Advertising
Advertising

5 Questions You Should Avoid

5 Questions You Should Avoid

There are certain questions that will never have the answer you want or need. However, those are the questions that are possibly more likely to pop into our minds when we least expect it or when we’re having a difficult time. So, maybe rephrasing them could help? Stephen Guise of Dumb Little Man shares how you can do that:

Life causes us to question ourselves, but not all thoughts that come to mind are beneficial for us. In fact, many can be harmful and misleading.

Here are five of those undesirable questions that if you find yourself asking, you’d be wise to rephrase or reroute them. Subtle differences in phrasing can make a big impact in your mind.

1. Why Am I Here?

Whether you got to this moment by a failed marriage, back surgery, a lottery ticket, or by bus, it doesn’t matter for purposes moving forward. If you don’t like your situation, the only way out is found in solutions for the present moment, and “why am I here?” moves your mindset backwards, away from solutions.

There’s a better question that puts your focus in the present moment.

Advertising

Better Question: Where do I go from here?

Quote: “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” – Jim Rohn

2. Why Me?

This question sums up the victim’s mindset. The main reason you don’t want to be a victim is because victims only have things happen TO them. They can’t take charge and control the situation, because their focus is not on what they can do, but on what happens to them. Would the opposite of this question give the opposite mindset of a victim? Yes, ask yourself the opposite…

Better Question: Why not me? (This is the possibility question!)

Quote: “To the dumb question, ‘Why me?’ the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, ‘Why not?’” – Christopher Hitchens

Advertising

3. How Do I Lose Weight?

It doesn’t look bad, but it is secretly horrible. Asking this question frames the problem (being overweight) for a temporary solution. Unless you’re trying to make weight for your wrestling match, I doubt you want to lose weight and put it back on a month later. To explain why, here is the better question to tackle weight loss.

Better Question: Who do I need to be to weigh less?

This alternative question has an identity shift built into it as part of the solution, and these are the solutions that stick. Weight, after baseline genetic attributes, is a result of lifestyle, which stems from your identity. If you try to change with forced mechanical actions – like the answers to the question “how do I lose weight?” will lead you to do (exercise, eat vegetables, control portion size, etc) – your willpower will run out eventually.

“Who do I need to be?” changes the goal to an internal shift of values and habits that will automagically take you to a lower weight. It’s sustainable because you’ll have changed at the core level instead of forcing yourself to live against your established nature. To start the process of changing your identity, compare the benefits of a new identity to your current one. How would it be better? How would it be worse? Which do you like better overall?

“How do I lose weight?” makes you want the results, and “who do I need to be…” makes you want the change. When you want the change, you’ll get the results. When you only want the results, you’ll often end up with nothing.

Advertising

Quote: “You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.” – David Viscott

 4. Why Won’t Anyone Talk To Me?

Why won’t you talk to anyone else? If you want to talk to someone, it isn’t their responsibility to talk to you, but yours to talk to them. Every single conversation you have is either initiated by you or by someone else. If you never initiate conversation, it gives people the impression that you don’t want conversation.

A better, more productive question to ask yourself when you’re lonely is…

Better Question: Why don’t I go introduce myself to that person?

Quote: “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” – William Butler Yeats

Advertising

Bonus Quote: “Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.” – Shirley MacLaine

5. When Will I Finally Succeed?

To ask this question shows that you’re after the end result without caring about how you arrive at it. The “overnight success stories” you hear about are preceded by years of progress that you don’t hear about. Focus on becoming the type of person who would succeed. Focus on progress and you should find success eventually. But instead of thinking about success, here’s a better question…

Better Question: What small steps could I take today to move forward?

Quote: “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” – Jack Dixon

Stephen Guise: besides writing for his own blogs Stephen is a featured writer here at Dumb Little Man. Be sure to stop by Stephen’s ‘featured writer page’ right here on Dumb Little Man to find links to more of his articles.

5 Questions To NEVER Ask Yourself | Dumb Little Man

More by this author

Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

9 Ways to Stay Positive This Chart Shows You Where And Why Emotional Pain Becomes Physical Discomfort 30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier 20 Fascinating Webcams You Can Watch Online Right Now 8 Ways To Stop Emotional Manipulation

Trending in Lifestyle

1 The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want 2 Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide) 3 5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life 4 How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need? (What the Science Says) 5 How to Learn Yoga (The Beginner’s Guide)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

    Advertising

    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

    Advertising

    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

    Advertising

    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

    Advertising

    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

    Read Next