Creating the Future eJournal
July 10, 2017

To change your results, change the assumptions that guide your actions.

To change your assumptions, change the questions you’re asking.

Change your questions, and you can change everything.

The Best Question?
What is it about “Catalytic Thinking” that makes it catalytic? We get asked that a lot. And why focus on questions? We get asked that a lot, too.

The answer to both questions has to do with the cause-and-effect that creates results in any situation you encounter.

The actions that create your results are caused by your thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions. At the core, those assumptions are the answers to questions you don’t even realized are being asked.

Whether you assume the earth is flat or round, the question at the core of that assumption is, “What will happen if I get close to the horizon?” 

You have the power to change your own assumptions, and the assumptions of those around you, by the questions you ask. Whether it is at work, in your community, or in your efforts to communicate with a loved one, the questions you ask can create agreement or disagreement, calm or agitation. Your questions can cause joyful inquiry or scarcity-driven fear.

By changing the questions you ask in your day-to-day life, small actions can create big results. And that is why we call it “Catalytic” thinking.

The Best Questions: Try This
There are 3 questions at the root of Catalytic Thinking. The chart below shows how those questions compare to the questions you are more likely to hear in your day-to-day.

This week’s exercise is therefore a simple one: Notice which questions you hear most often. And notice the result of those questions.

Instead of asking…
  • What is the problem and how will we solve it?
  • Can we trust them? What if they steal my idea / our stuff?
  • How will we pay for that? Where will the money come from?
Catalytic Thinking asks…
  • What is the future we want to create, and what will it take to create that reality?

  • Who else cares about this? What can we accomplish together that none of us can accomplish on our own?

  • What resources do we have together that none of us has all of on our own?
If you notice people asking about problems, are they happy, calm, and inspired? Or are they feeling despair and agitation?  

If you notice people asking about how to protect their stuff, are they joyful? Or are they acting fearful? 

There is great power in simply noticing how those simple, day-to-day questions are creating those emotional results. 

If you are feeling inspired to insert a more catalytic question into the conversation, notice what happens when you do. And please share those observations with all of us. Because sharing together and practicing together is how we will all learn together.
Want to learn alongside other people who are also trying out Catalytic Thinking practices? Join our Catalytic Thinking in Action community on Facebook - a welcoming place where you can ask questions and learn from people like you who are experimenting with these practices. We look forward to seeing you there!
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the Future
is a collection of people around the world, supporting each other in a grand experiment.

The experiment:
To determine how much better the world could be if the questions we ask in our day to day lives are bringing out the best in each other.

If everyone, everywhere, is bringing out the best in every person they encounter – and if the systems that guide our behaviors are built to bring out the best in all of us - how much closer will we all be to a healthy, humane world that works for all of us?
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