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3 Key Questions for Moving Forward

Posted on: May 15th, 2013 by Dr. Angela Bisignano

A friend of mine loves to ask questions. Every time my husband and I go to his house for dinner, we can expect a table question. His intention is to be purposeful with our time and to guide us into meaningful conversations. I also love asking questions. In my work I get the opportunity to ask people lots of questions; guiding and probing them to go deeper. My goal for asking questions is that it will help people gain greater insight into what is going on in their lives.

3 simple questions I like to ask that can bring great clarity in your life:

  • What is going right?
  • What is not going so well?
  • What can I change?

1. What is going right? This question gives you an opportunity to assess the good things in life; the things that are going well or really well. It also gives you some time to thank God for the gifts and blessings that He has given to you. Often we take things for granted, or get so busy that we forget to ponder the things that are going well in our lives. The answer to this question can create a solid foundation to answer the next two questions. The following areas will help get you started with this question:

  • Family
  • Marriage
  • Health
  • Career
  • Spiritual Life
  • Friends/relationships

2. What is not going so well? When you’re finished contemplating things going well, it’s time to consider the things that aren’t going so well. You may know right away the answer to this question. If not, you may want to write things down or talk to a trusted friend about this.

This exercise often helps people to realize that it may be only one or two areas that are casting a shadow on the rest of their life. When you get an accurate picture it brings clarity and helps you to move forward. Too often people get stuck here and can’t see beyond their challenging circumstances

3. What can you change? Now, you can consider what needs to be addressed. What areas can you change? You have the ability to make adjustments and to change the course of things that aren’t going so well. This may look like a physical change. For instance, your health is being compromised by the choices of food you are eating or lack of exercise. You have the capability to make better choices. Or perhaps you job may not be working out the way you had hoped it might. You may want to look for another job. Obviously, this is much harder done than said. However, I think you get the point.

Perhaps your area of needed adjustment is more emotional or psychological in nature. You may feel overwhelmed or stressed by a particular situation. Begin by identifying the source of the stress. What can you do about it? If you are unable to change the particular “stressor,” you can change the way you are managing it.

Perhaps your spiritual life needs some fine-tuning. Often I find that when people’s spiritual lives are out of alignment with God, many other areas feel off or out of balance. If you feel like this is your area of adjustment, you may want to start with some daily disciplines like prayer or reading your Bible.

Whatever adjustments you may need to consider recognize that it will probably take some planning, patience, and prayer, especially with more challenging areas. My hope for this post is to get you out of feeling “stuck” and feeling more empowered by moving forward.