Benjamin Franklin is distinguished not only by the fact that his face was printed on $100 bills, but also by starting and ending his days by asking himself powerful questions. Benjamin would get up early at sunrise every morning, and his day would start with the question: “What good can I do today?”
Then, after answering to this question, after a short breakfast, he would go to work, study, write, think, and at the end of the day, before going to bed, he would ask himself another question: “What good have I done today?”
Moreover, no matter what day of the week, whether it be the weekend, winter, or summertime, this part of his daily schedule never changed. Benjamin’s daily schedule was really tight. He would question his morning’s direction, daytime work, and then second-question himself to evaluate his work. He would then sleep, and his next day’s activities would be a repeat of the previous day’s activities.
Benjamin Franklin is still respected. His daily schedule helped him achieve goals, dreams, shape his personality. Therefore, if you were to ask him how he achieved his goals or changed his mindset, he would smile and respond: “Dear, the best way to shift your mindset is to ask yourself questions.”
We rarely meet people in life who tell us how important it is to ask ourselves questions, as Benjamin did. We do not see any benefits in these activities, so we do not practice them. There are reasons for this.
Why people don’t like talking to themselves
For many, talking to yourself seems like a boring activity. Watching TV is so much more pleasant. It is believed that talking to yourself does not add much value. But studies have shown that answers have a big impact on changing personality. The ability to do so is an innate gift without which we could not improve. That’s why questions are used by all prominent psychologists who work with patients. Look around, questions are used in each office, each family and even in our personal lives. Therefore, successful people spend a lot of time answering the most important questions for themselves. After all, a person cannot change if he asks himself the same questions and answers them in the same way as before.
What are the benefits of answering questions:
1. Questions shape your personality and mindset
Questions create new, more flexible models in the brain that use a wider range of information. The more patterns and templates are created, the easier it is to find better and greater solutions. When problems arise, the brain chooses the most optimal option among several possible options, rather than sticking to an old and possibly no longer working pattern. Through questions and answers, children learn cause and effect and, most importantly, understand the meaning of words.
2. Questions help you open your mind, and rise above the standard mindset
The more flexible your brain is, the more varied information it can absorb, allowing you to see different perspectives and, most importantly, become less biased and limited.
3. Frequent answers to questions make us faster
Have you met someone who is slow moving? Often, such people are quite slow to answer questions. It’s all related. The more you ask the same questions, the faster you answer them. When you are capable of answering the question “what can I do today for my dream?” in a second, your daily plans become very clear, and you no longer stop in the middle of the intersection, which gives you the strength to move faster. It changes your character and affects your temperament.
4. By asking the right questions, we create true happiness and peace
We know what a sense of peace and harmony is, but not everyone takes the time to understand what causes these feelings. As we begin to ask deeper and more profound questions about these important topics, we begin to understand more how we feel these feelings. Believe me, if you answer your happiness-related questions every day, you will automatically want to smile. Because as you work on your character, you’ll know that you are taking time for yourself. You will be proud of yourself.
5. You develop creativity and learn to change perspectives
Do you know how important it is to look at questions from a different perspective? By undertaking this task, you develop your imagination and learn to look at life from different perspectives—“What if I do it differently than before?”
“The greatest tragedy for any human being is going through their entire lives believing the only perspective that matters is their own.” – Doug Baldwin
6. You can come to terms with inner critics and learn to properly accept external criticism
The online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted in October, found 31 percent of Americans have been bullied as an adult. Unfortunately, it has to be admitted that sometimes internal critics get involved in bullying—yourself, your thoughts, your beliefs. Some internal critics blame themselves for external appearance. Others blame themselves for bad life results. Therefore, you need to communicate with your inner critic and learn to properly accept external criticism.
Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself Regularly
We just discussed the pros, benefits and advantages of asking questions, so now it’s only logical to talk about the strongest points that have the greatest impact on self-development.
There are many such questions. Some of the questions you ask sound simple enough, but they are actually profound. For example: “What does happiness mean to you?”, “Can you feel good even when you have everyday problems?”, “Is there something you do every day to achieve your dreams?”
Recalling the questions asked by Benjamin Franklin, which we discussed above, is also worthwhile.
Other questions are more complex: “What is the most important thing in your life?”
For example, my good friend Daniel likes to answer questions too. I will share his thoughts:
Every morning when the alarm clock rings at 7:00 am, saying “good morning, sunshine,” I ask myself: what kind of life do I want to live? This question makes me get up in the morning with the greatest energy because I know what I have to do to make my day amazing. I know that if I don’t move, if I stay in bed pressing the snooze button, I will miss out on amazing moments. This kind of thinking tosses me out of bed! Other questions that I ask myself throughout the day:
In the morning:
- What is most important, and what should I do today?
Throughout the day:
- Why do I feel like I do?
- Can I feel better no matter what happens or what I do?
In the evening:
- What was good about my day?
- What have I learned?
- What needs to be improved?
- What’s holding me back?
- How will I improve it?