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double the quality of your life – what wouldn’t happen if you didn’t?

January 10, 2012

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask.children with hands raised to ask questions
Dr John Demartini

Would you like me to show you how you can double the quality of your life?  It isn’t that hard to do when you know the secret. So … here it is.

Most people only ask half the questions they need to.

Yep. That’s it.

That means that when trying to make a decision most people don’t have all the information they need. The result is poor quality decisions.

Take a quick example…

If you are considering a change in career path and you have an offer on the table from a prospective new employer the most common approach is to draw up a list of positives and negatives. The questions that sit behind that thinking often look like this:

  • What would happen if I take the new job and leave my current role?
  • What would happen if I don’t take the new job and stay in my current role?

That is a great way to start but it only gets you half the way there. You need to ask two more questions that at first look to be essentially the same questions but is not until you sit with them a while that you find that they are very different beasts indeed. Those questions are:

  • What wouldn’t happen if I take the new job and leave my current role?
  • What wouldn’t happen if I don’t take the new job and stay in my current role?

When you put it all together the questions look like this:

cartesian questions

To apply the grid, first ask yourself “What is important to me?” Is it family, money, the opportunity to contribute, the opportunity for career advancement, flexibility, learning new skills? That will help you identify the things that you value.

Then sit down with the grid and write something in each of the four quadrants for each of the areas that are important to you:

  • What wouldn’t happen in my career if I don’t take the new job and stay in my current role?
  • What wouldn’t happen in my family life if I did take the new job and leave my current role?
  • What would happen in my financial circumstances if I take the new job and leave my current role?
  • What would happen around learning new skills if I don’t take the new job and stay in my current role?

There will be one combination that you will find will be the hardest question to answer for each of the things that you value. It may be a different question from value to value but stay with it.

Write what you can and leave it for a day or two. Then come back and try to add some more.

When you feel like you are done sit down and look over the entire list.

It will contain all the things that you might gain or lose (there might not be too many surprises there) and it will contain future opportunities to start something that will be lost and opportunities to stop something that will be gained.

All the things that wouldn’t happen if you didn’t.

Twice the questions, twice the quality.

***

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