As human beings we all have certain built in limitations. For example, we can only effectively focus on a very limited number of things at any given time. I see this as a great advantage because it means that when we focus on empowering thoughts it becomes literally impossible to focus on limiting thoughts at the same time.
Can you be truly happy and extremely sad at the same time? Can you feel intense love and intense anger simultaneously? See what I mean?
We cannot intensely focus our attention in two opposing directions simultaneously. This means that when we focus on something positive, really focus on it, our mindset will automatically block out negative thoughts. That’s the nature of focus.
Questions can direct our mindset, focus, and feelings
Because questions have the ability to change our focus, we can use them to change our feelings and our mindset at the same time. When you ask yourself, “What do I feel really great about right now?” notice what happens next. Once your current mindset becomes occupied with answering that question there is no room for entertaining opposing thoughts. Your mind simply cannot search for reasons to feel great and reasons to feel lousy at the same time.
Some people are convinced that they can entertain opposing thoughts simultaneously, but trying to do that requires a huge mental and emotional compromise. To accomplish this kind of split focus we would have to apply a very limited degree of attention in two different directions. That’s not focus! Some synonyms for the verb focus are to concentrate, fixate and pinpoint our attention. Once we understand what focus is, we realize that it does not allow for divided attention.
Focus is not a one dimensional experience
Being truly focused involves more than just our mental acuity. It involves our emotions as well. This is especially true because the questions we are going to be asking ourselves are anchored in positive feelings and experiences. When we ask the right questions we are commanding our mind to give us answers that will support a positive mindset and move us toward affirmative action.
Emotions are the power plant of human motivation. We can use our minds to ask the questions that will harness that power, and focus it in the direction we want to go.
The right questions to help us accomplish this
When problems arise in life, as they will, what questions do we ask ourselves to create a positive mindset and motivate us toward possibility and solution? Here are a few examples…
1. How does this problem or challenge create a new opportunity? At first you may not see opportunity, so keep asking. This question is powerful because it is structured around the assumption that the problem has created an opportunity, now you just need to discover that opportunity. Your mind will recognize that assumption as fact and before long it will present you with a list of possible opportunities.
2. What action must I take to transform this situation? Notice the assumption built in to this question. There is a course of action that will transform this situation in a positive way. Now, all you need to do is to figure out what that action is and your mind will be eager to assist you. This puts you in a very positive and optimistic mindset which also makes you more resourceful.
3. What aspect of this challenge is exciting? Again the assumption, there is something here to get excited about. We just asked our mind to figure out what that is, and it will. Because of these three questions your mindset is now anchored in opportunity, transformation, and excitement.
What all of these questions have in common?
They all have a built-in assumption that moves our focus into a ore positive mindset. They all create a frame of mind that is empowering. And because we can focus in only one direction at a time, all of these questions prevent us from exploring the negative aspects of our situation, both mentally and emotionally.
Applying these three questions in challenging situations will require a conscious effort at first. It takes time to develop a pattern of asking empowering questions, especially when our resources are being stretched by ongoing problems. With practice however, we can condition ourselves to move into a more positive mindset and to respond resourcefully by asking the right questions.
In part three of “Use Questions to Change Your Mindset” we will explore additional exercises that we can do every day to further encourage the use of empowering questions.
This is part 2 in a series of 3 articles about Using Questions to Change Your Mindset.
For the rest of the story visit…
Use questions to Change your Mindset – Part 1
Use questions to Change your Mindset – Part 3
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