How questions influence the quality of our life and service
SB 1.2.5 Verse / O sages, I have been justly questioned by you. Your questions are worthy because they relate to Lord Krsna and so are of relevance to the worlds welfare. Only questions of this sort are capable of completely satisfying the self. Purport / Satisfaction of the soul can only be obtained by questions and answers on the subject of Krsna.
athato brahma jijnasa One should inquire into the Supreme Now one should inquire about Brahman He inquires about the real value of life, which is called brahma jijnasa In the human form of life one should put many questions to himself and to his intelligence In the human form of life the living entity must inquire about his spiritual identity
athato brahma jijnasa human life is meant for understanding the ultimate cause one should inquire about the Supreme Soul must inquire about his constitutional position one must try to inquire about lifes goal Now let us begin to inquire about the Supreme Absolute Truth
ARJUNA’S QUESTIONS BG 1.32-35: O Govinda, of what avail to us are a kingdom, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed on this battlefield? O Madhusudana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, why should I wish to kill them, even though they might otherwise kill me?
Inquire Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth. BG 4.34
SRIMAD BHAGAVATAMQUESTIONS BY THE SAGES1. What is the ultimate good for people in general?2. What is the essence of all scriptures?3. What is the reason for Krsnas appearance in this world?4. In what way is Lord taking part in creating, maintaining and annihilating creations?5. Please describe different activities of different incarnations of the Lord!6. Where has dharma took shelter after Krsnas disappearance from this world?
THE PURPOSE OF ASKINGQUESTIONS 1. Understand the devotee well 2. Help them understand themselves 3. Clarify what they want 4. Discover new options, opportunities, possibilities and advantages 5. Identify and remove obstacles 6. Make an action plan 7. Take action
WHY QUESTIONS? Great results start with great questions Questions > Thinking > Action > Results Quality of questions influences quality of life
WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK? What questions we want to ask? What questions should we ask? What questions are we avoiding? What questions will benefit this person the most?
TYPES Open-ended and closed-ended Questions for yourself Questions for others Solution-focused Problem-focused Appreciative inquiry
POWER OF A RIGHT QUESTION The question that saved concentration camp prisoner’s life.
EINSTEIN “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
INTELLIGENT QUESTIONS Who am I? Why am I suffering? Why do I have to die? What happens after death? How can I become happy? Why are some people more successful than others? What do I want to be, do and have?
DEVOTEE QUESTIONS How can I please Krsna? How can I please Srila Prabhupada? How can I please my spiritual master? How can I please the devotees? How can I serve them? When will that day come ... ? (kabe habe bolo)
BENEFITS Clarity Focus Intelligence Expanding possibilities Wisdom Connection with the Supersoul
EXCELLENT QUESTIONS What one thing, if you would do superbly well everyday, would make the greatest positive difference in your life? (question about personal habits / best practices) What can you learn from this? How can you turn this problem into an opportunity? What and who inspires you the most? Are you ready to pay the price?
EXCELLENT QUESTIONS What are your strengths, talents, skills, good qualities? What do you want? What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail? (question about an exciting goal) What I am grateful for?
EXCELLENT QUESTIONS Whats great about this problem? What can I learn from this? How can I improve in every area of my life? What can I give today? How can I serve today? What one thing, if you would do superbly well every single day, would have a greatest positive impact on your life (or on any particular area)?
EXCELLENT QUESTIONS What do you want to have in your life - excuses or results? What can I do better today than I have done yesterday? If not you - who? If not now - when? Do you spend time or invest time? What has to happen for you to feel ... successful, happy, loved, fulfilled, love? What are your rules or conditions for happiness?
COUNTERPRODUCTIVE QUESTIONS Why are you so bad? Why you don’t understand what’s good for you? When are you going to change / shape up / grow up? How could you do such a thing?
EXERCISE Pair up and help each other discover 3 questions that will change the quality of life
Question Thinking is a system of tools for transforming thinking, action, and results through skillful question asking—questions we ask ourselves as well as those we ask others.
