“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand
Here’s a little recipe that will help change your game. We’re all creatures of habit and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. How do you break out of a thought pattern or change how you see things?
Your thoughts play a key role in your daily effectiveness. They shape your attitude, how you feel, and what you do. The thoughts you think can help you be more resourceful in any situation.
Here’s a simple and effective way to change your thought patterns. Here are the keys:
- Direct your attention
- Change your focus
- Change the question
In a nutshell, to direct your attention, you choose to change your focus. To change your focus, you ask yourself a different question. For example, asking yourself “Why isn’t this working?” is a very different question than asking, “What might work?”
You can ask questions about you, other people, or the situation. You can ask questions about your thinking, feeling, or doing, or about other people, their thinking, feeling, or doing. You can shift focus from the past, to the present, or the future. One of the best ways to break out of a rut in any situation is to ask, “How do we solve this?” or “Who else shares this problem?” or “Who can we model from?” Simply by asking new questions, you shift your brain into a more resourceful mode. Play around with different questions to see how quickly you can change your state. For example, ask yourself what the favorite part of your day was, and this will direct your attention to the good stuff.
Keep in mind, that while you can quickly change your state or your thought process, creating new patterns that stick might take a little longer. When you master something, you basically move from getting it intellectually, to having an emotional connection, to finally a physical mastery, where it’s baked in and automatic. This actually maps to the three domains in Bloom’s Taxonomy for learning (Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor.)
Here are some questions to get you going:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What are you optimizing for?
- What’s the best you can do in this situation?
- What are you making time for?
- What’s good enough for now?
- What’s your Pope-eye punch?
For some ways to change your questions, check out:
- The Power of the Pause
- 3 Ways to Get Unstuck
- 3 Thinking Techniques to Improve Your Intellectual Horsepower
Photo by yoga – photowork.