What does success mean to you? Getting into that school? Getting that job, that person, that house? Driving a cool sports car? Having a million dollars in the bank? Nothing wrong with having a clear idea about what would be fun for you. The question is, did you select these things because they would be fun for you? Or because you decided (or someone else told you) that these things would show other people you were successful? And until you have these things, you must work long and hard, and make sacrifices, including not doing things you really enjoy? If you're not enjoying life right now, ask “How have I defined success?” and get clear on what is driving you. What if instead you drove yourself and defined success in ways that work for you? For example, “What will it take for me to bounce out of bed every morning, smiling and inspired by everything I do and everyone I meet?” You can of course add “With some fun, zappy wheels to get me around, or something greater?”
Do you sometimes feel like you're not being who you really are? That you're being all sorts of things for other people, and nothing for you? Do any of these roles sound familiar? Latest-at-the-offce employee, best-drinking boss, super mum, breadwinner dad, A-grades daughter, sports-champion son, host-with-the-most, community hero, best-friend-to-all, [fll in your own identities here___________________________]? Do they weigh you down? Do you feel lost under layers of masks to make other people happy, but don't quite feel like you? Would you like to rediscover who you really are? If so, ask “If I were me, who would I be?” What if being you was more than just fine? What if it was wonderful and exactly what your family, home, offce, communities and the world needed?
Has someone, sometime sold you the idea you can't be something? Did they tell you you're not clever, pretty, thin, tall, handsome, rich, strong, creative, healthy, [fll in your own limitation here_______________________] enough to get a particular job, make money, have great friends, create the life you'd like? What if it weren't true? What if you could be anything you liked regardless of what other people told you were your limitations? Just because someone says something about you, does that make it true? Only if you agree. So if you feel limited, ask “What have I decided I can't be?” This will help you see and unlock the doors to everything you have decided it is not possible to be. You may even rediscover the greater you, beyond anything you ever imagined. What's right about you that you're not getting?
What decisions have you made about who or what you must be? A doctor, lawyer, government official, part of the family business, father/mother, good daughter/son, what else? And to be anything else is to be less? Were they your ideas? Or someone else's? Whatever the reasons, decisions will only limit you. You've decided, so you can't change it, even if it's no longer working for you. Questions on the other hand will help you see possibilities you might not have been willing or able to see before. Questions will empower you to choose consciously what you'd really like. So if you'd like to create the life you'd really enjoy, ask “What have I decided I must be?” followed by “If I could choose anything, who and what would I be?” You may choose exactly the same as you are now. Or you may not. In either case, the choice will be consciously yours, so how will you feel about it? The same or different?
Have you been trying for some time to create the relationships, work, business or life you'd like, but can't ever seem to make it happen? If you've been stuck on something for a while and not achieved the result you'd like, you may have some deeply held, unconscious decisions that are limiting you. For example, is there anything you believe can't be changed? Where you have to live, study or work, or what you have to do or be for someone else? What if you could change anything? What would be possible for you then and what would you choose? If you'd like to move beyond the places that have been keeping you stuck, ask “What have I decided I can't change?” and notice what comes to mind. If you start seeing where and how you've been keeping yourself stuck with unspoken decisions, then ask “What else is possible?” and “Can I change this? If so, how?”
One of the greatest limitations in work, business and life in general is when you decide something is right, best or perfect. The right subject to study, the right school, the right career, the right job, right person for the job, the right product, the right marketing strategy, the right branding, The One. Why? It stops you looking for anything greater. So even if you think your work, business or life is ticking along very nicely now, and you don't feel stuck or limited by anything, ask “If I didn't do it this way, what other ways could I do it?” This is an invitation for greater awareness. Especially if you're in business. Questioning the things you think are perfect can make you an industry leader and innovator. And if you do end up choosing to do things the same way as before, it will be because that is still the most inspiring option. Not because you were stuck in a rut.
What do you do when things don't ft into the form and structure you've decided your life must have? When things vary or change? Do you say “Oh that's interesting. It's different! It's something I never thought about! I wonder how much fun we can have?” Or do you react with upset and say “That's strange/crazy/stupid. If they only did it my way their life would be better! OMG how can I put up with this?” How much stress or unhappiness do you have because you've decided things have to be a particular way? If you'd like less stress and more happiness in your life, start here:
Are you confused about something? What subject to study, which university or company to apply for, whether to ask someone out, what to spend your money on, how much to worry about your kids education? Add your own current personal confusion here: _____________________. Confusion is usually a sign that you're missing information. Put another way, when you have all the information you require, are you confused? No. So next time you think you're confused, rather than stressing and spiraling into a worried frenzy about what to do, ask yourself “What information do I need? Who do I need to speak to?” Keep asking these questions until you replace confusion with clarity. This is not about getting your choices right or perfect. Choice creates awareness, so each time you make a choice you'll see more possibilities. This question simply helps you avoid being distracted by the stress of confusion that need not exist.
How often do you feel trapped in a no-choice universe. When did your parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, friends, children and everyone sell you the idea that you have no choice but to do what they tell you? What is that for you? To study a subject you hate, take a job you're not interested in, break off a great relationship, marry a person you don't really like, work late every night and weekend? Guess what? You always have a choice. Infnite choices in fact. This is a free will universe. So remind yourself. Next time you feel trapped ask “What choices do I have?” Then notice whatever possibility feels lightest and ask more questions about what it would take for you to create that as your life. Of course, it may end up being exactly what other people told you to choose in the frst place. But you'll feel differently about it because it was your choice.
How often do you feel tired at study, work, or home simply because you're “tired of it”? You've had enough. Think of 3 o'clock on Friday afternoon and you're winding down at work. Do you start to feel tired? What happens then at 5 o'clock when you meet your friends for drinks, dinner, chatting, dancing or watching sport? Do you still feel tired? Or do you come to life and have boundless energy? What is that? Is it the fun factor? Could fun be enough to keep you energized? So when you start to feel tired ask “Am I tired or bored?” Then ask “What could I add to my work, business, life that would make it more fun?” and add that.
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