1/15/18

Do you need a new outlook on your work life? Try starting with better questions.

Positivity is a Mindset

Two people can have the exact same job, same boss, same office, same commute, same everything, but yet when asked how to describe their job, they will give two completely different descriptions. For one person, the boss is too nit-picky; for the other person, the boss doesn't give enough feedback. One enjoys the short commute, but the other wants to live further from work.

Let me give you another example: the death of loved one or pet. Nearly everyone is initially overcome with grief and sadness after the passing of a loved one, but emotions in the following weeks and months can be dramatically different. Some people struggle to accept the loss and may even blame themselves or others for what happened, but other people are quicker to come to peace with the death.

I'm not a psychologist and I don't claim to be one, but I think these examples show just how powerful our perspective and perception can be. Certainly there are many factors than can influence how someone describes their job or deals with the loss of a loved one, but undoubtedly your perspective and mindset plays a major role on your perception of the situation.

The good news is your perspective is in your control, and if you can control your perspective, you have the power to control your perception. In the book The Questions Behind The Question, author John Miller explores how asking better questions can lead to more positive perspectives by eliminating blame, victim thinking, complaining, and procrastination.


The Idea in Short

The questions you ask can frame your point of view, change your perspective, and control your perception.

Questions behind the question (QBQ's for short) are all about promoting personal accountability, or in simpler terms, only worrying about things that are within your control. Throughout the easy-read book, Miller explains that we often have the tendency of asking negative questions that promote pessimistic thoughts. For example, if you have a difficult boss, you might think "Who put this guy in charge?" or "Why do I have to work for him?". The problem is these questions don't solve a damn thing; they just make you hate your boss even more.

QBQ's don't ask why or who; these words just promote blaming. QBQ's focus on solution-based "I" questions such as "How can I improve my relationship with my boss?" or "What can I do to better communicate with my boss?". 

Don't ask why or who; ask how or what.

Like anything in life, practice makes perfect. Reading this book can definitely change your perspective for a few hours while it's fresh on your mind, but to really reap the benefits of QBQ's you need to practice. The thoughts and questions that come to mind during difficult times are instantaneous; the only way to make sure you're asking QBQ's when it counts most is to practice.

Closing Thoughts

The Questions Behind The Question is a super easy read with tons of great tips and tricks for practicing personal accountability by asking better questions. The advice in this book is easily applicable to your work life, your home life, and of course, your financial life.

Now get out there and start asking better questions to have more positivity in your life!

"The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions." - Claude Levi-Strauss

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