I came by the idea of active question in the book Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith.
Active questions are questions that put you in the driver seats, questions like “Did I do my best to define a career goal?” instead of questions like “Do I have a career goal?” that puts you in the passenger seat instead, making you someone going along for a ride with no control over where you end up.
When “Do I have a career goal?” is asked it sets in our mind a black and white situation with no shades of grey in between. What if I’m just setting up a goal or I don’t have a goal and is working on one? “Did I do my best to define a career goal?” is a much more involving question, it makes you think about your career goal, not only whether or not you have one but to think even if you have one is it the best for you? Could you improve on it? Is it time to change it? What’s the current situation with your career? It is a question that provokes and promotes active participation instead of a passive yes or no.
I’ve always thought and told myself that I have the power to change my situation because I can change the way I act in different situations and control the way I respond to the world.
Active question is a great way to have me ask myself or rather, remind myself that I am in the driving seat of my own life. Sometimes, maybe very often times it’s hard to realized you are actually the master of your own destiny. The world overwhelms us, could be too much to bare and it’s just easy to go with the flow and let the world take you wherever it decides. Active question is a good way to tell yourself “I may not be able to control the world but I can do something to get closer to the desired outcome.”.
I want to from now to set up a series of active questions to ask myself at the end of each day and I could score how well I did on each one. I don’t expect myself to be able to ace each question everyday, just trying, however, isn’t enough, not only would I have to try have to try hard, effort counts here.
I will score myself on how much effort I put in to each category and overtime I should be able to see if I’m heading in the right direction. The hard part would be to be honest with myself, and face the harsh reality that I may not be putting in as much efforts as I had hoped.
“Did I do my best to eat healthy today?”
“Did I do my best to write today?”
“Did I do my best to be a better husband?”
“Did I do my best to learn something today?”
“Did I do my best to exercise?”
Start with the basics, I will be adding more as I find out more about myself and gain more experience. I am scared of these questions in part because I might not end up liking the answers I’ll have to give and in part am worried if I had just wasted my life before this. It is never too late to start, journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.