Are You Asking the Right Questions?
An interesting thing about the brain is the way it likes to solve problems. I may be oversimplifying it a little to say it this way, but as I understand it, it’s all about survival. The brain is wired to keep us alive and is always on the look-out for problems. One of the things which alerts the brain to a problem is a question.
When we ask a question, our brain goes crazy, immediately mobilizing its resources to find the answer. It’s a problem-solving machine – brilliant at providing answers based on what it already knows. This means it uses association to find answers; it starts with the known to decode the unknown. That’s why we need to be so careful about which questions we are asking.
Say I’m feeling a bit “down” and I wonder; Why am I feeling “down”? Suddenly, I’m seeing reasons for feeling “down”; that odd look that person gave me, that critical comment someone made, a worry for a friend in the hospital. After a while I’m feeling worse than I felt before I asked the question and it’s all my brain’s fault!
Not quite. My brain was just doing my bidding. I sent it on an assignment, but it was the wrong assignment. I asked the wrong question.
I was wondering about this the other day; what if I asked different questions? What if I asked; Why am I so lucky? Why do things always work out for me? How did I get such a great family, friends, career? I’m feeling kind of “up”. Why? What would happen then?
Are we asking why life is such a struggle, or why life is such a great adventure? Are we charging our brains with the task of finding data to prove the world is a good place or that it is a terrible place? Either way, the answers come.
Do you ever notice a day spinning out of control because you were focusing on something that was bad in your life rather than on something that was good? What questions are you asking about your life?
photo credit: Dennis Hill