Upon first glance, one would assume that Albert Einstein, Indira Gandhi, and David Packard shared little in common. Einstein forever changed the landscape of science with his mathematical equations and theories, Gandhi was the first woman to become the Prime Minister of India, and Packard revolutionized the computer industry as the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard. Furthermore, Einstein was German, Gandhi was Indian, and Packard was American.
The only true similarity between the three is that they all were able to change the world by accomplishing what they set out to achieve. One of the reasons for their undeniable success, and the success of countless other immortals, is that they understood the importance of consciously asking themselves questions geared towards goal achievement and personal growth. “The power to question is the basis of all human progress,” Gandhi told us.
Just like Einstein, Gandhi, and Packard, you have the ability to change your life, and the lives of those around you, by answering the questions that lead you to where you want to go. If you have the desire to achieve particular goals, change destructive habits, or make the world a better place, you can use the power of conscious questions to move yourself towards your desired outcomes and higher levels of life-satisfaction.
What are Conscious Questions?:
It is said that the human brain is at least 30 times more powerful than the most sophisticated computers in the world. Unfortunately, unless we consciously use our brain’s power to our advantage, the thoughts that we think and the cognitive responses that we have typically function as if we are living on unconscious autopilot. When you couple this truth with the fact that the human brain has an evolutionary bias towards negativity (in order to keep us safe), it is easy to see why achieving goals, changing habits, and finding fulfillment is so challenging for the vast majority of us.
In order to overcome the conditioned state of living unconsciously and move closer towards achieving our deepest held desires, we can consciously create questions, geared towards positivity and success, that we ask ourselves on a regular basis. Here at Balanced Achievement, we think so strongly of conscious questions that we believe they should be incorporated into the framework of every personal development and spiritual growth strategy. With that being said, we like to define conscious questions as:
Personalized questions that are carefully constructed to help individuals move towards the achievement of their goals and higher levels of life-satisfaction. By taking the time to consciously explore these questions within one’s self, an individual can find creative solutions to the problems that are prohibiting them from finding fulfillment and move closer towards self-actualization.
Why are Conscious Questions Important?:
Conscious questions are an indispensable tool for personal growth and behavioral change for a wide variety of reasons. One of the major benefits that an individual obtains from asking personalized conscious questions is that they will be forced to analyze their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The process of nonjudgmental internal exploration, which is very much a form of meditation, will certainly increase an individual’s self-awareness, and with this increase they can begin to correct prohibiting behavioral and cognitive patterns. On top of increasing awareness, there are other immense benefits that one obtains from the process of creating and asking conscious questions:
- They Help to Differentiate the True Self from the Ego: Many of the goals and desires that we come to believe are important to us are actually nothing more than a reflection of social influence and the illusion of self. At the surface level of the ego, you may come to believe that a new car, a better relationship, or more social status will make you happy, but at the more important and deeper levels of your being not truly desire these things. By asking conscious question, you can differentiate your ego’s goals from the deeper desires of your true self and focus on achieving the objectives that will bring you true happiness.
- They Utilize the Power of Intention and Attention: In both psychology and spirituality circles, it is widely assumed that if you have the right intention to achieve a particular goal and focus your attention on the achievement process, you can manifest practically anything that you want. By creating conscious questions that use the power of intention and attention, you can consistently remind yourself of your intention and keep yourself focused on the necessary tasks at hand.
- They Give Access to Creative Energies: By spending additional time thinking about potential solutions to the problems and challenges that you are facing, you will certainly discover new and creative ways to overcome the obstacles that are prohibiting your success. Albert Einstein believed that his creative genius was largely due to the fact that he spent more time than the average person trying to answer particularly tough questions. “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing,” he told us.
Creating Personalized Conscious Questions:
Depending upon your current situation and circumstances, there are a wide range of conscious questions that could be useful for you on your journey towards fulfillment. The most beneficial aspect of creating and asking conscious questions is that they are truly unlimited in scope. Regardless of if you are about to set goals, in the process of achieving goals, or are trying to overcome a troubling situation or emotional state, there are questions that can assist you along the way:
- What Questions: You can ask What Questions to get in touch with your deepest desires, focus your attention in the present moment, and cultivate life-affirming personal qualities within yourself. For example, you can determine your deepest desires by first asking “What do I truly want?” or “What will make me happy?” and then analyzing how goals at the ego-driven brain level or different from the desires at the level of the heart. If you want to become more focused during the achievement process, you may want to ask “What can I do today that will bring me closer towards achieving my goal?” To cultivate positive feelings and emotions, you can ask questions such as, “What am I grateful for?” or “What am I excited about in life?”
- Why Questions: Without having the right reasons to achieve a desired outcome or change a particular behavior, it will remain challenging to succeed in your endeavors. By asking Why Questions, you can increase your motivation and determination. If you are in the process of achieving a particularly challenging goal, it will be vitally important to consistently remind yourself of why it is important to succeed. You can do this by asking yourself “Why is it so important that I achieve this goal?” on a daily basis.
- How Questions: To truly access the creative resources that are unquestionably within yourself, you can ask yourself How Questions. If you are just starting out on the achievement process, you can ask yourself “How can I accomplish this objective?” and determine the necessary steps that you will need to take. You can also find more effective means for doing practically anything by asking How Questions. You may want to ask, “How can I do this better?” or “How can I utilize my time more efficiently?” Furthermore, How Questions such as “How can I use this to my advantage?” can help you overcome the setbacks and obstacles that you are faced with.
- Who Questions: In the world of spirituality, there is one all-important question that can help you differentiate your ego from your true self and in the process move towards living with more fulfillment and happiness. In our estimation, if there is one question that you should be asking yourself on an everyday basis, it is the question “Who Am I?” By asking this question you can discover who you are at the deepest levels of your being, uncover your deepest desires, and begin to focus on the objectives that will bring you true happiness.
Using Conscious Questions for Growth:
One useful analogy that we can use as a comparison to the process of using conscious questions as a personal development tool is that of a farmer planting a garden. In this analogy, your true self is the farmer, the conscious questions are the seeds of fruits and vegetables, and the process of asking the questions on a regular basis resembles the watering and cultivation process. Just as a farmer is rewarded for meticulously tending to his garden, you will be rewarded for spending the time to consciously think about the answers to particular questions that you have.
If you have not yet formed the habit of asking yourself conscious questions, you can start the process by creating three to five questions that are geared towards increasing your levels of success and happiness. Since the truth of intention and attention tells us that we need to focus our attention precisely on what we want, it is important for you not to ask yourself an abundance of conscious questions at once.
After you have constructed your questions in a life-affirming way, you can then ask yourself the questions and ponder different solutions for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning and evening. If you don’t have time to ask your questions in both the morning and evening, you should start by asking them once a day.
It is certain that by asking conscious questions you will find solutions to the problems you are faced with, so the last step that you will have to take is to act upon the information you receive from your internal exploration. Without taking action, your conscious questions will be unable to produce the outcomes that you desire. Remember what David Packard told us, “Take risks. Ask big questions. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; if you don’t make mistakes, you’re not reaching far enough.”