What’s the best question to ask?

I’m a big believer in the power of questions to direct people’s thinking. The point of this post isn’t to come up with great answers, it’s to come up with great questions.

I’ve been a fan of Anthony Robbins and have been listening to his CD’s and tapes since I was in my 20′s. One of recordings he did that influenced me the most was his tape on “The Power of Questions.”

The essence of the tape was simply this: Your mind is like a computer — if you ask it a question, it will give you an answer. People’s minds just work that way.

Try it sometime. Find a quiet place, then sit and ask yourself a question and see what your mind comes up with.

Maybe you could ask, “what can I do to reduce the impact I’m having on the planet?”. Or “how can I be a better parent (or child, spouse, friend, etc.)”. What I’ve found is that if I ask myself questions, my mind will come up with answers. It’s really interesting to me.

Tony goes on to say that “If you want better answers, ask yourself better questions.” That is, don’t ask “Why me?” or “How come I can never get ahead?” — instead ask better questions like, “What single change can I make — today — that will improve my life the most?”.

Better questions give better answers. And that brings us (finally!) to the point of this post.

What is the best question we can ask ourselves to help us change our behaviors to improve the way we live and the impact we have on the planet?

Here are some examples:

“Who can I write a letter to that will result in the biggest reduction in energy usage?”

This brings to mind for me the letter that blogger a seigel wrote to the editors at Consumer Reports asking them to include power consumption as one of the criteria in their evaluations of TV sets. If a letter changes their review process, it could change buying criteria for many consumers.

“What activity can I undertake that will have the biggest impact on my personal energy consumption?”

Well, maybe it’s replacing your light bulbs with CFL bulbs. Then again, maybe it’s doing an overall energy audit on your home.

So that’s the point of this post — and the question I’m asking today — “What questions can we ask ourselves that will help us make the biggest impact on our environment?”

What are your thoughts?