The Question That Shaped My Life

Last December I was at Tony Robbins’s six-day seminar in Florida, Date with Destiny and there I had A LOT of Breakthroughs. Another word for that would be Insight. For those of you who have not been to a TR event or haven’t heard much about him, the best thing you can do to understand what he is truly about is to watch the documentary I’m Not Your Guru on Netflix.

One of the countless things I’ve learned from Tony Robbins was that QUESTIONS determine your focus and what you focus on is what you experience and what you get from life. So, today I want to tell you about a major “ahah” moment I had with what he calls the PRIMARY QUESTION.

A Primary Question is a dominant question you ask yourself on a consistent basis and that filters your thinking (conscious and unconscious). It’s a question that pops up constantly across contexts. Even if you aren’t consciously aware of it, you believe that if you live by this question, you will feel ultimate success, pleasure and fulfilment. Your identity is often tied to this question. You experience life through the lenses of it.

So, now that you know what a primary question is, let’s me share with you what MY primary question has been for 44 years (i.e. until last December). I have lived my life through the lens of this question - “How can I make this better?. For me life, in all its areas, was always about improving, making better, making more effective, more inspirational, more impactful. I was always looking for ways to make anything, I mean, ANYTHING better.

The magical thing about having a “ahah” moment with Tony Robbins is that he always makes sure you find the higher intent behind any of your behaviour/decision/emotion. So I was able to, not only uncover that primary question, but also see both the benefits and the downsides of it.

As TR also teaches us, first let’s go for the upsides of that. What were the empowering effects that came about for asking that question? What did that question do for me? Well, here’s what I found out. To consistently ask myself that question I believed that there’s always a better way; that there’s always space for improvement; that change is needed and that change is something positive. I learned not to settle, to become more creative, more determined and I grew up into a hungry and insatiable woman.

And what were the downsides of that? What did that cost me? I must confess this was a very deep and emotional moment. When I was face to face with the truth of it, I cried as I became aware that I was always too hard on myself, always demanding too much from me; I didn’t enjoy being myself because I was always looking for ways to make ME better, and that means in some moments I was making ME wrong.

I would always try to “fix” others and make them better, as if there was anything wrong with them… Can you imagine how I have made people feel in the past? OMG, so many things I did wrong with my kids and my relationships. It’s a fact that what I did to myself I would do to others.

I know I did the best I could with the resources I had but still, it hurts like hell to think about the pain I caused, specially to my kids.

TR helped me find out WHY I had that as my primary question. For some reason (well, like I said I had a lot of breakthroughs, so I know the reason, but I’ll tell you about that in another post) I had this belief that if I didn’t make things better, more inspirational, more impactful, people wouldn’t notice me, I would be unseen, which means I would be ignored, which means I would be insignificant, which means I wouldn’t be loved. Such a scary frightened little girl was living inside of me! So now I cherish and nurture that part of me, the scary one, the one looking for love and significance. And I forgave myself for the pain I caused to my kids.

If we are always looking for ways to make things/people better, we are not allowing space for things/people to be just the way they are. Many times, WE just want to be loved, THEY just want to be loved, I just want to be loved… unconditionally loved being imperfectly perfect. And there are moments that we just need to BE and not DO. After all, “are you a human being or a human doing?” (Tony Robbins)

So… I am so thrilled and excited to share with you my new Primary Question – “How can I appreciate even more the beauty and the perfection of what is in this present moment, trusting that I am always guided?” Can you imagine how different my life will be now?!

Now, I’m curious to know… what is a question you repeatedly ask yourself? What do you consistently focus on? What question do you ask most often based on this focus? It’s my deepest wish that this story may help you in some way and I would love to know what your primary questions are. So, please leave your comments below.

And remember, YOU are imperfectly perfect.