Let’s say you find yourself in the situation where you feel stuck in life. You sense there might be more for you “out there” somewhere, but you have no idea how to get there. How can questions help? In every way!
First, practice your questioning skills. Start with something that truly interests you. Focus on a subject and use questions to explore it as fully as possible.
Some years ago, I had the responsibility of turning around a company. Since the company was losing a great deal of money, my first question was, “What do I need to know?” This led me on a search to understand where the company was, how it got there, what was currently happening, and what might be possible to fix it.
During my investigation, many other questions surfaced, which led me to a deeper and more thorough understanding of the root issues. This set us up to make better decisions to obtain the best and quickest results possible—and we turned that company around. It felt like quite an accomplishment! It’s one thing to just focus on cutting losses, but quite another to change direction while eliminating losses and producing greater results.
Now think about anything you have interest in, such as a hobby. I love photography and because of my passion for taking pictures, I have learned a great deal about cameras, lenses, and light. There is so much to learn and so many new things happening in photography that it has been a lifelong learning experience for me, and one that I enjoy greatly. There’s always some new innovation in equipment or technique that spurs my interest.
What continues to capture your interest, and how much more could you learn about it if you kept asking questions?
You may have noticed that one question leads to another question, which leads to more questions. A good question often does that, especially if it is an area that intrigues you. A good question will open you to new thoughts and understanding, unearthing more areas to explore.
These new thoughts and greater understanding will, of course, lead to even more queries, and so the cycle continues. Notice the see-think cycle in the middle of the following graphic for the S.T.A.R. approach.
As you can see (pun intended!), good and powerful questions are critical to expanding our knowledge base. As we expand our internal knowledge, we See opportunities we might have otherwise missed. We can then Think to thoughtfully make better choices and Act on them to Reap results that would not have happened otherwise.
This is the foundation of the S.T.A.R. pattern: Seeing in new ways, Thinking new thoughts, taking new Actions, and Reaping new results. If you want to create a life full of purpose and meaning, fulfilling and rewarding, ask better questions. The reward will certainly be great!
Adapted from the book Uncommon Sense by Bill Abbate www.billabbate.com You can uncover more on this and other subjects in the book, Uncommon Sense, found on Amazon at: amazon.com/author/billabbate