Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Beautiful Mind

The Right Question Is One Of Life's Most Important Answers

What is your favorite color? Where were you born? Who is your best friend? There is a very good chance that as you read each of those questions you also answered them. That is one of those amazing things about the human mind. You ask it a question and it gives you an answer. It doesn't matter how ridiculous or irrational the question, we feel compelled to answer it, even if only to ourselves. News reporters are very familiar with this property of the mind. Shows like 60 Minutes, Dateline and 20/20 have exploited this fundamental property for years. A reporter can ask any question and everyone watching is expecting an answer. To not answer the question out-loud almost seems rude, because we know the person being asked the question has already answered it in their mind.

A Fundamental Program Of The Mind

To answer a question, any question, even one we pose to ourselves and answer to ourselves seems innocuous. We can't imagine that a question could possibly harm us in any way. "It's just a question," we're told. There-in lies the issue at stake. We have a mind that is programmed to answer any question and will go to great lengths to seek out an answer, oftentimes any answer just to complete the fundamental program of the mind. (If "A", then "B". If question, then answer.) We often assume the question is justified only because it is asked, and that is how the fundamental program of the mind begins to break down and become potentially harmful.

What Can Go Wrong

Questions arise from our curiosity about the world in which we live. If our perceptions or beliefs aren't accurate this can lead to questions that seek out more inaccurate information. Have you ever heard someone ask, "What's wrong with me?" When we ask a question like this our mind goes to work on it immediately. It seeks answers and will attempt to find any evidence to support these answers even though there was no justification for even asking the question. The only thing wrong with you, up to this point, is you're asking the wrong question.

What Can Go Right

The fundamental program that creates this amazing property of the mind is one of the most powerful tools available to humans. Instead of asking "What's wrong with me?", we can ask ourselves, "What's right with me?" or "How can I have a great day today?" If you have spent a lifetime of asking the wrong questions it may take some practice, but the result is exactly the same. You will get an answer. It's the way we're hardwired. It's not so much that we must be careful what we ask ourselves; it is more that we need to take responsibility for what we ask ourselves. It is through the questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis that we create our internal milieu. Our mind can be a beautiful place to live if we choose to exercise the power granted to us through the questions we ask.

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