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Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential

Living Your Potential

A Leading Question

(#4 of 7) from the series: Does Positive Thinking Really Work?

All Those Masters Can't Be Wrong

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle used questions to challenge their philosophy students.  Albert Einstein believed that formulating the question was more critical than calculating the actual solution.  Rabbis and other spiritual teachers impart wisdom through skillful questioning. 

When presented with a question, the human brain responds by performing an automatic “search” for the answer.  So, if you’re going to ask yourself a question...

Make it a Good One

A good question causes you to think creatively.  It points you toward possibilities and action, often resulting in an improved and empowered emotional state.  Catch yourself from asking questions that yield fruitless answers (e.g., Why does this always happen to me?  How am I ever going to get all this done?).  Here are some examples of productive questions:

  • What’s another way of looking at this?
  • What else might be possible?
  • What is the best use of my energy right now?
  • What would make this less difficult?
  • Who can help me with this?

Notice that most of these questions begin with What instead of Why.  “What” evokes specific answers that are geared toward solutions (vs. taking you deeper into problems).  This week, try using the questions above, in addition to crafting your own productive questions.  Remember:

If you’re going to ask a leading question, make sure it’s leading in the right direction.

Next Issue:

So far in this series, we’ve discussed:

  • Becoming aware of your internal dialogue (i.e., what you say when you talk to yourself)
  • Recognizing your personal critic and giving it a name
  • “Unlimiting” beliefs that you’ve outgrown.

Now, by incorporating the practice of asking productive questions, you are ready for another level of positive thinking: Intention.  We’ll address this topic next time. 

Here's to you,
Ginny's signature

Additional Resources — the Art of Questions

In a previous issue of Living Your Potential, I introduced a trio of questions to move you from Overwhelm to Momentum:

Tony Robbins teaches how to use “Power Questions” in his Personal Power II program:
Anthony Robbins, Personal Power II: The Driving Force, (San Diego, California, Robbins Research International, Inc., 1993, 1996.  Distribution by Guthy-Renker Corporation.); available from ; Internet

Laura Berman Fortgang speaks of “Wisdom Access Questions” to stimulate productive ideas:
Laura Berman Fortgang, Living Your Best Life, (New York, New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2001), pages 6-15.
For more information visit:

Byron Katie suggests four questions to examine thoughts that may be limiting you:
Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, (New York, New York, Three Rivers Press, 2002). 
For more information visit:

Rick Carson uses a series of simple questions to diffuse your fears:
Rick Carson, Taming Your Gremlin®: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way, (New York, HarperCollins, 2003), pages 54-56.  For more information visit:

© 2005, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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