Great results begin with great questions A question not asked is a door not opened Self-questions and interpersonal questions Problem-oriented or solution-oriented Judger or Learner
EXERCISES1. What questions are you aksing yourself daily? What questions produce what results?2. Change thought-statement into question and see the effect
Judger Questions Whats wrong? Whos to blame? How can I prove Im right? How can I protect my turf? How can I be in control? How could I lose? How could I get hurt? Why is that person so clueless? Why bother?
Learner Questions What works? What am I responsible for? What are the facts? Whats the big picture? What are my choices? Whats useful about this? What can I learn? What is the other person feeling, needing, wanting? Whats possible?
Learner/Judger ChartJudger Mindsets Learner MindsetsJudgmental (of self and/or others Accepting (of self and others)Reactive and automatic Responsive and thoughtfulKnow-it-already Values not-knowingInflexible and rigid Flexible and adaptivEither/or thinking Both/and thinkingSelf-righteous InquisitiveAfraid of difference Values differencePersonal perspective only Considers perspectives of othersDefends assumptions Questions assumptionsPossibilities seen as limited Possibilities seen as unlimitedPrimary mood: protective Primary mood: curious We all have both mindsets, and we have the power to choose where we operate from in any momen
Learner/Judger Chart RelationshipsJudger LearnerWin-lose relationships Win-win relationshipsFeels separate from others Feels connected with othersFears differences Values differencesDebates DialoguesCriticizes CritiquesListens for: right/wrong, Listens for: facts, understanding,agree/disagree, differnces commonalitiesFeedback perceived as rejection Feedback perceived as worthwhileSeeks to attack or defend Seeks to resolve and create We all relate from both mindsets, and we have the power to choose how we relate in any moment
A-B-C-C Choice Process A – Aware: Am I in a judger ? B – Breathe: Do I need to step back, pause, and look at this situation more objectively? C – Curiosity: Do I have all the facts? What’s happening here? C – Choose: What’s my choice?
Judger Questions Who’s to blame? How can I be in control? What’s wrong with me? Why are they so clueless Why am I such a failure and frustrating? How could I lose? How did I get stuck with How can I prove I’m the worst team? right? Why bother?
Switching Questions Am I in Judger? Where would I rather be? How can I get there? What are the facts? How else can I think about this? What assumptions am I making? Is this what I want to feel?
Switching Questions Is this what I want to be doing? What am I missing or avoiding? How can I be more objective and honest? What is the other person thinking, feeling, needing, and wanting? What humor can I ﬁnd in this situation? What’s my choice right now?
Learner Questions What happened? What’s useful about this? What do I want? What can I learn? What is the other person thinking, feeling, needing, and wanting? How can this be a win-win? What’s possible? What are my choices? What’s best to do now?”
TIPS Accept Judger, practice Learner Curiosity: Fast track to Learner
The Top 12 Questions for Change 1.What do I want? 8.What can I learn 2.What are my choices? . . . from this person or 3.What assumptions am situation? I making? . . . from this mistake or 4.What am I responsible failure? for? . . . from this success? 5.How else can I think 9.What questions should about this? I ask (myself and/or 6.What is the other others?) person thinking, feeling, 10.What action steps needing, and wanting? make the most sense? 7.What am I missing or 11.How can I turn this avoiding? into a win-win? 12.What is possible?
The 10 Tools of Question Thinking Tool 1. Empower Your Observer Tool 2. Use the Choice Map as a Guide Tool 3. Put the Power of Questions to Work Tool 4. Distinguish Learner and Judger Mindsets and Questions Tool 5. Make Friends with Judger Tool 6. Question Assumptions Tool 7. Take Advantage of Switching Questions Tool 8. Create Learner Teams Tool 9. Create Breakthroughs with Q-Storming® Tool 10. Ask the Top Twelve Questions for Success
What will you choose? Judger Learner Create your own favorite questions?
Krsna Questions What is the most Krsna conscious thing to do in this situation? How can I see this through the eyes of sastra? What would please Krsna here? What would Prabhupada do in this situation? What would I do now if Prabhupada was watching? What is the spiritual test that I have to pass here? What can I learn from this that will help me be more Krsna conscious? How is this an opportunity to surrender to Krsna?