Auto Repair Shop Owner's Daily Dose 2: Questions Create Your Focus
Questions Create Your Focus by Rick White, President 180BIZ
Yesterday I alluded to focus, having a plan, a positive focus. So there are three questions we ask ourselves all the time. I've talked about this for years, in sales, the most powerful tool you have as a salesperson are QUESTIONS. The questions you ask are going to be the things that create the environment that make it easy for your customer to say yes. Questions are so powerful. But what you are not aware of is that every morning you ask yourself one question. It sets your mood, it sets your tone, it sets your focus. When you get up each morning and you ask yourself this question, “What's going to go wrong today?” Do you think that question might create blinders? Do you think that you're unconsciously looking for everything that will go wrong? And you know what the amazing thing is? Your brain is trained to help you find it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change the questions you ask. You can start to ask yourself better questions, more elegant questions, questions that will be ones that you choose. Ones that direct your thoughts. Our brain is a survival mechanism and its job is to keep you alive and conserve energy. That's it. So anytime it sees fear, something to be afraid of, it makes you aware of it. It contracts, constricts. So, what we need to do is train ourselves to ask better questions.
Every moment of every day, we ask ourselves three questions. I’ll talk about the first question today. It is: What am I going to focus on? But, remember that your focus has preferences.
- Do you focus on what you do have or what you don’t have? If you're focused on what you don't have, it’s easy to see how you could get ramped up pretty quickly. That’s because you're looking at everything you don't have in life. But there's another way to do this. If you're aware of the preference, you can start to make new choices. Start looking at what you do have. Sit down and look at the blessings that are coming from this very moment.
- Do you focus on what you can control or what you can’t control? This moment, right now, is a perfect example. Are you going to focus on the CoronaVirus and all the devastation that it could potentially have? Or are you going to focus on things you can control?
Can you imagine focusing on what you don't have and then focusing on what you can't control? Can you see how that would create a lot of unhappiness, unease, disease, discomfort, fear, doubt, and worry in your life? I do! It’s obvious. We want to focus on what we can control.
In Episode 1, I talked about the three circles of life. The smallest circle of control, the bigger circle of influence, and then the biggest circle of concern. It amazes me how many people put all their efforts, worry, and attention into the circle of concern. It doesn't help. It doesn't work. All it does is frustrate us and make us feel like a victim. It leaves us feeling less and without power. We don't have any control and embeds the word “can’t” into our vocabulary. Can’t is a victim word. Don’t use the word “CAN’T!”
Instead, use the word “WON’T.” The word “WON’T,” at least, has some power to it. “I won’t do that!”
- Do you focus on the past, present, or future? You’re past may have some regret. If you’re focused on what you don’t have, what you can’t control, and the past, that’s a recipe for bitterness. It's a recipe for living smaller than you're capable of living because you don't believe you can get any better.
What about the future? Yes. As entrepreneurs, as business owners, as leaders, we must be able to think about the future, but not stay there. If we stay in the future all the time, we end up with this victim thinking. We think “This is the way it is. This is the way it's always going to be.” Then, suddenly, we're pulling backward, constricting.
You don’t want to spend all your time in the present, either. You've must be able to cycle back and forth. “This is what I believe the future looks like.” This comes back to fear and faith. Both are future-oriented. There are things that have not come true yet, but I'm going to tell you more times than not, the things we fear usually come to pass. It’s because of our energy levels, our actions, and our reactions. We create our future based on our focus.
So I believe we need to be future-oriented, but present here and now. Ask ourselves, “What can I do now to create the future I want? What do I do now to create the future that I see, that I believe in, that I have faith in?” John Maxwell once said that if there's hope in the future, there's power in the present. And that's what I need you to understand. What we need right now in this world are leaders, heroes. A hero is an ordinary person that is put into an extraordinary situation and steps up. That's all. One that sees the potential and the future and is willing to, with authority, look at a better future and show people what they believe is true. Look at every great person that has been in life. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, all of them. And there's many, many more. They stepped up in moments of uncertainty and created certainty with their beliefs.
What I want you to do today, think about what you focused on. Think about those three preferences. Are you focused on what you have or what you don't have, what you're grateful for, or what you're bitter about? Are you focused on what you can control or what you can't control? Are you focused on the past, the future, or the present? I want you to step back and look at those three preferences. Being aware of them is going to change your life because awareness is the first step in growth. Awareness is the first step to becoming more.
I believe in you. Let's help everybody out there get through this situation in the most positive, productive, and confident way possible. We have more power than we ever thought possible. I'm going to get a little religious here, just for a second. I truly believe that Satan is not out to do a sin. He's scared of us because he knows the power we have. We have the power to create. He doesn't, he can manipulate, but he can't create. We have the power to create, given to us by our creator. Let's use that power wisely. Let's create a blueprint here that is positive and forward-focused. It doesn't mean we're going to not run into some challenges. I get that. But we can adapt and overcome together. We can adapt and overcome and be stronger than we've ever been.