Your Next Question

There’s always a next question. Your next question.

And it’s often the question you ask after a less-than-desirable event, outcome or experience that will be life-shaping if not, life-changing. At the very least, it will influence your mood, focus, energy, decision making and the likelihood of you moving forward in a positive and productive way. From a ‘building your best life’ perspective, clearly there are better and worse questions to ask.

Some people are problem focused: Why does bad stuff always happen to me?
Some are full of self-pity: Why doesn’t anyone understand me?
Some are driven by ego: Don’t they understand how special I am?
Some are resentful: Why does she get all the attention and accolades?

The Why Behind the Why

When it comes to your questions and the impact they might have on your life, it’s the why behind the why that matters. Why are you asking that question? What’s your motive? Is it really about finding a solution, learning something, gaining insight and creating a better result or is it about something else? As a rule, better questions produce better decisions, behaviours and thankfully, better results.

When you ask great questions with great intent, you immediately change your state. From negative to positive. Hopeless to hopeful. Irrational to logical. Problem-obsessed to solution-focused. Self-pity to self-empowerment. Stagnation to momentum. Reactive to proactive.

Notice that none of the above questions (in grey) are asked from a perspective of humility, awareness or genuinely wanting to learn, grow and evolve. They all come out of some negative place. In short, not one question is solution-focused. When you look for problems and dramas, you will find them. In life, more often than not, your next question will determine where you focus your mind, energy and potential. It will also determine what you do with what you’ve been given.

So, what’s your next question?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

chebbieanne March 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Great article :) I did forget to ask the why behind the why.
I changed the details but not the source and the behaviours not the driving force. The goals were never the goals hence the journey became a circle.
My next question is therefore why do I want to change?


Dragon March 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm

To see how big your circle can be and be amazed at how much life can fill the void inside it.


chebbieanne March 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm

:) Good point Dragon thank you.


Katharine March 18, 2013 at 8:59 am

My next question??

What can I do about it? (whatever the ‘it’ may be at the time) I’ve finally learned to work on what I can control and to try and let go of the rest of it. Also, I have been amazed at the amount of support available to me if I am honest with what is happening. The moment I put up the facade I put a barrier between myself and those who can help me through it.


Lisa March 18, 2013 at 9:09 am

Fascinating. Thanks. Food for thought. I had to think ‘do I even ask questions’ because my take away from a less than desirable event is always a statement or decision. (Sh*t happens. Turn it into compost and grow something beautiful or useful from it.) But I do ask questions, lots of them, automatically, and answer them quickly. What am I gonna do about this? Be more intentional and take a little more time. I might come up with a more creative answer. :)


Jess March 18, 2013 at 9:11 am

Hi Craig, with regards my food:
Do I need it or do I just want it?


Anonymous March 18, 2013 at 9:14 am

Asking the right questions is probably a great way to try to gain perspective through your hard times. Good times!



Anonymous March 18, 2013 at 9:21 am

Craig – Thanks for the questions! As usual, very thought provoking and a great way to start the day. I will start each day by asking myself these questions.


Trish B March 18, 2013 at 9:50 am

Good one, Craig. Thanks for an inspiring start to the week!


Richard March 18, 2013 at 11:37 am

Asking better questions requires conscious thought. Sadly, most of us are on autopilot when it comes to thinking.


Jacky March 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Its excellent article. Thanks for sharing this. As I know that what questions you asked, will tend to what situation it is. So always focus on right question which is positive, then the life will go to positive.
The next question would be thinking a long time before asking it.


Brian Madigan March 19, 2013 at 5:21 am

Nice post Craig. One thing I also find helpful for people is if they start asking the questions after neutral or positive events as well. Gets us focused on learning and growing.


Gab March 19, 2013 at 8:47 am

Sometimes you make too much sense Mr Harper. It is impossible to make excuses. Thank you.


nicole lambert March 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

A conclusion with a question mark at the end of it isn’t a question.


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