The secret to happiness? It may be more a question than an answer!

The secret to happiness? It may be more a question than an answer!

With all the hype surrounding “The Secret” in recent months I’ve been forced to renew my battle against many people’s search for a secret to happiness…there is no secret to happiness! There is no answer to happiness! There is not one path to happiness that will work for everyone!

What we do know, however, is that those people who experience more happiness tend to be better at responding to life’s challenges and one of the ways they do this is by asking themselves, and others, good questions. Questioning is probably just as important to happiness as is answering!

And so I bring you this happiness relevant mailing from Lou Tice (of The Pacific Institute). I hope you enjoy it:

No one ever has all the answers. However, people who ask good questions are the ones who interest me. Albert Einstein once said that, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” His words emphasize something I believe to be extremely important: It’s not so much the answers you already have, but rather the quality of the questions you ask that determines the direction of your life.

For example, what sort of questions do you ask when calamity strikes? Do you ask, “Why me, Lord?” or “What’s the use of living if this is what happens?”

Or, do you ask questions like, “How can I use this to learn and grow, maybe even to help others?”

What kind of questions do you ask your kids? Do you say, “What’s the matter with you?” “Why are you so stupid, or lazy or mean?” Or, do you ask, “What are you looking forward to?” or “How will you show your teacher how smart you are?”

When it comes to your relationships, do you ask questions that can be answered with just “yes” or “no” or do you ask open-ended questions that encourage people to tell you more about themselves? And finally, what kind of questions do you ask yourself? Do you say, “How am I going to get through the day?” or “What can I do to make today really great?”

Do you ask, “what if” questions that help you explore possibilities? How about questions that encourage you to think about the purpose of your life and your reasons for doing what you are doing? Change the quality of the questions you ask, and you will be changing the focus of your attention.

Change the focus of your attention, and you will change the results you get.

Go ahead. Try it and see.

Lou Tice

The Pacific Institute