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How to achieve your goals by asking high-quality questions

KnowHow founder Bushy Martin says to evaluate your life’s journey, you need to ask yourself the right questions and make space and time to listen for the answers.

In order to achieve long-term success and stay on the right path, you need to constantly question yourself, reflect and look for areas of improvement or change.

This was the focus of Bushy’s Get Invested podcast episode where he talked about embracing the magic from asking the right questions and listening to the answers.

But it can’t be an easy ‘yes or no’ question – the questions need to be insightful, open-ended and high quality.

“It’s the quality of the questions that you ask yourself and others that will determine the quality of the answers and solutions that you come up with, which will in turn determine the quality of your life and where it’s heading and help you with this,” Bushy said.

“It’s simple, but not easy to ask ourselves really deep, meaningful, game changing questions.”

Bushy firstly revealed three key questions to initially ask, which derive from an old Irish saying.

“You need three bones to enjoy the journey of life. You need a wishbone to dream the dream, a backbone to work hard to make it happen, and a funny bone to enjoy the lighter side of life and not take yourself or anything else too seriously,” he said.

“So, you can think deeply about your life and where it’s heading by asking yourself are you dreaming your dream? Are you working hard to make your dreams a reality? And are you enjoying your life’s journey?”

“And right now, you can also start by asking yourself are you happy? Having lived through a life changing pandemic, what are you going to do differently? And what’s stopping you now?”

Beyond looking at your present situation, it’s also important to reflect on both your past and future.

“It’s great to ask questions of our past so that we can action the learnings, but even more important to ask questions of our future so that we get into the driver’s seat of our destinies. What an exciting opportunity for all of us to really reflect and make our time important,” he said.

However, he warned about not wasting time with regret or questions which don’t provide any benefit.

“In terms of the past tense, we don’t want to look back and think when it’s too late. What would I have done differently? Why didn’t I do that? Why didn’t I take the opportunity? Because by then, it’s too late for these questions,” Bushy said.

To truly discover the great questions (and answers), Bushy explained the key is to unlock your curiosity and remain positive.

“We need to rediscover our inner child because children have the power of curiosity – it’s a natural wonder within them. Remember when you were a child or your own children constantly asking why? Why this? Why that? Kids ask questions without any thought, and they often challenge us,” he said.

“We also need to be kind when we’re talking to ourselves because our subconscious programming is listening all the time.

“So it’s really important that we feed our minds with the best positivity and with the best knowledge, and that we’re really open to learning.”

But perhaps the most crucial part of all is active listening. It’s one thing to ask these questions, but Bushy said the real magic comes from time and space to find the answers.

“Asking the right question in the right context at the right time can unstick people. They can untangle our thoughts. They can give us empathy, give us self-belief. They can unlock us, and they can bring us further to the next step. Great questions are very powerful, but without really listening, questions don’t come to life and we don’t end up maximising their potential,” he explained.

“So we also need to master the art of truly listening alongside the art of asking great questions. And the hard thing about the art of listening is that we just don’t make time for it in the hustle and bustle of our forever busy lives. Any spare second is consumed with Insta, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok and the multitude of other social media feeds and time wasting, mind-numbing apps. Every waking second is absorbed in some form of busyness, but listening requires us to create time and silence for answers to emerge. We need to be fully and absolutely present.

“So, it is time for us to press pause and think deeply and then really listen slowly by giving space for the answers deep inside our hearts and souls to rise to the surface of our minds.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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