The Questions You Ask

“Don’t like the results you’re getting…ask better questions.”  I first heard this when I attended Tony Robbins’ ‘Unleash the Power Within’ back in 2004 and it stuck with me till this very day, and will forever.  Up until that point I never really gave much thought about the questions I asked myself, or more importantly, the questions I was not asking.  It was after the event that the impact of this ‘question asking concept’ really showed it strength.

As part of my UPW entry fee I received a thirty-minute coaching session with a Tony Robbins Certified Life Coach, which literally changed my life.  Thirty minutes is all it took to realize something I had dreamed of doing since I was kid; which was to write a book.

It all happened because of the questions the coach asked and the honest answers I had to give.  Here they are in succession:

Coach:  What is something that you’ve wanted to achieve, or have been working on, but haven’t yet accomplished?

Me: Write a book.

Coach:  Why haven’t you done it already?

Me:  Uh, what?

Coach:  If you really wanted to write this book then why haven’t you?  What have you been doing?

Me:  Well I’ve written some of it.  I’ve got the first two chapters just about done.

Coach:  That’s good but you didn’t answer my question, why hasn’t this book been written?  What do you think is hold you back?

Me:  I’m busy and don’t have as much of time to work on it as I’d like.

Coach: How many hour do you sleep each night?

Me: About 7 or 8.

Coach: If you got up an hour earlier each day or went to bed an hour later that would give you 7 extra hours a week to work your book. At that rate do you would be able to finish at least a chapter a week and have the book completed in a few weeks?

Me: Definitely.

Coach: Great, but let’s face it, unless you really want to write this book you’re not going to schedule the time needed to work on it.  So why do you want to write this book?  What will it do for you?  Howe will it change your life? What will your life look like when it’s done? How will it affect others?

I answered all of the coach’s questions; it was hard to accept that I was not the driven, achiever I thought myself to be.  I wasn’t doing everything I could do, I wasn’t living up to my potential.  All this time I was kidding myself. It was a humbling realization.

The coach left me with a list of resources that would help me get the book done quickly but she made it very clear that it was up to me to take action.  And I did…immediately.

I wound up hiring Tony Robbins’ creative assistant, flying her out from California, putting her up in a nearby hotel for three days, and paying her to help me gather and organize the book.  All with money I didn’t have.

After I completed the manuscript I moved onto the next resource my coach gave me, which was a self-publishing company that would design, format, and help distribute the book to, B&N, and other retailers.  Once again spending money I didn’t have. (The book was picked up by Price World Publishing in 2010)

Pure Physique coverWhen all was said and done I had spent close to $9K to make a dream a reality and I don’t regret a single penny spent.  The fact is, you can always make more money or spend less somewhere else, but you don’t get to write your first book every day.

The point of this story is not to boast about my accomplishment but demonstrate the importance of asking the right kinds of questions.  Too often we ask ourselves self-limiting questions and wonder why we have so much trouble getting ahead; Why does this always happen to me? Why can’t I ever do this? Why does it have to be so hard? Isn’t there an easier way?  Will this ever get better? When will it happen for me? When will I have the time?  When will I have the money?

Change the questions you ask and you can change any situation. Self empowering questions move you towards your dreams, desires and the accomplishment of your goals.  What are some self empowering questions?  Well, asking that is a self empowering question!!!  But I digress.  The types of questions you need to ask are: What can I do today to improve my circumstances?  What do I need to work on in order to grow as a person?  Who can help me grow?  Who can help me reach my goal?  Who or what is taking away from time and ability to achieve? What can I do to improve the lives of others?  Why is accomplishing ‘x’ so important to me?  How will my life be better by accomplishing ‘x’?  What do I want my life look like 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years from now?  

There is no end to the list of self empowering questions we can ask ourselves and the more you ask the more you will receive.