Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
– Matthew 7:7
Today’s reading was primarily about asking questions as a way to concentrate or change our focus. The idea behind this is that to some extent all of our thinking is based on questions. What should I wear today? Am I hungry right now? Can I turn right before that car will hit me? One of the most interesting things Robbins wrote about was the ability our questions have to change what we are ignoring. Because our brains can only be consciously aware of a few things at a time they are constantly engaged in ignoring inputs that we think are unimportant. A great example of this is that when you sleep in a new place for the first time you rarely sleep as well as you do in your own home. This is due to the fact that your brain is unsure which new stimuli (sounds, smells, noises) are important and which aren’t. Asking questions such as “what am I excited about in my life” or “what am I grateful about in my life” place your brain’s focus on those areas and consequently you ignore the opposite questions of “what is boring in my life” and “what do I wish wasn’t happening in my life”.
Thinking about the power that questions have eventually led me to what I think is one of the most basic questions – why. Whenever I hear the question “why” I am reminded that this is the question David Bednar links to the highest level of truth – doctrine. One of my favorite quotes from Boyd K. Packer, a prominent member of my church, is that “The study of doctrines… will improve behavior quicker that a study of behavior will improve behavior…”. While this quote is focused on religion, it concisely states my beliefs on how important it is to be aware of the questions we ask ourselves. Remember from Belief Part 3 that doctrines answer the question why? If I am able to accurately recognize the answers I am getting – the doctrine or conviction – I can then reverse engineer the question that brought me to that point. If that question is not a productive one I can change it, thus changing my view of the problem and my behavior regarding it.
If we do not make an effort to monitor the questions we are asking ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, we will be prone to experiencing emotional Niagara Syndrome. I very strongly believe the quote at the beginning of this post, I know that in my life I am always able to find some answer to the questions I ask – even if that answer is ridiculous. If I ask how I can possibly accomplish everything I need to do in a day, the answer usually comes back that I can’t. If instead, I ask how I can most efficiently complete those same tasks I am immediately in a more positive state find that effective method.
I hope this post isn’t too dry or theoretical. I don’t have any inspirational stories to go with many of the ideas I am writing about because they are still new ideas to me. I am implementing them into my life as you read this blog. Thanks for walking along this sometimes bumpy road with me.
What Have I Learned Today?
I was reminded of how wonderful it feels to sit down to a meal after hard work.
What did I contribute or improve?
I continued my study of how the word change is used in the Bible.
What did I enjoy?
I enjoyed getting my wife’s feedback on my last few blog posts.