Interview with Debbie Ford . . .
Pose The Right Questions And Have Your Best Life
By Sheryll Alexander
Have you ever driven home, to work, or to school, and when you arrive at your destination it feels like your memory of the ride has been erased like a blackboard? Or, sometimes it’s just the opposite. The same old drive invigorates the senses, and you remember where to turn, which lane to cross into, how fast or slow you must go to stay in the flow of the traffic, and, somehow, you feel powerful at the wheel — in control instead of driving on autopilot, unaware of your choices.
How do we capture that lucid, in-control feeling in every aspect of our lives? This is the subject of The Right Questions, the latest book by bestselling author Debbie Ford. “In honestly answering the ten questions posed in my book, you can discover your true motivations and regain control of your destiny.”
To consciously drive your finances, or any area of your life, Ford believes that you first need to understand the power of choice. “You must choose to have a plan,” Ford said, and she suggests creating a very detailed plan with specific goals, objectives and action steps.
“Instead of allowing your whims and desires to rule your finances, choose to be one hundred percent accountable for your financial health. The bumps in the road come when the choices you make everyday are inconsistent with your prosperity plan. “Every time you make an irrational purchase, you are following a subconscious desire,” said Ford.
However, you can avoid the bumps, potholes and detours by using Ford’s ten powerful questions outlined in her new book, The Right Questions. “They work because these are either/or questions which guide you to making positive or negative choices.”
But what are your true motivations? What are your subconscious desires? Are you truly focused toward the achievement of your goals or to something else? That “something else” is what Ford describes as an underlying commitment. “These subconscious motivations were formed early on when an emotional wound or need didn’t get met,” said Ford, “and we carry them into adulthood.” Some typical first commitments are:
No one is going to tell me what to do. I
need someone to take care of me because I can’t do it by myself.
I will never outshine my mother or father.
Remember your prosperity plan? Let’s say that one of your goals is to suspend all clothing purchases for 60 days. But a shopping trip to the mall tempts the subconscious self that says, “No one is going to tell me what to do.” So, you go ahead and buy a new pair of jeans. You think you’ve scored on a fantastic 50% off sale, but have you?
Your real allegiance is to that first commitment of having whatever you want, whenever you want it and not to your goal of saving money for two months. And here’s the painful part: you think less of yourself for not sticking to your financial goal. “What you need to do is look at your choices and ask yourself if they are in direct alignment with your newly-committed goals, or are you making self-sabotaging choices because you are staying true to your first commitment,” said Ford.
Ford’s right questions can be used anywhere and at anytime to help you uncover your underlying commitment and stick with your new goal. Let’s go back to the mall: you’ve got that new pair of jeans in your hands and are headed towards checkout. Instead of driving on autopilot, you could stop and ask yourself this “right” question: “Will this action bring me short-term gratification or long-term fulfillment?”
This ability to stop in the moment and assess your choice is the basic message of Ford’s book. “Our short-term choices are made from some unfulfilled need,” said Ford. “It’s impossible to get to your destination if you are always stopping to fulfill that subconscious choice.”
Another powerful “right” question is: “Does this empower me or does it disempower me?” Empowerment comes when you move in the direction of your deepest desires. “When you succumb to your insecurities, fears and doubts, you lower your self-esteem and go in the opposite direction of your goal,” said Ford. “If we come from a place of empowerment, we can love ourselves for the choices we make.”
The next “right” question keeps you in the driver’s seat: “Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?” The key here is to meet your heart’s desire. “Self-love is waking up in the morning, deciding that you are going to follow your plan and going to bed that night, satisfied with the choices you made that day. If your choices were self-sabotaging, then you’ll wind up hating yourself at some level. All acts of self sabotage are acts of self hate.”
Want to get back on track? Follow Ford’s five-step plan for prosperity:
1. Create a financial goal. Get specific on the amount you want to save/earn and by what date.
2. Find five choices or action steps you can take each day to achieve your goal. Perhaps you can take a class to have a second stream of income or you can barter your services instead of paying.
3. Look at your goals every morning to get clear before you start the day. Think about what can take you closer or farther away from your goals.
4. Use the “right questions” for the next 90 days. Before you make a choice, use one or several of the above questions to make sure you are going in the right direction.
5. How can you win a difficult race without a coach? Investing in a life or integrative coach will help you drive smoothly to your best life. If you can’t afford it, barter or get a mentor.
To find out more about making empowering choices and meeting your goals, Debbie Ford will lecture on The Right Questions at Costa Mesa’s Center for Spiritual Discovery on September 21, 2003, from 2-5:00 p.m. “Debbie Ford’s reputation and her books are well known throughout the world and we feel honored and privileged to host her Orange County speaking engagement,” said Dr. Jim Turrell, the center’s founder and pastor. After the lecture, Ford will personally sign copies of her latest book. For reservations, please call (714) 754-7399 ext. 22. Tickets are $50 for reserved seating, $30 for general admission.
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