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Mind Design™

Why Affirmations Don't Work And How You Can Replace Them With Directed Questions To Get The Results You Want


Note: The following is copyright Rex Steven Sikes, 1999. Rex is the originator (1980) of Directed Questions
. You may see references to similar questions in other people's literature - beware -- those are imitations! The following is the original work!

The way you feel and what you experience comes from where you focus your attention and determines how you are going to behave. Successful people know that you must control not only what you focus on but how you focus . They have learned to take control of their emotions and run their own brain -- that means taking control of what you are picturing in your mind and how you are picturing it, what you are saying to your self and how you are saying it. When you get control over these things, this will allow you to determine how you feel.

When you focus, you limit your attention. If you are not focused on success you will miss all the opportunities success brings. In life, we get what we focus on.

Remember this: What you focus on, you get.

People who do affirmations are wasting their time because they are actually setting up internal conflicts that cause them to activate the opposite of what they want! When people look into the mirror and say, "In every day and in every way, I am getting better and better," a part of their mind comes back and says, "bull!" Doesn't it? It is just like if I told you that you have a blue shirt on when you actually have a red one on! I say, "nice blue shirt" and you say, "it's not blue, it's red." Then I say, "it's blue", and you say "no, it's red" ... we could go on like this forever... which is exactly what happens for most people when they do affirmations.

Instead of engaging yourself in this confrontive struggle with yourself, you could begin to ask yourself questions instead. Questions will always get you an answer. Questions change what you focus on. They get you to focus on either what is good about you, your environment, or your behavior, or what is bad about you, your environment, or your behavior. An affirmation in the form of a question is 300 or 400 times more effective and will literally train your brain to translate the affirmations into your behavior.

Why Questions are More Powerful than Affirmations

Brains learn quickly to move in directions. Questions direct the mind. They divide experience and lead our attention. Questions demand an answer. And since it is a question which our brain may not know the answer to yet, it will search to give us an answer. If, when we ask the question, we include more of what we want in our life, our brain will search to provide us with those things which we included in our question and the answer.

Asking yourself questions is one of the greatest things you can learn for yourself. Questions set your reality. Think about it. If I say, "what did you do on Friday?" Where does your mind go? It goes to look for an answer. If I say "how old are you?" You know the answer. If I say, "what did you do last summer?", "What is your occupation?", "Who was your best friend when you were a child?"... You are causing your mind to come up with an answer.

Sometimes you won't have the answer right away. Sometimes you may have to ask another question like, "gee, who was it?" You are sending your mind in a direction.

According to anthropologists, people are "meaning makers." In other words, people will ask themselves "what does this mean to me?", "what is in it for me?", or "what should I do?" It is the questions we ask ourselves that create meaning for ourselves. And you have a choice as to what exactly those questions are going to be. Are you going to ask yourself questions that get you bad results, like "how come I'm so stupid?" or are you going to ask yourself questions that get you good results like "how soon will I begin to realize how wonderful I am?"

The kinds of things you ask yourself are critical. If you say "gee, how come I am so stupid?", your brain goes "because when you were a child you didn't eat Wheaties, you didn't have corn flakes, you didn't grow up right and it was your parents fault." Or because "you are a slow learner" -- because someone told you that when you were a child. Or because "you aren't disciplined enough", or "you have great potential but you'll never really amount to anything"...

Whatever it might be, when you say "how come I'm like this?", your brain will answer and it will come up with a reason no matter how logical or illogical it is. The number one thing in our culture, bar none is that when someone in our culture says "why" someone says "because".

When you say to yourself, "I don't understand this" or "I don't get it" you are reinforcing anything that you do not understand yet. You are making it much tougher on yourself . You are impeding your learning. On the other hand, if you say, "I wonder how soon before this begins to make sense? I wonder how quickly before I am going to be delighted in discovering what is new about this? I wonder how soon before I delight and amaze myself?" you begin to send your brain in the direction that is useful for you.

As you ask yourself those questions, your brain may not come up with the quick "because" answer because you are posing a question to yourself that you don't yet know the answer to. Wouldn't it be a lot more fun finding out? Wouldn't it be a lot more interesting to think "gee, I wonder how exquisitely talented I can become? I wonder how I can use language to do things that I never yet before considered possible? I wonder who I am going to find that presents a challenge and I wonder how I am going to delight and amaze myself in overcoming that challenge and doing that in ways that I never before thought possible?" Does that sound like a more useful way to begin looking at the world? ... a more useful way, a way that brings you more delight, more pleasure and speeds up the amount of time in which you learn anything?

We have told ourselves a lot of things in our lives. A lot of them aren't even true. In Mind Design™, what we want to do is get your whole mind, your whole brain, your whole being moving in a direction that as you move in that direction you pick up the kind of things you want to be doing. You pick up the skills you want to have. You practice, you use them, and you find out how they contribute to your being, how you contribute to others, how you move through the world with these win/win outcomes and make your life and the lives of those around you a lot more fun!

During the Mind Design™ program, you are going to learn a way to ask yourself the kind of questions that get you the results you want. To be truly successful, fulfilled and secure, you must make a habit of asking the kinds of questions that give you power, drive and energy. For now, I want you to commit to making a change for yourself, commit to your goals and commit to asking yourself a new set of questions. By doing this, you will be able to succeed in your goals beyond your wildest expectations.

You are already asking yourself questions every moment of the day. If you say "yes, Rex, That's true" or "no Rex that is not true"... the only way you could answer that is by having asked yourself a question! For at least the next 21 days, I want you to ask yourself a different set of questions first thing every morning, before going to bed and any moment you can throughout the day. You will want to write them down, carry them with you, pin them up where you will see them and be reminded to ask. Remember what you do now determines the quality of your future. The quality of your life depends on the quality of the questions you ask.

Some Sample Questions

How come I am so lucky?
Why am I so wonderful?
What new wonderful things will I discover?
How can I become thinner and enjoy the process?
I wonder in how many ways I can become better and better?
I wonder how quickly I can achieve my ideal weight?
Which sensation in my body feels the very best right now?
How quickly will I begin to learn these new skills?
How naturally and easily will I begin to pay attention to pleasant feelings?
How soon will I begin to notice with delight how happy I can become?

Using Questions With Others To Be More Persuasive

In the same way that you ask yourself questions that direct your mind, you can use questions to direct the mind of your customers an clients. The mind is easily programmed and lead to make decisions within the options that are given.

Some Sample Questions

Would you like to order your dessert now or when you have your coffee?
Is this cash or charge?
When customers are asked "would you like a large or small coke?" most take a small. However when asked, "would you like a large one?" most take a large.
Do you realize how excited it is going to be when you take this vacation?
How quickly can we finish our meeting?
In how many different ways are you going to enjoy this house?




   

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