I’ve been using the sauna a lot lately and a see a few other people in there from time to time. Sometimes, I come across the same guys and we discuss the benefits of going into the sauna, as well as other things. After a few weeks I realized that others, just like myself, found that the sauna’s temperature wasn’t as hot as we’d like.

One day, I simply asked a staff member at the gym to turn it up. The next day the sauna was warmer than ever before.  The next time I saw those men they were all thanking me. All I did was ask.

Asking questions is so important.

Too often I am too shy to ask a question.

I am too embarrassed to ask a question.

I feel as though I may be judged for my question.

This is another example of trying to do things outside of my comfort zone. I’m still not where I’d like to be, but I am actively trying to ask more questions.

Yesterday, as a family, we went out for my mom’s birthday. I was hesitant tell the waitress it’s my mom’s birthday and to ask her for a cake. I know it’s such a small thing but I found myself holding back. I don’t know why. Maybe because they would sing and people would look at our table. It wasn’t something that I am comfortable with. Instead Eliz asked. I’m glad she did.

That’s a learning experience for me. I look at that and think never again. At least I hope never again. I should be able to ask simple questions like that.

At the same time I am very comfortable asking questions to people online. What is it about me that is more comfortable when sitting in front of a computer?

I’m not quite sure but I definitely feel as though I can ask questions over email or Facebook easier than in person. This is the case in certain situations. For instance, when I am in a meeting with a potential client I make sure to ask as many questions as I can.  Asking the right questions can land me a big contract.

Maybe I am hesitant in situations where there is no structure. In a business meeting we all know why we are there. On the other hand, if I’m in line at a Starbucks and I see someone holding a book I’m curious about, I will think twice before asking their thoughts on the book. I’m afraid of what the other person may think. This is precisely the type of situation that I am trying to change. My goal now is to able to ask how the book is. If I can do it in low pressure situations like that I feel I will be able to ask the right questions in high pressure situations. It takes practice.

I believe asking the right questions can change one’s life.

I play a lot of backgammon with my dad and soon to be father-in-law. I win some. They win some. It’s pretty even. I really enjoy it.

Last week, I searched for world winners of backgammon championships online. There’s a list of past winners. I actually reached out to a few online. Asked them a few questions and actually received replies. It was awesome.

They gave me a few tips. Mentioned websites that help them out. One champion even shared his favourite book about backgammon. I haven’t read it yet but I imagine I will at some point.

It only took me 15 minutes to find past champions and ask them questions. This was a trick I learned from Tools of Titans. 

I simply asked to be named VP of Sales. This, I did in person. Maybe our CEO was thinking about the promotion already. Maybe he wasn’t. What harm would it do to ask? Absolute worst case scenario he says no you’re not ready yet. He may have even offered up some advice to say this is what you need to do before you are ready. Instead, he gave me the role. The title. I feel I deserved it and I had to ask to get it. I’m glad I did. It was one question. Granted it came after years of work but it was still a question that needed to be asked.

I ask more questions in my personal life too. I ask about people’s plans. It leads to very interesting conversations. I get closer to them through these questions.

We can all benefit from asking more questions. The right question, to the right person, can change one’s life. Asking questions is beginning to change my life. We’ll see how it turns out.




Author: Mehmet Akcagliyan

I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul.

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