|Asking the Right Question|
By Dan Vis
April 30, 2017
This week, I've been reading an interesting book entitled "Start With Why". And it has really resonated with me, especially given our upcoming Life Focus challenge. While the book is largely geared towards the business world, the principles apply to time management exceptionally well.
The author's main argument is that the key to real leadership is learning to ask the right question.
Here's what he calls the golden circle. Most people tend to go from the outside in. But transformational leaders, he says, think from the inside out.
Take the average person. He's busy thinking first about all the things he has to do (what). And it's a never-ending race to try and get it all done! If he does catch up on occasion, and get a few spare moments--he may use it to explore ways to get things done more efficiently (how). Maybe there's some tool, or shortcut that can help. But rarely, according to the author, do people go on to step three, which is asking whether or not these tasks should even be done at all (why). And yet this is the most important question of them all!
Leaders, in contrast, approach things from the exact opposite perspective. Their first question is always why. What's our mission, our purpose? What drives and compels us? What is it we really want to accomplish. From there, we begin asking how. What will it take to get there? What are the guiding principles, the strategy, the plan. And only when those things have come into focus, do we ask what, and start listing the tasks we need to complete.
The first approach, keeps us busy. And while we may look productive--without a clear goal, there's no real way to measure effectiveness. And without a sense of purpose, we can be left feeling spent, empty, and unfulfilled.
The second approach starts with a specific, deeply valued and deeply important aim. We develop a strategy carefully designed to accomplish that aim, and choose tasks that align with the strategy. Each task has meaning because we see exactly how it contributes to our goal. Our life becomes purposeful, because we know exactly where we are heading, and what we intend to accomplish.
In my experience, people don't often ask those deeper questions. And those who do, are rarely understood by those watching from the outside--at least not until they have accomplished something spectacular. But it is the calling of every believer to live a life that is filled with meaning and purpose. It was never God's plan for our lives to be mundane and pointless. To escape the one and enter into the other, we must learn to ask the right questions.
On May 1, we open a new FREE challenge called the Life Focus System. In it you will learn how to start making this shift, through powerful biblical keys to time management drawn straight from the Bible. If you are looking for more meaning in life, sign up today!
How does your thinking generally work? Do you think from the outside in, or from the inside out? How important is it to ask the bigger questions? What impact might it have on a person's life, to consistently "start with why"?
|Posted by Liza W on 05/08/17|
|That's good Dan, I signed up just yesterday. I am appreciating again the practical tools of this ministry, turning into such a great blessing. May God continue to bless FAST.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/07/17|
|Don't know if you did the Life Focus challenge, Liza, but that's exactly what we've been focusing on! If you haven't signed up, you might enjoy doing that...|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/02/17|
|Appreciate the enthusiasm for a longer class. Let's try to get through this one first!!!|
|Posted by Qing Ling on 05/02/17|
|Dan that word consistency...it's vital to our Journey isn't it?:) something I need to work on. Ongoing FAST classes has helped. Education is a lifelong activity. |
Linda your comment with Matthew 6:33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. just clicked for me ..a new perspective on the verse. What we start with determines our ending too....like what we sow is what we reap...:)
Pam yes, that verse has always been a principle for me; it's not just about one context, but rather applicable as a law in life. It shows how a single one can be powerfully influential. Like the disciples turning the world upside down. And laser focus determines how successful we will be in achieving OUR goal, instead of giving others permission to mould the direction of our lives for us.
|Posted by Carol Putman on 05/02/17|
|I can't wait to get started on the class and yes, add my vote for a longer class.|
|Posted by Debbie Jones on 05/02/17|
|Dan, since God gave me 2 hands, I'll give the third and fourth vote for a longer time management class. 😆|
|Posted by Linda Elliott on 05/02/17|
|Yes, Dan , a longer class would be good. It is worthy of our time spent.|
|Posted by Pamela Kendall on 05/02/17|
Qing I found your application of Galatians 5:9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. very interesting. I usually think of the leaven as something bad - like "a bad apple spoils the whole bunch". But it is also true that a seed of truth can transform the life, and one right question can make a transformational difference!
Dan I would love to see a longer course on Time Management as you mentioned above... this is something I really want to learn more about. So thankful for this challenge and looking forward to what I will learn!
|Posted by Qing Ling on 05/01/17|
|Galatians 5:9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. ..a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.|
It's crazy how a little question, if asked correctly, can make such a big difference in something as big as the direction of our entire lives.
|Posted by Konni Plue on 05/01/17|
|The BUSY acronym gave me a start. Thank you for all the sharing. I am looking forward to the Life Focus System Challenge.|
|Posted by Becky Rich on 05/01/17|
|I find it interesting to remember back to when my children were young. "WHY?" was often the most used question they had. Hmmm...."a little child shall lead them" (lovingly and loosely translated from Isaiah 11:6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.). :)|
|Posted by Pamela Kendall on 05/01/17|
|I appreciated your comment too Linda Satan does try to keep us occupied with unimportant things, or less important things so we neglect what is most important! Luke 10:38-4238 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.|
|Posted by Colette Guthrie on 05/01/17|
|Outside in ... which at times makes completing a timesheet every two weeks quite a chore.|
|Posted by Linda Elliott on 05/01/17|
|Dan that is a great acronym & so true. I've heard it before, but I appreciate the reminder! Thank you.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/01/17|
Great comment Linda! That's exactly what we are going to focus on in the Life Focus challenge.
Have you every heard this acronym: BUSY = Being Under Satan's Yoke...
|Posted by Linda Elliott on 05/01/17|
|I, too, often look at what I need to do first, rather than the why. It's easy to look at the list of tasks & think they are all important. I think that is one of Satan's greatest ploys - keeping us too busy doing seemingly important things so we don't have time for what is truly important. Matthew 6:33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. tells us a better way. I've found that if I don't seek God first, I won't get to Him at the last, either! I don't want to waste my day on "mundane & pointless" activity!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/01/17|
|Indeed, that is a great question too Debbie! Every Christian should make that an important factor when examining the purpose and direction of their life.|
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