Happiness…it’s in the questions not the answers

Happiness…it’s in the questions not the answers

Happiness is about much more than solving problems and overcoming obstacles but that being said, we all face adversity in life and learning how to deal with this in a positive and effective way can be fantastically useful. So this week we bring you an article and some practical tips for using the powerful principles of positive psychology to achieve great outcomes, to solve problems and most importantly, to find solutions and success.

As we’ve done several times in the past, we’re happy to share with you yet another thought provoking article from Lou Tice (of The Pacific Institute)…

“Asking the Right Questions”

Today, I’m going to suggest to you a way to ask questions that will help you change your focus from problems to solutions.

If you want to make your communications as effective as possible, and if you’re interested finding solutions to problems rather than becoming bogged down in them, I have a suggestion that will help. If you ask the right questions, you can direct your communications to get answers that are genuinely helpful.

For example, if you ask someone, “What’s wrong?” you will get an answer – often a long one – which will focus on the problem. But if you ask, “What do you want?” or “How would you like to change things,” you have redirected the conversation from the problem to the solution.

In every situation, no matter how dark or dismal, there is a desirable outcome. You can convince people, including yourself, to focus on that outcome, by avoiding questions that ask “why” and choosing “how” or “what” questions instead.

So, instead of asking your kid why he is flunking History, ask him what he needs to help him bring his grade up. Instead of asking your boss why you didn’t get a raise, ask him, or her, what you need to do in order to justify a salary increase. And, instead of demanding from your employees why they didn’t make the sale, ask them what they can do differently so they will be certain to make the next one.

You get the idea. Try it. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

A positive psychology approach to happiness

Following on from the article above, I’m excited to bring you some more practical tips, based on the proven and powerful approach known as positive psychology coaching, that will help you find more happiness and success in your life! So read on and give some of these strategies a try…

  • begin all efforts to solve a problem with a focus on the solution – ask yourself, for example, what would be the best possible outcome here?
  • in the process, imagine an ideal outcome, where everything is great, and picture that in as much detail as possible
  • now think about what strengths you have to achieve this, to bring it about – try not to worry too much about how to fix your weaknesses or overcome your limitations but rather, focus on what you’re really good at and how you can use this to the max
  • consider, also, what other resources you have at your disposal and how you can use them in a helpful and constructive way – for example, how in your personal or professional network might have experience or expertise that would be useful in this context
  • work out what you need to do – develop a practical and specific action plan, breaking down tasks into small, managable chunks that you can work through one step at a time
  • break your plan down even further so you know exactly what you need to do right now!

Research suggests its far more motivating and far easier to work towards positive and desirable goals than it is to try to escape or move away from unpleasant or negative goals. So take advantage of what I’ve come to call the primacy of positivity…get happy first by creating a positive and inspiring vision of the future and use the positive energy created to motivate yourself and achieve success.

Some specific examples of next steps…

If you’re facing specific problems then these specific solutions might be worth considering…

  • Help for depression, stress, anxiety or other worries – call 02 9231 2522 or visit www.makingchanges.com.au if you’re in Sydney
  • For self-help to overcome depression – click here
  • To find out more about using these principles to overcome body image problems and/or to lose weight…visit The Happiness Diet website (HERE) and/or sign up for our FREE Happiness Diet Webinar in which the program will be fully explained by Prof. Sharp (HERE)
  • If you have a Facebook account you can also join in general happiness discussions HERE and specific Happiness Diet discussions HERE
  • And to check out our full range of resources, including some great books and workbooks – JUST CLICK HERE

We hope this helps but as always, feel free to get in touch if there’s anything more we can do for you.