Saturday, 8 September 2007

The Secret to Success Lies in Asking Questions

The secret to success lies in asking questions but when I was growing up I remember hearing a song with the following words in its chorus:

"There are more questions than answers".

Those are the only words of that song that stick in my mind. I can't remember any of the other words and it's simply not true. By law every question must have an answer. It took Edison thousands of experiments to find the answer to the incandescent bulb. If he had stopped after his 100th experiment the answer would have still existed.

Questions are critical to your success. The better you are at asking questions the more successful you will be. Think of two salespersons who are asked to boost their sales figures by 50%. One might think that it is impossible to achieve this and will find all the reasons in the world to support this view. The other salesperson might ask: "How can I boost my sales figures by 50%?" And they will wrestle with a variety of possible solutions until they find what works.

Sometimes you may come up with an answer that you cannot execute. For instance, you may not have the technical know-how. This simply leads to another question such as "Who would be best at carrying out my plan?"

The greatest achievements in the world were accomplished by those who were not afraid of asking tough questions and who refused to allow others to give up until they found the answers. So you don't have to rely on yourself knowing all the answers. Build a team of experts around you who can help you to come up with the answers.

When children are growing up they are filled with curiosity. They often speak their thoughts out loud. This may lead to them asking what might seem to be a trivial question and they hear:

"What a foolish question!"

This can have the effect of discouraging the child from asking questions. It would be better to say:

"What would be a better question?"

Then the child starts to raise his/her level of thinking. And can you imagine what would happen to that child as they progressed through life if each time they came up with a question they paused and asked themselves:

"What would be a better question?"

This alone would be of immeasurable value in helping them to become outstanding goal achievers.

John A Simone Sr said:

"The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions."

I disagree. I believe that the key to wisdom is in asking all the right questions. In seeking wisdom "asking" is how you take action.

To increase your level of success, follow James Allen's suggestion and ask yourself these four simple questions:

"Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?"

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