I had just finished re-reading a book called “The Noticer” that was given to me by a friend a few years ago. It was a heart-warming story about a man named “Jones”, who seemed to show up in people’s lives when they needed some “perspective” on how to get past a current personal obstacle they were struggling with. One thing that stood out for me was the concept of getting a new perspective had a lot to do with asking better questions regarding their current circumstances. Quite often, unfortunately, the questions we ask ourselves about our current struggles do more to mire us deeper and deeper rather than offer solutions.
I recall one of the most powerful changes in “perspective” came to me from reading the seminal book titled “Power versus Force” written by Dr. David Hawkins. In the opening chapters, he stated two things which will forever change the way I think about the way I think. The first point that he made was that “man’s dilemma has been and always will be, is that he believes his mental artifacts to be reality”. Easier said, our main problem is that we believe that everything that flashes through our mind is true! How many random, sometimes disturbing thoughts, pop in your mind, and you either quickly shake them off or you dwell on them? I know I have done/do both. I have had ideas, foreboding ideas about my life and my future that I couldn’t shake for years, and I only overcame them with a change in perspective, which is the art of asking better questions.
The second point Dr. Hawkins (though he made many in this book) was that the “answers we receive from the questions we are asking are biased on the viewpoint of the questioner”. So again, easier said, the answers we are getting from our query on “should I do this”, or “should I do that”, have potential limitations based on the certainty of the one asking the questions on whether he or she believes there is a better possibility than the one they are experiencing. Still with me? If in our heart have no expectation of a life different than we are currently experiencing, then the questions we will be asking will be rooted in mistrust of our own judgement, lack of belief in anything but more of the same happening, and the answers we get will be filtered to give us only the answers we expect.
So, nothing new. “The Noticer” offered sage advice on many topics, but one that stuck with me was “if I wanted to have opportunities, better relationships, more friends, who must I become, what must I let go of in my current behavior (or at least reassess), and how can I show up differently to create a different reality for me.” He wasn’t asking us to become somebody different just to make others happy, but for us to assess our current behavior and decide if there are certain character traits that perhaps needed to be looked at if they are possibly limiting our ability to connect with others. Part of the trick to asking better questions, and as Dr. Hawkins had cautioned us, is to be conscious of the current viewpoint of the perspective we are currently holding about our life.
What if we, before asking big questions, we started by listing off what we are grateful for, what is going right in our lives, would that change the way questions form in our mind about what is possible? And what if we stepped back and asked the question “what would love do”, would we find the wisdom that lays dormant inside of us, waiting for the opportunity to flow out of us and show us the life that was always possible? Life, after all, it just a matter of perspective.
C. David Gilks Your Fellow Traveler
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