Questions versus Statements - What??


You know those days when nothing seems to be going your way?  If you're like most people, on days like that, you tend to say one negative thing after another. And you don't feel any better. Things like.  "I hate my life." or "I'll never be able to....(fill in the blank)"

So if you're having a bad day, what can you do?

Ask yourself a good question instead of making a statement.  Statements are dead ends.  They say their message but don't give you any answers. You say them and you feel terrible.  End of story.

But ask yourself a good question instead, and everything begins to change. 

What's a bad question?  Something like "Why does always happen to me?"
What's a  better question?  "What can I do to make sure this doesn't happen to me again?"

Let me give you an example of what I mean about statements versus questions.

I used to teach in a classroom that was used by everyone (detention, driver's ed, night school) and all the shelves in the room were full of stuff that didn't belong to me or my students.

Every day I'd walk in, look at the shelf and say something like, "What a mess!" Then there was the day that instead of my usual comment, I asked myself a question. "What could I do to improve the way that looks?" All of a sudden my brain was flooded with possibilities.  Put baskets!  Add color!  Organize with neat boxes!  I was able to change those shelves so that they were much improved.

Is it that easy? Are solutions that readily available. 

Yes…it is and they are.  If you ask in question form.   Instead of making a negative statement about something, turn it into a question. Statements are dead ends.  Often they’re negative dead ends that make us feel terrible. Questions are possibilities and the amazing thing is that when you ask yourself a good question, your brain comes up with all sorts of answers!

Here are a few scenarios where you could use this strategy:

*  You're not happy with a certain room of your house

* Feeling overwhelmed in school

How can you change the negative situations in your life by asking yourself a good question??  And what questions can you ask yourself? 

Here are some of our favorites from the teens in Strategies class.
1.  What am I grateful for?
2.  What made me smile today?
3.  What cool thing is going to happen today?

Asking questions opens the door to our minds.
What questions are you asking yourself?  Are they improving your day or adding to your daily stress?

 It's up to you.  You get to choose...and that's a good thing!




Marianne's Story

I had a meeting this evening that ended with us talking about questions and how important they are.  Now that might sound like a strange topic but questions really do guide our thoughts and our lives. How?  Good question!

1They determine the direction that the conversation is moving toward. Ask a question and everyone in the vicinity is now thinking about the answer.

2 They place limits on information. For example, if you ask a little kids how their day in  school went, you often get "Fine" or "Good." Ask them a more open ended question and you get a more detailed answer.

Sometimes we don't ask enough.  One of the people at the meeting lost his cell phone this week and asked the provider if he could get a free replacement.  They said he couldn't.

Someone else at the meeting said he didn't ask enough.  He might have asked what he had to do to get a free one which might only have involved extending his contract for another year.

3.  They determine our mood.  Ask yourself a question like, "Why does everything always happen to me?" or what I consider one of the worst questions to ask yourself, "What else could go wrong?"

The funny or not so funny thing about these
questions is that our brain answers them. Do you really want to know the answer to why everything always happens to you or what else
could go wrong?








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