Master Your Best Thinking with this One Simple Question

Have you ever wondered why you made a snap decision that you later regretted? It’s a common experience for many of us. You might not realize that most of the time your thinking operates on autopilot. While this helps you make quick decisions, it doesn’t always lead to the best outcomes. But what if there were a way to break free from your habitual, automatic, autopilot thinking?  What if you could learn to master your best thinking more often, by using one simple question?

Understanding Autopilot Thinking

Research tells us that your brain is wired to operate on autopilot much of the time. According to neurobiologists and cognitive psychologists, up to 95% of our daily actions are habitual, meaning they occur without conscious thought. This helps you conserve energy and make decisions quickly. However, when your thinking is on autopilot, you’re not using your best thinking. Instead, you rely on deeply ingrained habits of thinking that may not always serve you well.

The Central Question

The Central Question of Life, Love, and Leadership is a game-changer. It’s all about asking yourself, “What choice can I make and action can I take in this moment to create the greatest net value or outcome for all concerned?” This one simple question encourages you to pause, engage your best thinking, and consider the broader implications of your decisions.

 “What choice can I make and action can I take in this moment to create the greatest net value or outcome for all concerned?”

~ Peter Demarest and Harvey Schoof, authors of Answering The Central Question.

Creating New Thinking Habits

By practicing The Central Question throughout your day, you can create new thinking habits that lead to better results. Instead of reacting impulsively, you can learn to pause, reflect, respond, and make decisions that create more value for you and everyone involved. Over time, this can lead to greater satisfaction, success, and fulfillment in all areas of your life.

The Science Behind “The Central Question”

Research in cognitive psychology supports the effectiveness of pausing and engaging in reflective thinking. By taking the time to consider your options and their potential outcomes, you can make more informed decisions that lead to better results. This process is known as metacognition and it plays a crucial role in self-regulated learning and decision-making.

Unlock Your Best Thinking: 3 Practical Steps

So, if you’re ready to make more decisions that lead to better outcomes, here are three practical steps to incorporate “The Central Question” into your daily life:

1: Set an Intention

To initiate change, set a specific intention. Whether it’s a change in your mindset or behavior, consciously committing to this change is a crucial first step. But an idea alone isn’t enough, without action. Set up an automated reminder three times per day to disrupt your current automatic thinking. This reminder will keep you focused on your intention until it becomes a natural habit. A free download to learn more can be found by clicking here.

2: Ask (and Answer) The Central Question

The heart of unlocking your best thinking lies in consistently asking and answering “The Central Question”: “What choice can I make and action can I take in this moment to create the greatest net value or outcome for all concerned?” Make it a habit to pause and reflect before making decisions. Consider all options, gather necessary information, assess the timing, and ensure the decision benefits all stakeholders, including yourself. The more you practice this, the more intuitive it becomes.

3: Reflect on Your Results

It’s easy to lose sight of your progress when focused solely on future goals. Take time to reflect on your journey. Notice how far you’ve come. Consider how your outcomes have improved. Pay attention to feedback from others; they often recognize changes in you before you do. Reflecting on your results reinforces positive changes and helps you adjust your approach as needed.

What Choice Can You Make?

In a world where you’re constantly bombarded with distractions and demands, autopilot thinking can be helpful, allowing you to make decisions quickly and efficiently. However, if you’re not getting the results you desire, maybe it’s time to DO something different. While nearly 95% of our thinking is habitual and automatic, even small shifts in thinking can create monumental improvements in outcomes. Embracing “The Central Question of Life, Love, and Leadership” will help you break free from your autopilot thinking and unlock your best thinking more often. So, what choice can you make and action can you take right now to create the greatest net value or outcome for all concerned? It’s time to find out.

Ready to take the next step? Let’s chat.

Kristin Clark is an Axiogencs LLC Partner and Certified Axiogenics Coach. She’s the owner of Insight Coaching and co-author of Living a Richer Life; It’s All in Your Head which she proudly wrote with her dad. She’s coached hundreds of people from a range of backgrounds and beliefs, industries, and professions. Kristin trains and coaches owners, executives, and business leaders seeking to become Valuegenic Self-Leaders.  Kristin can help you master your A-Game, enhance your performance, embrace your relationships, engage your team, elevate your leadership, and enrich your life.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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