As human beings we often get stuck in patterns of thinking because of our daily routines and habits. Some research suggests that we typically we have 95% of the same thoughts again tomorrow as what we had today, which suggest that there is very little room for new thought or indeed change. In this article I’d like to highlight why we should be concerned about our thinking and most importantly will provide some thoughts as to what we can do about it.
Our thinking is absolutely paramount to our success, yet very few people realise the significance of our daily thoughts and how they are influencing our lives. The diagram below, I hope, will demonstrate to you why this is something we must give our attention to:
I personally think that this diagram is quite profound in that it shows us how our thoughts influence everything about what we feel and do and ultimately determines the results that we get in oir lives and work. Quite simply – everything starts with a thought!
So immediately I hope that you will recognise that being stuck in patterms of routine thinking will mean that we are most likley to keep getting the same reaults that we have always gotten. Of course you can say there may be nothing wrong with this, but if you are on a journey of wanting to be the best that you can be I’d like to humbly suggest that this simply isn’t good enough!
So what can we do about it? The topic that I am most passionate about in the world is that of asking Better Questions in the knowledge that when I ask people Better Questions I am giving them the gift of some new thought. Maybe prior to reading this article you might not quite have seen the idea of new thought as a ‘gift’ but I hope that you can now see that it is indeed a gift given that new thoughts open up possibilities for change.
One of the most wonderful examples of how life changing this can be came from a lady that I was working with to teach her the skill of asking Better Questions in the context of a caring role. She was having a conversation with a gentleman who shared that he had always had a dream of going on one of Australia’s great train journeys, but that he knew he was now too old to fulfil that dream. The lady was tempted to empathise and say it was a shame that he wouldn’t now be able to that, but decided instead to ask a Better Question. She said, “I know that you think you are too old to go on that journey, but if you did think it might still be possible what would you do?”
The impact of the question was immediate. The gentleman sat up, looked excited and advised the lady that he had just thought that a neighbour of his was interested in trains and that he may well be interested in doing something with him. The end result of this inspiring true story was that the gentleman fulfilled his dream of going on one of Australia’s great train journeys two months later.
I often get quite teary when I recall that story as it beautifully demonstrates how Better Questions can unlock thinking and when our thinking changes THINGS change. So my invitation to you as the reader then is to start to become more conscious of your own thinking and what you can do to create new thought. One option is to simply ask yourself some Better Questions particularly in relation to areas of our lives where we are stuck. Asking ‘how can I’ rather than ‘why’ is a great first step and challenging beliefs can also be powerful eg ‘If I believed I could what would I do?”
Please remember that bringing the gift of Better Questions to conversations with others as well as your own internal dialogue can be life changing!