If you have attended Tony Robbin's Date With Destiny, then you know where I'm going with this. While we ask ourselves tons 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. As an entrepreneur, it's likely that this question has driven you to launch or join your current company rather than follow more traditional career paths.
The vast 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 critically important, as a negative one will ultimately lead to unbelievable pain, while a positive one will ensure you build an extraordinary life for yourself--including successful businesses, relationships, and deep levels of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Examples of Negative Primary Questions
Destructive questions include those such as:
- Why do I continue to struggle?
- How come I'm not successful?
- Why am I so miserable?
- Why am I so depressed?
- Why am I such a failure?
- What do they think of me?
- Why does this always happen to me?
- What did I do to deserve this?
Basically, any negative question that you ask over and over becomes engrained in your identity. "Where focus goes, energy flows," says Robbins. And this question, when asked several times a day, begins to shape your outlook on life. When you ask a question, your brain comes up with answers and evidence to support what you believe.
Discovering Your Primary Question
For Robbins, this all started when he discovered that he had an obsession with making things better. He would attend someone else's conference and write down all the things he wanted to either incorporate into his work or ensure his team avoided like the plague. For Robbins, his question was, "How can I make this better?" Everywhere he looked, he saw opportunities to make things better, whether in his businesses, his fitness, or his personal life.
But, for a question to be your primary question, you have to link extreme consequences with not accomplishing or delivering 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 exclusion from your loved ones or even death.
Sounds strange, doesn't it? But 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 (and has always been) 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.
Examples of Positive Primary Questions
Instead of asking negative questions, you can train your brain to look for ways to enjoy life and make it even better. Positive primary questions include those like:
- How can I enjoy this moment even more?
- What can I be grateful for in this moment?
- Why am I so blessed with love and abundance?
- 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 incredible life you already have while looking for ways to make it even better. It's fine to want to improve your life, just as long as you first acknowledge that you have a pretty awesome life already.
When you come from a place of gratitude and abundance, it's really hard not to enjoy the incredible life you already have. That is the sort of primary question that drives you in a positive way rather than obsessing 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 fun along the way.
If you really enjoy the insights from this article but haven't attended Robbin's Date With Destiny, then I highly recommend you check it out. Discovering your destiny is certainly a tall order for a six-day conference, but I am willing to bet that the majority of the 2,500 people who attended it earlier this month did just that. I know I did.