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The Power of Questions:
The Key to a Productive New Year

by Rena Canady Laster, Life Coach and Trainer

As the year comes to an end, life has schooled us all. Some things happened that we learned from. Some events happened that were unexpected and life changing. Some provided new opportunities. And some things happened that we tried to ignore and pretend that they were not happening. Like it or not, we are all students in the School of Life. Just as there are prerequisites for promotion from one grade to the next in school, from one job level to another, and from one age to another, so are there prerequisites for promotion from one level in life to another. Job promotions require that the employee's job performance be questioned and analyzed prior to the promotion. In school, grades are analyzed and academic performance is compared to the teacher's standards and requirements for promotion. Questions are asked. Were principles applied by the student that helped him to be successful such as the use of proper study habits? Did they show knowledge and mastery of the subject’s content? On the job, did the employee employ proper work ethics and skill sets to his job performance?

If such questions and answers are necessary when applied to the prerequisites of formal education and job performance, how much more necessary is it that they

be applied to our Life Education in order to graduate from the Alternative School of Hard Knocks. The prerequisite for promotion from one level to the next in our life, whether it is financial or relational, is the intentional, focused question that we will ask ourselves. Questions themselves are of no value, however, if they do not cause us to seek answers that challenge us and provoke us to change. Questions allow us to get out of our own way and stop engaging in the self-sabotage of failure to plan, procrastination, lying to ourselves, the sabotaging of our dreams, the failure to see things with awe and wonder and the failing to master our minds.

Now is the time for some self-examination as we prepare to go into the New Year. Begin now to ask the tough questions of your life for answers about your grade and success in life. Determine whether you’re being promoted or retained in the areas of finances, goals, health, relationships, and spirituality. Acknowledge what you did right. Reflect on what you have learned from what you did wrong. Ask the tough questions and answer the real why of your situation. When questions are asked of our lives and answered honestly, they serve the purpose of helping to expand our vision, unlock potential and helping to assess and develop skills. The hard questions have to be asked. You may have to "step back and punt" in some areas to gain control of the balls in your life. Being proactive in life will keep you in control of the balls in your life instead of attempting to juggle situational balls only to discover that you dropped a ball somewhere along the way. You kept your financial ball in the air but you dropped the relationship ball. You kept the career ball in the air but you dropped the health ball.

In order to be proactive, begin now to ask yourself questions about the different areas of your life. Here are some suggested questions:

1. Am I healthy spiritually, emotionally, spiritually, and financially?
2. What is each of my friends adding to or taking from me?
3. What are my children or those around me learning from me?
4. Have I made progress toward my goals?
5. Am I fulfilling my purpose in life?
6. What am I not seeing?
7. What are my blind spots?
8. What self-defeating behaviors and habits do I exhibit?
9. What do I need to change?
10. What have I accomplished in the past year?

There is still time to accomplish some of your goals that were set at the end of last year. Stop procrastinating and making excuses. Today is the "someday" that you've talked about. Today is all that there is, really. Make it count while preparing for tomorrow. Questions have power and can catapult you to your next level in life if you are truthful as you answer them and examine your life. A New Year can mean a new or improved you if you stay enrolled in the school of life. Don't repeat grades because of your failure to learn what lessons life is teaching you. Keep learning and growing. Here’s to a happy, productive, fruitful New Year!


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P.O. Box 446, Macon, • GA 31202 * Ofc:  478-745-7265


Rena Canady Laster