Words of Wisdom, Email Newsletter
Plant seeds of wisdom today
Take the next 37 or so breaths slowly and reflect deeply on your life. I hope these words help you grow in you the most valuable treasure in life: wisdom. Wisdom grows imperceptibly but flourishes like a mighty oak, standing the test of time
WoW 109: On using questions to change your reality. Questions, Part 3
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How you perceive something determines your reality.
There is what happens to you, and there is the meaning you make of what happens to you.
Of course, ultimately you don't have control over everything that happens.
But you can influence how you think about what happens to you.
Let's use a very simple example to illustrate.
Let's say your partner is late in coming home.
What meaning do you make of this? Here are three unhelpful possibilities.
- "He's always late."
- "She can never be on time."
- "Why doesn't he ever prioritize me?"
If you respond this way, and don't notice and challenge these thoughts, you will be influenced by them. They will lead you to feeling frustrated, angry, discouraged, and feeling justified in your feelings and pain. They will likely lead to more conflict and misery.
You might choose to do something selfish as a result. You may feed resentment, give her the silent treatment, become sarcastic with him, or just shut down and avoid talking about it.
Instead, when your spouse is late in coming home you could ask:
- "How can I encourage him?"
- "What can I do to serve her before she gets home?"
- "How would I want to be treated when I walk in the door?"
- "What is the opportunity here?"
- "How do I want to handle this?"
- "What can I be grateful for?"
- "Is there anything I need to say or request?"
If you are asking yourself these questions, they will shape your reality totally differently.
You can remain grounded and present.
You won't fall into a victim mindset, into all-or-nothing thinking, or into becoming critical.
You will stay connected to your values.
You will be more likely to remain patient.
You will be empowered to take meaningful action.
You will be less likely to create conflict. You can assume the best about your partner, be curious about their experience, and still be assertive and kind about expressing any needs you have.
Whenever you face a challenge, pause, take a breath, and ask yourself some questions.
The more you practice asking insightful questions, the more you can be empowered to live a purposeful life. So seek mastery in using questions to shape your reality.
"Asking a question is the simplest way of focusing thinking...asking the right question may be the most important part of thinking."
Edward De Bono Thinking Course
“Good questions, ones that we care about and want to answer, call us outward and to each others. They are an invitation to explore, to venture out, to risk, to listen, to abandon our positions. Good questions help us become both curious and uncertain, and this is always the road that opens us to the surprise of new insight.”
Margaret Wheatley, Forward of The World Café
How can I make the most of this?
What is the opportunity here?
What meaning am I making of this situation? Is there a more helpful meaning I could make?
(Use these questions as a journal prompt and prayers this week)
Growing in the skill of asking questions is one of the most important skills you can develop. Improve your questions and you will improve your life, heal relationships, and grow in wisdom.
Did someone send this to you? Do you want to cultivate more of the good, true, courageous, and beautiful in your life?
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