asking unanswerable questions



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This article is excerpted from the book, Antivirus For Your Mind.


This is one of "22 virus definitions" (thought-mistakes that cause ineffectiveness and unnecessary negative emotions).

JUST BECAUSE you can ask a question doesn’t mean it has an answer. What’s north of the North Pole? What’s the best chess move to make? Those are essentially meaningless questions, even though they are well-formed grammatically.

The same is true of questions like, "What are they thinking about me?" or "Why aren't people buying my product?" These questions are not answerable from inside your head, so they will go round and round, upsetting you and getting you nowhere. Those two questions can only be answered by asking someone else.

"Why am I so committed to failure?" That may or may not be answerable, but I'll tell you this: You'll never know if you got the "right" answer. A much more productive thing to do with why questions of that sort are to instead ask HOW. Read more about that here.

Be very careful with the questions you ask yourself. Questions have a powerful way of generating trains of thought, so the questions you ask make a big difference.

When you feel discouraged by a setback, keep your eye out for unanswerable questions and replace them with questions you can answer, such as, "What will I do today to move my goal forward?"

See the complete list of definitions: The 22 Virus Definitions.

This article is excerpted from the book, Antivirus For Your Mind.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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