What's the best way to ask the question

What's the best way to ask the question

by Headspace » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:10 pm


I'm unsure about the best form of stating the question. Example: I would like to decrease my reliance on outside approval. I could take the direct approach – "How can you stop relying on the approval of others for what you do and are?"; or the indirect approach: "How would you feel if you no longer relied on the approval of others for what you do and are?" Or, is there a better way to get the mind working on the problem?

Andys Answer

Hi and thanks for sending in your question. I like it, it's an interesting one. The answer is in the way you have constructed the questions. The first asks how you can stop, which suggests you need to do something, whereas the second is more passive and asks only that you notice the feeling which arises when you pose the question.

Whilst the first option may sound more attractive, there is the inherent idea within in it that something needs to happen, that you are looking for a particular result. As a consequence, expectation is likely to be stronger and it will therefore be more difficult to simply ask the question without getting involved. So the question is maybe too specific, too direct...it almost demands a rational or intellectual response.

In contrast, the second question is very open, free from any kind of expectation and therefore that much easier to step back from, to stay out of the way of. I suspect that this type of questioning will naturally lead you to where you would like to be and that the feeling will in all likelihood bring a smile to your face. After all, it is such a lovely idea, right?

Needless to say, it can take time for those moments of insight to feed into everyday life and to become a stable feature in our life, but with each and every moment experienced, it is as if another drop of water is added to the jug.

Warm wishes, Andy
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