We are inundated with input. From email, to text messages, to television, to radio, to an overwhelming need to “stay connected.”
From time to time, it is important to take a break. From time to time, we need to simply unplug from all of those things that demand our attention and get into our own heads for a while. We have questions that only we can answer.
I was talking with someone recently who shared with me that she felt like she had found a missing element in her own self-awareness. She further shared that the reason she was able to identify this missing element was because she was in a place of pause and reflection. It was during this time of self inspection that she was able to look closely at the various elements in her life and ask herself hard questions about where she was in relation to the goals she has for her life.
All of us, regardless of our age, must find time occasionally to take a deep breath and consider ourselves. It makes us better employees, bosses, spouses, parents, and friends. It allows us to make important decisions with greater clarity and to carefully consider the potential outcomes of our decisions. When we do this, it is easy to ask ourselves the wrong questions. Questions that accuse ourselves are unproductive and don’t take us to forward-moving action. In his podcast, “The Importance of Asking the Right Question,” Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, suggests that the wrong questions can “destroy hope and keep us stuck in bad assumptions.” It is absolutely true.
Here are some examples of bad questions and their alternatives for productive reflection:
- Bad Question #1: What is wrong with me?
- Productive Question #1: What choices can I make to enjoy more favorable results?
- Bad Question #2: Why do I keep failing?
- Productive Question #2: What steps do I need to take to map to my goals?
- Bad Question #3: Why does everyone hate me?
- Productive Question #3: What actions can I take to assure others I am invested in their goal attainment?
As we take our intentional time away from the hustle of life and reflect inward about where we are and where we want to go, we must make sure to ask ourselves the right questions. When it comes time to take action and step back into the world, we want to be refreshed, empowered, and ready to make choices that are right for our goals.
So, go ahead. Take a deep breath. Spend some time taking a break and asking the right questions.
I’m interested in the types of questions you ask yourself to achieve positive results. What are you asking?