Today’s message is Ask Great Question. One of my favorite exercises to do both for myself and for entrepreneurs I’m working with is try to turn limiting statements into how questions.
Ask Great Question
I find that levels of success in almost any industry or area correlate to a person asking great questions.
In some cases they seem absurd. In fact, the hallmark in a way of great questions is they sound completely ridiculous.
So, someone might ask like Peter Teal why can’t you achieve your ten year goals in the next six months?
As a thought exercise that’s a good question to answer for yourself.
And, these types of questions come up surprisingly often with very, very impressive folks.
Whether it’s in business, military, entertainment or otherwise.
And the way you can get better at questions is by studying interviews in part.
So, I studied Larry King. I studied Charlie Rose. I studied Terry Gross. I studied dot, dot, dot, dot go down the list.
I studied Tony Robbins who does in person one on one interventions, at his events, in front of 10,000, 5,000 people and he’s just genius with how he uses his questions to pattern interrupt and grab someone’s attention.
And divert them in a more productive direction. Now, why is that relevant? It’s relevant because thinking is the process of asking questions.
You’re asking yourself questions and then you’re answering them in your own head.
So, if you get better at asking other people questions you get better at asking yourself questions. Which means you are a, you’re improving your thought performance and level of thinking.
My Thought in Ask Great Question
One of my favorite exercises to do both for myself and for entrepreneurs I’m working with is try to turn limiting statements into how questions.
Turn limiting statements into how questions.
So, as an example turn a statement like “I can’t do this “because I have a full time job.” into a, “How do I do this while I have a full time job?” “I can’t start this company because I don’t have any money.” into, “How do I start this business “without having any money?”
As soon as you can move from a limiting statement that you absorbed and feel like, “Well this is just true. “I have a limited life, I have limited resources, “I have limited access, I’m limited, “everything’s limited, I’m never going to achieve anything.”
Living on Auto-pilot
As soon as you can move to that state to a how. How do I accomplish it with these restrictions limitations?
Then, you start to break out of your box.
Then, you start to have the ability to do more amazing things.
And so it’s catching yourself to know when you’re saying really limiting statements and then asking that question of how can I accomplish it except these limitations that I have right now?
Part of the challenge though, is catching yourself and knowing when you’re actually saying a limiting statement.
Because again, so much of it is subconscious.
So much of the time we’re just automatically living on small mode. Automatically living on auto-pilot.
You know, living by other peoples’ expectations and limitations, constantly.
We’re not constantly going off living big, doing huge things We’re living in survival mode, so often.
Don’t look away until you get an answer
So, being able to catch those limiting statements can be difficult.
Here’s one of my favorite exercises on how to fix it.
Look at yourself in the mirror. Go do it. Look yourself in the mirror. Pull out your phone and look at yourself in the phone.
And ask yourself, “Why am I not more successful? “Why have I not hit my goals? “Why have I had this goal for the past three years, “and I haven’t made progress on it? “Why is still a someday going? “Why have I not done a thing that I said I want to do? “That seems important to me, why have I not done it?”
And somewhere in there is going to be an answer, right?
Like don’t look away until you get an answer. And then from there that’s one of your limiting statements.
That’s probably the most powerful limiting statements that you have. Well, I’m not able to be a success.
I haven’t hit my goals because I didn’t go to University, and everybody who has success went to University.
That’s the story you’re having to play over and over and over and over again, in your mind.
Great, that’s your limiting statement. Let’s turn that into a how. How do I accomplish my goal and start my business without having a University education?
How do I surround myself with resources and people who prove to me that it’s possible to go off and do this?
Because lots of entrepreneurs have done it, right?
So, I find that exercise so helpful.
Write Your Reasons
Look at yourself in the mirror, or write down on a piece of paper. “I have not accomplished my big goals yet because.” Write it down, maybe there’s multiple reasons.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Maybe fill up the whole page of reasons why you’re not more successful.
Why you haven’t hit your goals. Each one of those are limiting statements and as long as you continue to believe them.
As long as you continue to act by them, most of the time subconsciously. You sound just like you everyday wake up and just remind yourself, I don’t have a university education so I’m not going to be successful.
It’s not like you have these negative mantras, you just do it automatically.
