The phrase that is used in the industry is known as a presupposition. A presupposition is something that is assumed in advance.
So for us to be able to ask good quality questions, we’ve got to be consciously thinking, what does this question presuppose?
As an example, let’s say a person asks himself the question, ‘why do I always get sick?’
So what does that presuppose about the person? For you to even entertain the question, what has to be true?
What has to be true is that…
- You’re always sick.
- You get sick very easily.
So the question presupposes that you have a tendency of getting sick. And by asking this question, your brain already fires up attention and places it on getting sick.
I’ll give you another example. Let’s say someone is asking themselves, how will we end this war? The presupposition is that they’re at war and that a war is taking place.
So if you’re walking around asking yourself, ‘How am I going to end this war?’, it causes the brain to focus on the existence of war.
Mother Teresa was once invited to lead a walk against the Vietnam war, and she refused to do it. She said…
“I will never attend an anti-war rally. If you have a peace rally, invite me.”
So it’s important to realise that we’ve got to focus on the right things. And unfortunately, people ask themselves all sorts of questions that causes the brain to pay attention to the wrong thing.
Let’s do a little exercise…
So when I first got exposed to the coaching industry, I realised a large portion of a client’s success is based on the quality of questions you ask the client.
Now, if you happen to be your own best client, you’ve got to really start thinking about the questions that you ask yourself on a daily basis.
So do a little exercise with me because I want to prove to you that your brain can only entertain one specific type of feeling at a time.
I want you to choose one of your legs, either your left or right leg. It doesn’t matter.
Now whichever leg you picked, with the same hand as the leg, stroke the knee of your chosen leg with all the love you have in your body.
Feel the most overwhelming sense of love in your body and then stroke your knee with all of that love.
Now stop and put your focus on the opposite leg. I want you to get all the HATRED, ANGER, RESENTMENT and DISGUST that you have in your body, and I want to stamp your foot on the ground with all the hatred that you can muster!
And now, what I’d like you to do is go ahead and stroke the knee with all the love, and at the same time, I want you to stamp the ground with all the anger that you can muster.
You and I are going to both agree it’s impossible.
And that’s because the neurons in your brain are binary. They’re either on or off. So you cannot tell a set of neurons to go ahead and activate all the neurochemicals of love and fire those while simultaneously activating all the neurochemicals of anger.
To create the biochemical experience of love, you have to activate your mind’s ‘pharmacy’ to produce this chemistry. While your pharmacy is filling the script on love, it cannot fill the script of anger at the same time.
So if you get your brain to entirely focus on what you want, on the results that you want to achieve, and place your attention only on your goals and nothing else, you’ll start to make different decisions, take different actions and get different results.
Now, where is all this leading? It’s leading to a piece of evidence that shows you the power of the questions you ask yourself.
Is there really any truth to the fact that the quality of your questions actually impacts the quality of your life?
Let’s find out…
In this exercise, close your eyes, tune in and just ask yourself, ‘What’s my current level of energy out of 10?’, where 10 is FULL of energy and 1 is flat as a tack.
Close your eyes and ask yourself this question and listen to your body. It will give you a number.
Once you got a number, great. Now we’re going to see if repeating a question over and over can influence your energy level. And whatever your body feels like doing because of this question that you’re about to ask yourself, LET IT DO IT.
So now, with your eyes closed, ask yourself this question out loud as many times as you can, “How many ways can I continue to enjoy this laughter?” and do it for about 30 seconds.
Now score your energy again out of 10. I’ll bet you’ll find that your score has increased.
So why did you get an increase in energy? It’s because of the presupposition of the question.
Here’s what happened inside your body…
So at the beginning of this exercise, we closed our eyes, we scored ourselves out of 10 and let’s say you gave yourself a 6.
Then with your eyes closed, we asked a question that presupposed something was happening, but it wasn’t happening. So we closed our eyes and said, “How many ways can I continue to enjoy this laughter?”
But your logical brain says, ‘We’re not laughing. What are you talking about?’
But you ask it again, “How many ways can I continue to enjoy this laughter?”
And the logical mind says, ‘But we’re not laughing. What are you doing?’
But you ask it again, and because you’re asking it again and again, pretty soon your pharmacy says, why do we keep getting this script that tells us we’re laughing? We’re not laughing! But you keep insisting, so we MUST be laughing!
So now your brain will get you to smile or giggle, and to do that, your body has to flood your nervous system with a bucket load of chemicals that override your entire system.
Laughing is a full-body response to a chemical reaction in the body. It’s so intense it causes the abs to pulsate.
So just off a presupposition of one question, you produced such an intense chemical reaction that your abdomen muscles reacted to it, and that’s because you persisted with a presupposition.
So it’s important to realise that any question you ask yourself has a biochemical response to your body. And if you ask it long enough, it has the ability to make you healthy or to make you unhealthy.
Can you imagine the chemical impact in a person’s body if they walked around for 10 years of their life constantly saying to themselves…
Why am I such a loser?
Why am I so stupid?
Why doesn’t anyone ever love me?
Why do I always get it wrong?
Can you imagine the compounding effect these negative thoughts have in the body if we can get your abs to contract with just one question and 30 seconds?
The quality of questions directly impacts your vibration…
So we can now understand that what we presuppose in our questions is critically important to how we feel about anything.
My advice is to be more conscious about the questions you ask yourself. Also, start to be more conscious about your word selection.
Instead of asking, ‘How can I get out of debt?’, you might want to ask the question, “How many ways can I build an even greater passive income stream today?”
“How many ways can I look for even better investment opportunities?”
“How many ways can I develop multiple income streams today?”
These are significantly higher-quality questions than how can I get out of debt.
It’s not that we’re pretending that we’re not in debt. Instead, we’re causing the brain to come up with higher quality solutions because our questions are of a much higher quality.
So if you’re going to ask yourself anything from this point onwards, make sure they’re high quality.
If you’d like to know more about how to start transforming your life into a life that you desire, I’d like to invite you to a free Zoom event, “Reset Your Mindset”. Click here for all the details, and I look forward to seeing you at the event!