Quality Questions spark Quality Conversations and Thoughts
I read recently that the quality of the question you ask yourself, directly impacts the quality of the thoughts you will think repeatedly afterwards. Makes sense. For example, when you ask yourself,
"Why does this always happen to me?
What's wrong with me?
Why does he/she always get what he/she wants?"
You are setting yourself up for a negative spin. The questions themselves are already pointing at a self-defeating answer.
Pay attention to the questions you ask yourself, and practice switching up the words you use to set yourself up for growth and progress. For example,
"What is this consistent trend I am seeing in my life trying to teach me?
What is my fear pointing at that needs to heal in my life?
What can I learn from my struggle today?"
These questions can be posed in place of the ones above, but they convey a sense of calm and curiosity to learn, and to not be the victim.
I was reminded of the beauty of quality questions after a yoga class I taught last week. This particular class is held in the Student Support Center at SAIT, and generally there are 1-5 people who attend. Last week, there was one student who came to practice and he is someone who has been coming pretty consistently since I started teaching in this space 8 months ago.
We had a great practice together and he stopped me a few times to ask me questions throughout the class, which I love! He is a very inquisitive fellow and has a genuine thirst for understanding as much as he can.
After class, I wandered down the hall to sit with my notebook and get some work done before I left campus to my next appointment. The student from yoga class came over to me a few minutes later and thanked me again for class, and then asked if he could ask me a few questions. Below is our conversation, as I wrote it down as soon as he walked away. I was floored by his curiosity and the quality of the questions he asked. It sparked a deeper inquiry on my part, and my hope is that these same questions can spark some time for you putting pen to paper as well.
Student: How do you find and stay motivated with just one person in your class?
Me: I have had several classes with only one person, and several classes or workshops where no one shows up, so I have had practice. What I realized is that a big part of the motivation is found in the tone I use when I say how many people are registered or who show up. If I say "Only 1 person showed up", I can feel defeated and unimportant. But if I say, "Wow, 1 person is here to learn and practice with me when they could be doing anything else with their time", suddenly I feel connected and energized. I feel grateful and excited to share my passion and love with anyone and everyone. If I can support and love up one person, I don't see that as any less valuable than 5 or 10 or 20. Making a positive impact on one person's life fuels and motivates me.
Student: What do you think of the Law of Attraction? Do you practice it?
Me: I focus on my energy. I know how I want to feel, how I want to show up, how I want to react, and explore, and I know I am responsible for my effort in being mindful, open, and receptive. It just so happens, that showing up this way attracts more people like that into my life. I strive to manifest what I want and desire, but I also surrender to what is and remind myself that I can't control the outcome, I can only control my effort.
Student: One more questions, I notice you are really good at holding eye contact. In my culture, it is common to look away from the person you are talking to, especially when you are trying to explain something as you visualize it. This is something I am trying to get better at.
What is your Mindset in your ability to hold eye contact while engaging with someone?
Me: I want connection! The conversation I am having, and the potential growth that comes from that, is only possible because of the person I am engaging with. I want that exchange of energy, that real and vulnerable connection that allows me to be fully seen and accepted as I fully see and accept who I am connecting with.
And that was it. He thanked me and we went our separate ways. It has been such a pleasure to get to know this man during the last few months, and I am excited to be a part of his growth and journey towards the big goals he has set for himself.
Just another example of the power of showing up, of leading by example, of being open and honest and receptive to conversations and connections, and to pay attention to the quality of words you use with yourself and with others. You create a ripple effect. What impact are you making today?