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To get the desired result, ask the right question

This is a prime time of the season to be thinking about changing one’s results through resolutions… Questions are a powerful way to focus the mind in space, and in time, towards action.

When I have an idea of a situation to change, the vision of this idea has links to either the past, or the future. This is because the change is linked to either correcting the past, or creating something new in the future that does not exist now.

If I want to change my results through action around my idea, how I phrase the questions I ask myself, becomes crucial:

  • “Why?” forces me to look at the past, to justify my past results, and to wish things were different. I cannot change the past, so the only answer to this question is an excuse, a reason or a justification. That’s why “Why?” questions put me (as I ask myself the question) on the defensive, on an adversarial relationship with the truth.
  • “How?” projects me into the future, forcing me to evaluate several paths or options. This complication here is that there can be many outcomes, all with varying degrees of possibility. This strategizing can overwhelm, cause me to hesitate in taking action, and therefore lose my motivation to move.
  • “What?” is the question that gets me to focus on the present, forcing me to make a choice, right now, step by step. “What?” is a powerful question, where action is the only answer.

Therefore, once a “resolution” is stated, avoid focusing on “Why?” (justification) or “How?” (endless strategizing), and instead focus on the most powerful question:

What step can I take right now to move me forward towards the change I want to make?

By focusing on the step to take in the present, the strategy for the next step will appear, one step at a time, and I don’t have to worry about “how” I am going to succeed in transforming my resolution into reality…

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