Questions to Answer for Positive Change

Answer these questions if you want to make a positive change.

Questions about Your Goals

  • What does the ideal look like?
  • Why do you want to make the change?
  • How will we know when we get there?
  • What would happen if you didn’t make the change?

Questions about Barriers to Change

  • What is stopping us from achieving it?

Questions about the Process

  • How will we get there?
  • What is the alternative?
  • What are the steps we need to take to get there?

Questions about Resources

  • Who has done this before?
  • What did they learn?
  • Who can help us?

Questions about the Means

  • Who is responsible for taking the steps to make the change?


20 Questions to Really Get to Know Someone

If you really want to get to know someone, ask them these questions. You might be surprised by the answers.

  1. Who matters to you?
  2. Who inspires you?
    • What is it about that person that inspires you?
    • How has your behaviour changed as a result of their influence on you?
  3. What are your greatest strengths?
  4. What have you done that you’re most proud of?
  5. What do you want to change about yourself?
  6. What is your passion?
    • What appeals to you about it?
    • What are you doing about it?
  7. If you had unlimited (time / money / resources) what would you do?
  8. What makes you laugh?
  9. What makes you cry?
  10. How old are you… on the inside?
  11. If you had one last piece of advice to give, what would it be?
  12. What is the biggest change you’ve made in your life recently?
    • Why did you make it?
    • What did you learn on the way?
  13. What frightens you?
  14. What makes you keep going?
  15. What is holding you back?
  16. What gets you our of bed in the morning?
  17. What films / books would you recommend to me?
  18. When did you last experience a shift in your world-view?
    • What brought it about?
    • How has it changed you?
  19. What do you do with your time?
  20. How do you have fun?

Bonus Question

  • What should I have asked that I haven’t yet asked?


Image by Sigurd Decroos via FreeImages.

Your Turn

So, what is your answer to question 21?

Asking Stupid Questions

What should you do if you’re afraid that you’re asking stupid questions? Nobody wants to be laughed at, right?

Many years ago I knew a chap called Abdul, who was studying Maths in the same class as me. In every class we took Abdul would ask numerous stupid questions. More often than not, the questions came when the professor had filled several boards with complex calculations, and the question was about a really simple calculation right at the top of the very first board.

They say:

There is no such thing as a stupid question.

And the wag’s response:

No, there are just stupid people!

“Here he goes again”, we’d say to ourselves when Abdul asked his question. And eyes would roll, because Abdul was asking about something that was plainly obvious to the rest of us.


Here’s the thing…

From time-to-time, something very odd would happen…

Abdul would as ask his stupid question, and the lecturer would ask if someone in the class would care to explain the calculation to Abdul and… well… none of us could. The whole class (about 30 of us) was silent. Somehow, every one of us had completely missed the point of that “obvious” thing, even the super-smart girl in the corner. We had all assumed we understood it, but unlike us, Abdul knew that he hadn’t. And on those occasions Abdul was doing us all a great favour, by asking his question.

Now,  I don’t like to say this, but this kind of thing occurred far more frequently than any of us cared to admit. After a couple of months, we began to understand that, when Abdul asked a question, there was a very good chance that we hadn’t understood something, either.

Now, Abdul was also a genuinely friendly chap, possibly the most friendly person I have ever met. So, despite our frustration with him, Abdul was universally liked. And, as the year rolled on, he was increasingly respected. Because, unlike the rest of us he wasn’t afraid to confront his own ignorance, and in doing so, he helped us to recognise our ignorance, too.

So, here’s my take on all this: Next time we’re not sure of something, our best strategy is just to ask that “stupid” question. And when we ask, to ask boldly. And I’ll bet that – at least some of the time – there will be others who will have those very same questions, but who are too afraid to ask. And I’ll bet that that – quite a lot of the time – there will be others who should be asking, but who lack the the insight to recognise their own ignorance.

But here’s the thing…

Even if nobody else is asking, even everybody laughs their socks off when we ask, there is something to gain from asking “stupid” questions…

And that is answers.

So, may we always have the courage to confront our ignorance, and to ask our “stupid” questions. Because, not to ask is as sure-fire way to remain in our stupidity. But by simply asking, we’re very likely to gain the understanding that we’re looking for. And there really is nothing stupid about that.