It requires a lot of intelligence to be wrong all the time.
As parents what type of conversations do you have with your children? Are you berating them all the time? Instead can you have a conversation with them at least once a week on what is good in them? Acknowledge the beauty in them and see the difference. Same goes with your spouse. Just a word of recognition and appreciation of a particular quality they have. Call it out.
What kind of questions should I ask myself?
Each one of you can do it for yourselves too. You don’t have to kick yourself black and blue for all the wrongs you do. Take some time out for yourself. Ask yourself what you are good at. Talk to yourself on how good you are. When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change. You are not a bag of weaknesses but you are a bundle of virtues.
You don’t have to go around overcoming each weakness of yours. But you can start exploring the beauty inside you, your virtues, and your goodness.
The Queue of Wrong Whys: Why does it always happen with me? What will they think of me? Why did I do this? And one why leads to the other.
Jealousy, anger, and depression they all start with the wrong question. What does she think of herself? Why don’t I have what he has? This leads to a downward spiral.
Curiosity leads to an upward spiral. How does the system work? What are the areas I need to improve on? What are the good things in me? What has he done to achieve all that he has today? Confidence, Harmony, empathy. All start with a right question.
Each of the negative things that you experience start with the wrong question. Each of the positive things you experience start with the right question.
Questions draw attention and wherever attention goes energy flows and wherever energy flows, life grows. If our attention is on wrong things as our questions may not be quite good.
Why don’t we ask better questions?
Some old attitudes that
- questioning means being impolite. Children don’t question elders.
- Accepting that you don’t know something means you are ignorant.
- Fear that others will ridicule you for not knowing
- Fear of criticism
- We are all rewarded for our answers. No place to ask interesting questions.
If you ask a child what is 2 + 9 and if he replies 12 what is your response? There is a spontaneous reaction that this is wrong. Seeing your reaction the child may not open up again or ask another question. Instead if you politely ask the child ‘OK, can you explain’. By doing this you acknowledged the kid’s effort to give an answer and then explore and teach.
Humberto Maturana, a very famous Chilean biologist was asked how did he become such a great scientist. He said I studied in a school where 50 percent of the marks were given for the kinds of questions the students asked not for the answers we gave.
Asking questions means there is a desire to understand things further. Thinking is not driven by answers. It is driven by questions. The minute you get an answer you stop thinking. It’s a question that always stimulates thinking.
How does meditation help?
Quality of life depends on the quality of decisions you make. And quality of decisions depends on quality of questions asked. Quality of questions depends on the quality of thinking. Meditation helps improve the quality of thinking.
Meditation is sitting back and reminding the self about your inner beauty, your inner treasure.
Relationship between meditation and questions
Deep and significant learning happens only as a result of reflection. Reflection is not possible without a question. Great sages, scientists and leaders always spent time reflecting on themselves and on situations. Reflecting on questions. Whether the question is from an external or internal source that deep reflection causes the significant learning. It helps to create the space to evaluate various alternatives dispassionately. It improves your ability to appreciate and accept.
When you meditate it helps develop non-judgmental awareness and improve your decision making. Become non-judgemental, don’t get carried away, detach yourself from the situation. Focus on the facts of the situation and not on the story you are telling yourself about the facts. When the focus is on the story you get upset. When the focus is on facts you think about better solutions. This non-judgmental awareness helps you to shift your focus from the story you are telling yourself to the fact in the situation.
Meditation helps you to let go. When you fail it helps you accept that you failed but also helps you understand that you are not a failure. You can always learn and improve.
Meditation helps you take control of yourself. Take charge of your inner self before becoming an incharge at your work place.
In your pursuit of asking wrong questions that what more do you need, you forget what you already have. Take some time to ask yourself – what are the ten things that I feel grateful for in my life right now?
The quality of your life is directly proportional to the quality of questions you ask yourself. Now ask yourself – what would I do differently at work/home if I knew I couldn’t fail or be criticized.
Whether you are aware or not, you are constantly asking questions to yourselves. So if you want to change your life change your questions. That is where it begins.