It’s how you’re living your life by default. The limitations are hard to catch because it’s just default. So, if you build your list of the reasons, and then start attacking them.
Ask yourself how questions. As soon as you ask yourself how. How can I?
Instead of just accepting this negative situation, the box starts to open. The possibilities start to open. You move from a negative place to a positive one.
You move from a resourcefulness state to a resourceful one. Because you’re forcing your brain to answer the question.
How can I do this despite not having this, or despite being this or despite growing up like this?
How can I still go off and do it?
And if you get used to asking those potential filled questions then your brain will find the answer.
You’re asking better questions as opposed to living a really limited life. That for the most part is self-imposed.
So the question of the day today is, I’d like to quickly go through this exercise with you.
Ask yourself what is the one reason, just pick one to start, you may have a huge list, but what is one reason why you’re not more successful?
Why you haven’t accomplished your main goals?
Write it down on the comments below and the next to it write down the how-to version of it. How can I, version of it.
And if you really want to take it to the next step, answer that question. Answer the how to. I think if you do that consistently, it’ll open up a world of difference for you and I’d love it to spark, right here on this episode.
So, leave it down on the comments below. I’m really curios to see what you have to say.
I also want to give a quick shout-out to Mike Philips. Mike thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word.
I really appreciate the support Mike and I hope you enjoyed the book.
So, thank you guys so much for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself and what ever your one word is. Much love and I’ll see you again tomorrow morning for another shot of espresso.
John Maxwell – Ask Great Question
Well you know what, people do look at me and see me as creative because I’ve written so many books.
And I am curious but when I started off in college, in my freshman psych class they gave us a test for each student to take on creativity.
And there were 17 in that class, I can remember it well, and I was at the bottom of the class on creativity.
I mean, I was like, number 17 out of 17 and the teacher posted the scores and so I saw how bad I was.
And, then I really felt bad not only because I wasn’t creative but I was going to go pastor, I was going to go into ministry, I was going to go teach, I was going to do sermons.
And then I got to thinking to myself, “I’m going to be another boring preacher.”
And then that just gripped me I thought, “Oh, this is going to be awful. “I’m going to bore people all my life.” You know what I mean? And then I’m going to ask them to pay while they hear me.
I started filing.
I mean, this is an awful deal. And so, two things I did, and I talk about it in the book. One of them is I started filing.
I started taking thoughts and quotes, and the reason I started doing that is I thought, “If I’m not going to be good at what I say, I need to quote somebody that is good.”
And so I started filing things that other people would say so I’d go around well Kim said, you know what I mean and Joe said and Suzy said and so that at least I would be a little more interesting and that’s how it started.
But the big breakthrough, the big breakthrough I had was, and this will help everyone if … How many of you would like to be more creative? Let me see your hands, okay. How many of you’d like to just absolutely have an imagination that just took you to a new level? You know what I’m saying?
How many already have that because you’re on drugs? Okay, okay. Here’s the key, this’ll work for ya. I promise it’ll work for you because it worked for me.
I made a major change in my early 30’s from just having answers and being a leader that just had to cast visions, show everybody what I was doing and where we were going.
And I started asking intentional questions. And I became a person, I ask questions all the time. Everyday I ask questions. And I have found just asking questions will take you on exciting journeys more than anything else.
You’re great, you excel in that Ken. I’ve watched you over the years. You’d excel really in that. But for my early years I didn’t ask enough questions and so therefore I didn’t get enough ideas and thoughts from others.
So, when people say, “I want to be more creative “What’s step one?” Step number one is ask more questions. Just go to people and start asking questions. It’s amazing what you’ll learn.
Evan Spiegel – Ask Great Question
But I’m obsessed with the idea of no standard terms.
So, when we were first getting started and took financing, our lawyers would take us through the documents and they’d say, “Oh, don’t worry about it, it’s all standard.” And at the time I’m like, “Oh, sure standard. “That’s great, no issues, that’s standard. “No problem.”
And I’ve since learned that standard means either the person who’s walking through the documents doesn’t understand them.
Or, you could be getting taken advantage of.
So, when someone say something is standard just ask why.
And why and why and why until you really understand intricately, I think, how the deal is structured.
I think, the big thing that we took away from that is, you know, standard terms is a huge red flag. And beyond that, when you’re afraid, just to continue asking why.