The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life.
Let me explain what I mean by that. I’ve come to see recently that we are all asking questions to ourselves all the time. Those questions are determined by the filters of our experiences and programs that we have lived our lives by. This explains why some people can be crushed by a situation and others rise above and thrive through the same circumstances. It all comes down to the questions we’re running in our minds.
I was put into a horrific situation where my life changed 180 degrees in a matter of seconds—from a dedicated mom of two beautiful young girls a nd a successful business woman with a concrete plan to expand her company internationally…to sitting in a 10×12 cell in a high security jail with total uncertainty and fear, completely isolated from her family while my daughters were growing up with me. This situation lasted almost FOUR years! I would never wish this on anyone!
In the first months, I often asked myself:
- Why is this happening to me?
- What have I done to deserve this?
- When is this ever going to end?
In order to survive, I immersed myself in reading anything positive I could get my hands on. It became a personal development bootcamp in the highest regard for me and I began to see the world differently. As I searched for my inner strength and courage, I began asking different questions:
- What is the higher purpose to this situation?
- What can I learn from this challenge?
- How can I serve others while I’m here?
My questions changed from a “victim mentality” to a “victor mentality” and I became strong. I was able to stay focused on my dream and my deep faith that it would come true: my charges would all be dropped, I’d walk out of the building I was in, and return home to my family where I belonged and that I would be there to raise my daughters. Although it took a long time…that was exactly what did end up happening.
Are you aware of the type of questions you are asking yourself? What would happen if you changed them to more empowering questions? How are you reacting to the situations that come up in your life?
Things just happen. But then we label them according to how we view the world. So a situation can be a big problem where you focus on what is going wrong…or it can be an opportunity where you focus on the solution.
Successful people always find the solutions that drive them through their challenges. They grow, develop, and become better people because of everything that they have experienced. Others who focus on what is wrong all the time can easily become angry, bitter, and stuck, which only perpetuates their situation for the worse.
A leadership mentor explained to me once how it really is essential to bring in light into any situation and not focus on clearing out the negative stuff, because if you bring in enough positive energy and enthusiasm, the problems and negativity will dissipate naturally. It helped me to realize just how powerful we really are and that we have the ability to determine the quality of our lives by the choices we make and by questions we ask.
Here is a powerful exercise: practice saying everything you say in a positive way. Sounds easy at first, but it can also take some effort because unfortunately, our world often conditions us to see the worst! Stating things positively is a great place to start becoming aware of the questions you are running through your head and why.
My final question to you now is: are you paying attention to what the heck you’re asking yourself and how can you change those questions so that they serve you in a positive way?