6 Brilliant Questions To Shift Your Thinking

6 Questions

It’s our thinking that gets us in trouble! And it’s our thinking that has the potential to serve us well! After all, it’s what we think that drives our actions or our lack of action. If you are a leader, professional, entrepreneur, or do something else altogether, how you think makes a difference.

While our thoughts have tremendous power, we are often unaware of how they are negatively at work in our lives, yet, they silently hold us hostage.

A Real Life Example

I’ve had more than half a dozen Subaru Outbacks. For years the gas gauge in an Outback read empty on the left and full on the right like this:


Shortly after getting my 2022 Outback, I was on my way to get a massage – something truly relaxing, when I realized that the gas gauge was fully to the left or on EMPTY! I had not allowed time to stop for gas on my way to the massage so my trip there was a tad stressful wondering if I would actually be able to arrive at my destination. I’ve never run out of gas in all my years of driving and I didn’t want that to happen now. Let’s just say I was a tad stressed!

After my massage, I immediately went to a gas station to fill up my car. Not two seconds in, the pump clicked off. Now this was quite puzzling considering just how empty my car was. Getting back in my car, I glanced again at the gas gauge and low and behold this is what I saw:


Surprise! Subaru had pulled a switch on me and full now was on the left while empty was on the right. My car couldn’t have contained even a drop more of gasoline!

All along my car had plenty of fuel, but it was my belief in the lack of gas that significantly contributed to my stressful experience!

Bottom line, our thinking makes a difference!

A Healthier Approach

Rather than be held hostage by your thoughts, what if there was a way to access more freedom and operate out of more of your potential? That’s something I’ve been working on over the last ten years and I want to share my secret with you! I want you to be fearlessly walk in who God created you to be too!

Here’s my secret: I’ve began asking myself these brilliant questions:

1. What CAN I Do?

Life is frantic and full for just about everyone I know. The list of what needs to be done frequently feels overwhelming – even impossible. Maybe you are feeling that way right now!

Sadly, the weight of what needs to be done bogs you down and blocks your creativity. That makes it even more challenging to accomplish what’s on your to do list or to complete the tasks with excellence.

In those moments where you are feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself, “What CAN I do?”

This simple question forces me to let go of my rigid ideals and invite fresh creativity into the way I view what needs to get done. And it helps me to remember that doing something is better than doing nothing!

Don’t stop with applying this question to your tasks. Why not apply this question to your relationships, developing your leadership skills, cleaning, tackling something new, self-care – the opportunities are endless!

What CAN you do today?

2. What Do I “Get To” Do?

It’s easy for me to start my day by thinking about all I “have to” do. Talk about pressure! Words are powerful, so choosing to focus on what I “get to” do creates an internal shift that makes what’s on my list a happier adventure.

That presentation you are scheduled to do – you “get to” do that!

That blog you need to write – you “get to” do that.

That meal you are about to make – you “get to” do that.

A “get to” mindset is grateful for the opportunity, grateful that you have the health, skill, etc. to complete the task. Believe me, as someone who has faced serious health issues while battling Lyme disease, having the energy and strength to be able to do a task is something I don’t take for granted!

What do you “get to” do?

3. What’s The Blessing in This?

There will always be challenges, problems, unfortunate events, surprises, and interruptions. They shouldn’t surprise you. When they arrive on the scene, you have a choice. Let the unexpected throw you off center. Or focus on the blessing in that situation because no matter what you face, there’s always a blessing if you look for it.

When your plan is not panning out, what kinds of questions are you asking yourself? Perhaps questions like “Why is this happening?” or “How could this happen?” “How will this ever work out?”

Questions like that keep you focused on the negative. When you switch up your questions and look for the positive it’s amazing how that shifts your thinking and reveals fresh possibilities!

As you face detours to your plans, what’s the blessing, the positive?

4. What’s the Best Use of My Energy?

As much as I don’t like to admit it, my energy is limited. Oh, there are ways to maximize my energy – taking breaks, resting, limiting my time around negative folks, etc., yet at some point my energy runs out.

In light of the fact that my energy is limited, I must make sure that I’m investing it in the tasks and activities that are most important. The tasks that will best enable me to achieve my goals and the results I’m after.

In the past, I would tackle the easy stuff first, allowing me to check off several tasks on my list. If you get a rush out of checking things off your list – you probably relate. I’ve learned that that this is not always the best use of my energy.

These days, I’m tackling the most challenging task first. More often than not, the task is rarely as challenging as I had anticipated. And once the task is completed, I have far more energy and confidence to tackle all the remaining tasks on my list. In the end, I’m far more productive.

Embracing my limited energy has also helped me to prioritize better and it’s forced me to make some hard choices and determine what will I eliminate, what will I delegate, and what are the tasks that only I am able to do? Those are important considerations!

What’s the best use of your limited energy?

5. What’s the World of Tomorrow Asking Me to Step Up To?

Not only has the pace of life sped up, but so has the pace of change! Think about it, a lot has changed in the last 10+ years! Ten years ago, there was no…

      • Grubhub or DoorDash delivering food to your home!
      • Covid, Covid vaccines, or even a Covid boosters!
      • Ring Video Doorbell (2018)
      • Semi-autonomous cars like the 2014 Mercedes S-Class
      • Air fryers which became popular after hitting Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list in 2016
      • Venmo, which technically began in 2012, but really took off after PayPal purchased them in 2013.
      • Bed in a box like Casper, which launched in 2015

Now these are just a mere handful of the many, many changes that have radically altered the way we do life. As life continues to evolve at an ever-increasing pace, without intentional effort, adjusting to the many changes gets increasingly difficult.

In light of that, what’s the world of tomorrow asking you to step up to? How are you embracing the inevitable changes and using them to your advantage? If you don’t, you‘ll get left behind.

6. What’s God’s Perspective?

In spite of an ever-changing world, God and His Word never change! They remain the same! His Truth is constant and a firm foundation to build your life and work on.

How the world views success is very different from how God views success. What God values is unlike what the world values. That’s why it’s essential to renew your mind on a daily basis by being in The Word and asking yourself, “What is God’s perspective” and making that perspective your own!

What if you were to begin regularly integrating these six questions into your life? How would they transform your way of thinking? Imagine the amazing possibilities that your new thinking would lead to!


You are today where your thoughts have brought you;
you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
– James Allen


And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable,
and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)


…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5b (NIV)


Now, which question will best help you shift your thinking?

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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