“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask… for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” ~Albert Einstein.
Often, it’s not that we don’t know the answer. The challenge more aptly lies in the fact we don’t ask the right questions. Questions bring clarity and force you to think for yourself and connect the dots, which in turn expands your horizons and creativity.
So, here’s a question or two for you. Don’t just read through them, but apply them to your specific situation and circumstances. Moreover, use them to discover how you can get out of your rut or hasten the process of reaching a goal.
What’s holding you back?
Everyone has room for this question. Everyone has something that is the elephant in the room or the big stumbling block. Maybe it’s a dream, a project, a decision, a job change or personal transformation, but you just haven’t been able to breakthrough.
So, what’s holding you back from ___________? What’s that big thing? You know, the one you haven’t told anyone about or the one that’s been hanging around in your heart for years?
What would change if you ______________?
Whatever the circumstance or challenge you are facing, what would change if you just pushed through? Or if you tried something different? Or maybe if you asked yourself if this is really the right door? If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same thing, so change something. Or, maybe the better advice is just DO something. Too often, we simply fret or become paralyzed because we give up.
Here are a few thoughts to finish the sentence, but they’re designed only to get your mind thinking.
- …didn’t care what others think?
- …took the first step without knowing what the next step would be?
- …just went for it?
- …didn’t actually need the money first?
- …jumped in and pushed through?
- …could accomplish it (rather than thinking of failing)?
What do you want?
Seriously, what do you want out of life? Hint: It may not be the first 2-3 things that come to your mind. In fact, it may be #7 or #8. Get past the fluff, dig past the first layer of mulch and find out what it really is.
You may be surprised, and it may be simple rather than some elaborate goal.
What’s missing from your life? Why do you keep it out?
Okay, a double-barrel question, but it implies you are the one who has built the gatekeeping out the blessing. Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy, and we keep the door closed — and locked — because we fear the impact it will have on us.
What is it — or perhaps who is it — that you are keeping at an arm’s length? Further, why are you keeping it out? Think about it.
What is your greatest fear?
You may need to dig on this one too, but the base fear is not necessarily the one that wakes you up at 2 a.m. What do you fear the most: Is it a fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear of failure or rejection, fear of not having enough (or too much)?
What is your greatest fear? What would change if you simply faced that fear and dealt with it? What you’re looking for is actually on the other side of that fear, so don’t avoid it any longer.
Of course, there are many other questions. But here’s one more that you can use as you answer any of the above questions. And what else? For example, when you start listing your fears or the things that are holding you back, ask yourself: And what else? It’ll take you a little deeper and get a further peek behind the veil.
Unlock the future and start opening doors. Ask yourself the questions that will bring clarity, challenge, motivate, connect the dots and give you confidence.
Remember: Asking the right questions is more valuable than the answers.