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Boost Your Bottom Line by Asking Powerful Questions

By Kathy Paauw

"He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers."

-African Proverb

Powerful questions yield powerful answers. Here's an example...

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My beloved grandson, the battle inside every person is between two wolves. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, false pride, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee gently grasped the boy's shoulder and replied, "The one you feed."

Are you getting the results you want in your life? Do the questions you ask get to the bottom line?

Last December I wrote an article called The Power of Personal Accountability. In the article, I mentioned that asking the right questions can help us find the right answers. After publishing this article, one of my subscribers -- Lee Wise -- sent me a list of powerful inquiries he wrote. Lee has graciously given me permission to share them with you.

There is great power in asking a good question, especially when asked in the form of an inquiry. (An inquiry is a question you ask over and over, that does not necessarily have one "right" answer.) The potential for meaningful change may lie before you in the form of your own seriously considered answer to a selected question. Any one response to any of these questions can have a powerful impact on your life.

Here are Lee's questions...


(Asking Just The Right Question To Get Just What You Desire)

© Lee Wise All rights reserved.

What one small thing is holding me back from doing my best today?

What one small thing is hindering me from becoming the person I be could be today in one area of my life?

What action could I take today to brighten someone's world? (Key: make it simple, doable, and even fun!)

How can I double my value as a ___________ this year? *As a... husband, father, employee, friend, etc. Suggestion: ask this question many, many times.

Where should I influence my world in a positive way?

Are negative thinking patterns eating away my potential in any area of my life -- no matter how small?

Am I saying "I can't" when I should be saying "I can" or "I must!" anywhere in my life?

My greatest area of tension at work or home right now is ____. How could I improve just 10% in this area?

What positive discipline have I let slip lately? What price am I paying for this slip?

Where can I, or should I, make a positive difference?

If I took a thirty second "happy memory break" right now, what would I remember?

How can I schedule a small break in my life -- just enough to be refreshed and recharged a bit?

What untapped potential could I bring to my world?

Am I learning what I need to learn?

Are my associations making me or breaking me?

Who is challenging me or inspiring me right now? Who could?

Should I procrastinate on anything, or set aside anything, that is not important for what is most important?

Is there anything I should stop doing?

Am I out of balance anywhere in terms of striving to perform? Am I seeking a standard of excellence in the right way, for the right reasons?

Use these strategies to get the best results...

Pay attention to your initial feelings about an inquiry you read.

Should you notice a "first impression answer" that ushers in a sense of excitement, challenge -- or a deep sense of "I should do this" -- be sure to slow down your internal speed of life and park there a moment or two.

Repeating a question over and over sets in motion an on-going search to discover just the right answer for you.

Consider recording your thoughts in a journal.

Enjoy the process!

For additional reading about the power of asking the right questions, visit our article The Power of Personal Accountability at the link below.

Copyright 2005 Kathy Paauw

About The Author

Kathy Paauw

Wouldn't you love to stumble upon a secret library of ideas to help you de-clutter your life so you can focus on what's most important? Kathy Paauw offers simple, yet powerful ideas, on how to manage your time, space, and thoughts for a more productive and fulfilling life. Visit


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