A number of years ago I attended Tony Robbin’s Date With Destiny. One area he focused on was identifying our “primary question”. While we ask ourselves loads of questions every day, there is one question that we ask ourselves several times every day and it shapes who we are, what we do, and why we do it.
The majority of people are not even aware of their primary question, even though it has a dramatic impact on everything we do. Discovering your primary question is important, as a negative one will ultimately lead to pain, while a positive one will ensure you build a great life for yourself.
Some examples of negative primary questions include:
- Why do I continue to struggle?
- How come I’m not successful?
- Why am I so miserable?
- Why am I such a failure?
- What do they think of me?
- Why does this always happen to me?
Basically, any negative question that you ask over and over becomes part of your identity. And this question, when asked several times a day, begins to shape your view on life. When you ask a question, your brain comes up with answers and evidence to support what you believe.
For a question to be your primary question, you have to link extreme consequences with not accomplishing on this question. It’s not enough to ask this question several times a day. For it to be your primary question, you have to believe that not finding answers to this question will lead to severe losses, including possible breakdown of relationships or even death.
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? However, your primary question started when you were very young and kicked in as a survival instinct. Your brain has not evolved all of these years just to make you happy, its first order of business is survival. Therefore, your primary question is linked to your very survival. The good news is that after you discover your primary question, you have the power to change it.
Instead of asking negative questions, you can train your brain to look for ways to enjoy life and make it even better. Examples of positive primary questions include:
- How can I enjoy this moment even more?
- What can I be grateful for in this moment?
- How can I enjoy this moment and make it even better?
- What can I do to appreciate this and share it with those I love?
- What can I learn from this and make my life even better?
Each of these questions positively reinforces the life you already have while looking for ways to make it even better.
When you come from a place of gratitude and abundance, it’s really hard not to enjoy the life you already have. That is the sort of primary question that drives you in a positive way rather than fixating over all that you have not yet achieved or have failed to do. The destination may be the same, but a positive primary question will make the journey to that destination a lot more enjoyable along the way.