve you.
5. What is required of me? Making a decision to change is only the beginning. The reason people do not follow through with decisions is that they do not know what is going to be required of them when they accept a challenge or make a new commitment. All commitments contain certain requirements. For example, commitment to health requires you to eat consciously, avoid tobacco, and exercise, and commitment to marriage means eliminating other possible partners. Your commitments will always test you in some form, so be grateful for the little trials.
6. What am I grateful for? Often times we live our lives as if there is some form of salvation right around the corner. When I get the raise, when I lose the weight, when I get the Dramacool new house, when I make more money, then I will be happy. If you can’t appreciate the five dollars you have today, you won’t be able to appreciate the 500,000 you get in the future. Choose to be grateful now, because now is all you really have.
7. How can I serve? One way to get your mind off of lack is to serve others. The question, how can I serve, will serve you at work and at home. Always look for opportunities to serve even in small ways. Empty the trash before having to be asked, open the door for someone whose hands are full; anticipate when your client may need your assistance.
8. How can I add value? One of my favorite business philosophers, the late Jim Rhon, used to say, “don’t come to the marketplace with your need.” Stop thinking about what you are going to get out of something, stop trying to impress, stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of you and simply ask, “How can I add value.” Your new mindset will also increase your self-confidence and feeling of connection to others.
9. What do they want? When a client, friend, or co-worker speaks to you, it’s easy to get into advice-giving, discounting, or sharing your own story. The next time you listen, listen for the inflection and the emotion behind the speaking. Then, silently ask yourself, What do they really want?” You will be surprised at what you hear and how you response will differ.