Two questions that seem the same but one word makes a difference.
I believe that the quality of your life depends on the questions you ask yourself.
Questions like “Why can’t I be happy?” or “Why me?” are questions that bring up answers that make you feel worse.
When you ask yourself questions like that you search for the reasons why you’re in your current situation. You beat yourself up. You recall your failures and mistakes. You look what’s happened to you recently that led you to right now.
What you find won’t be great and it’s only going to cause you to have more negative thoughts. This leads to you feeling worse about yourself.
When you ask yourself “Can I?” you’re asking yourself if you have the ability to do so. Your answers will be determined by yourself level of self worth, your self confidence, and your past experiences.
If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not going to be confident that you can.
It also leaves you with a yes or no answer which isn’t that helpful. If you ask “Can I lose 10 pounds?” you just need a yes or no answer.
You don’t think of a way to do so.
When you ask “How can I lose 10 pounds?” a yes or no answer doesn’t do it. It’s an open ended question that doesn’t allow a one word answer to be enough.
It gets you to start thinking of ways to achieve it.
Asking “How Can I?” focuses on possibility. You’re not looking at your past to answer it. It forces you to look ahead.
If you’re driving a car to a location you’ve never been to before, the right questions will get you there.
If you only ask “Can I get to that new restaurant?” you either can or you can’t. If you can get there, that doesn’t actually help you get there. You still don’t know how.
If you ask “How can I get to that new restaurant?” then you start thinking of ways to get there.
If you have a car, you can type in the address in Google maps and follow the directions. If you take the subway, you search the subway map to find the nearest station.
You’re searching for how you can do it and not whether you can or cannot.
Here are a few examples and notice the difference between the two questions:
- Can I get out of debt?
- Can I make more money?
- Can I live up to my potential?
Here’s when adding the word “how”:
- How can I get out of debt?
- How can I make more money?
- How can I live up to my potential?
When you ask yourself “How Can I ____?” the answer is never “I don’t know.” That is a lazy answer. When you say that you immediately give up. You shut your brain down.
There is always a way. The answers are out there for you to find.
So instead of asking yourself why you can’t make money online, why you can’t fall in love, why can’t you figure out what to do in life, or why your life is the way it is, change the questions you ask yourself.
Start asking yourself how you can do it and you will get better answers and you will start thinking of possible ways.
What’s a question you would ask me if we had coffee together? Leave in the comments below and I’ll give you my answer.
Thanks for sharing. Really, I personally believe words has power because when you think about it, you first have to think of it before speaking out. So you first had that thought before you even say it. And our mind & thoughts are what shapes us. So if we think bad, we’re only going to say negative things, hence building a negative environment around us. So the next time we want something to change, first think positive thoughts, and our words will resonate to that; so will our own question for ourselves. Cheers.
Just a fan of your blog... says
Benny, what if there are so many things I wish to accomplish and yet I feel exhausted, it’s as if my body’s failing me, how can I boost my energy and defeat exhaustion ??
Thank you for the question. I’ll give you some ways that can help. First is get enough sleep. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. Drink more water during the day. Do you exercise? If not, exercising will give you more energy. Spend less time on your phone. Think about your life just 1 year from now. Will you wish you spent less time on your phone? You will. The less time you do means more time to do things that make you happy, relax you, relieve stress. Spending hours on your phone or computer might seem like it relaxes you, but it doesn’t. Those are good ways to start to have more energy.