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HALL OF FAMEon October 7, 2003
then maybe you're asking the wrong questions!
Workshop leader and author Debbie Ford shows you how with her new book.
Debbie Ford, noted workshop leader and author, has written a simple and practical guide to improving your life, and achieving future goals and dreams. As Ford demonstrated with her books The Dark Side of the Light Chasers and The Secret of the Shadow, she specializes in uncovering the unconscious motivations and undercurrents that rule our lives. When we don't examine and question our thought patterns or behaviors, we can move along life quite mindlessly--and quite miserably--at the mercy of the beliefs and commitments we've made during childhood or crisis.
A few of the author's questions are reminiscent of those addressed by other self-help books, but there's a beautiful simplicity in the directness of her 10 questions that is immediately applicable and immediately helpful. You don't have to wade through technical terms or concepts to "get it". And I admit, I like this approach. It's refreshing to have someone lay out a common-sense process to enriching life and increasing personal freedom, rather than craft a convoluted theory or system that promises perfection or enlightenment and bogs down an already-overwhelmed reader in the process!
The Right Questions
1. Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?
2. Will this choice bring me long term fulfillment or will it bring me short term gratification?
3. Am I standing in my own power or am I trying to please another?
4. Am I looking for what's right, or am I looking for what's wrong?
5. Will this choice add to my life force, or will it rob me of my energy?
6. Will I use this situation as a catalyst to grow and evolve or will I use it to beat myself up?
7. Does this choice empower me or dis-empower me?
8. Is this an act of self-love or self-sabotage?
9. Is this an act of faith or an act of fear?
10 Am I choosing from my Divinity or am I choosing from my humanity?
If you're having a rough time navigating through your life and feel drained, directionless, frustrated, and paralyzed, I highly recommend Debbie Ford's new book The Right Questions. When you start to ask the right questions, you can finally arrive at empowering and live-giving answers.
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I'm ususally suspicious of books with subtitles like this one, but this time I was pleasantly surprised. If you're a connoisseur of the self-help genre, you won't find dramatically new content. Ford's contribution: creative packaging to help us see the wisdom in old truths. Each chapter addresses a dimension of choice and suggests we can choose life affirmation and growth over self-sabotage and decline.
Debbie Ford's theme: Each day we make choices, large and small. When we consciously assess the consequences of each choice, we might make different decisions. Standing at the coffee counter, we debate whether to select an espresso mocha with whipped cream or an iced tea. Facing our computer, we can play an extra game of solitaire or get down to business.
Choice gives us power over our lives and I can see where evaluating each day's choices can lead to growth. As a career coach, I see examples every day and I plan to recommend this book to many people. A client says, "I can't work on my new business in the evenings -- that's the only time to practice gourmet cooking or work in the garden." That client shows where her priorities lie -- and has made a choice that will not lead her in the direction of her goals.
Two quibbles: The book could have said more about those who systematically make "bad" choices. They may need to recognize and reorganize their agenda. Rather than change their choices, they may have to find a way to redefine their goals and recognize their real priorities.
And I am uncomfortable with Ford's chapter on choosing faith instead of fear. I've seen too many people who leaped to quit a job, move to a new city or enter a new relationship because they just read a book or talked to a coach who said "Go for it."
At the risk of alienating many positive thinkers out there, I think faith needs to be bolstered by careful planning and a safety net. The safety net might be a set of skills and a flexible attitude -- but many people think they're more flexible than they really are.
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on March 22, 2005
I know many people who really love Debbie Ford's work, so I decided to check her work out myself. I have had great experience listening to people I know and admire - that is how I found Julia Cameron, for example - who has gone on to be instrumental in my own personal growth.

In this case, I found my thoughts and experiences do not gel with as much of what Debbie Ford says - and I found the presentation of the content to be a bit jarring.

I discovered I didn't have problems with most of the message of this book, it was more its presentation and organization that I found to be outside the helpful, positive range.

The book opens with very familiar content, with material from a Tony Robbins quiote, "Quality questions create a quality life." I agree - wholeheartedly. It felt rather "status quo, here I am reading another main-stream motivational book" and then Ford takes the leap into Spirituality, with a lot of talk about one's star, life force and flame. Again, I appreciate Spirituality... so aside from the sort of un-gentle glide, I was ok with this content.

She wrote about Amma, a spiritual leader I have heard others experience, and I thought that was pretty cool so I kept reading and as I did I became less and less comfortable - and more and more curious about what makes so many people so appreciative of this book?

If you like things like "Choices that DIM YOUR LIFE versus CHOICES THAT MAKE YOUR FIRE ROAR" you will appreciate this book.

If you believe in by-passing emotion - you will appreciate this book.

And that is where I shut this book - because as an active creator/performer/writer, I simply can not bypass emotion. I can bypass opinion, but I can not bypass the truth within my emotion and the message within my emotion.

For me, that is what was the clincher or the "final straw" so to speak which would keep me from making a recommendation of this particular title. I have tried to write this review to help you to know what might connect with you in this title - and to let you know what was completely disconnecting for me.

Read on -
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on December 15, 2003
Although this book (as other reviewers have pointed out) doesn't have anything radically new to say, I think it's very useful for two reasons. (1) The author's emphasis on the here-and-now is refreshing: there are whole shelves of self-help books that focus on goal-setting, which is essential too; but you actually achieve your goals (or not) through the small day-to-day choices you make, and few authors provide specific help with that part of the process. (2) If you set goals but consistently fail to get any closer to them, she advises you to examine your daily choices to determine the REAL goals they serve. This can be very enlightening (and sometimes disquieting), but until you've identified how you may be sabotaging yourself, you'll continue to be frustrated.
That said, I found some of the author's advice questionable. (1) She doesn't deal with situations where the "right" choices may conflict. (E.g., should I get up early to go to yoga class, or get a few more hours of sleep? If my goal is to be fitter, of course I should go to class; but if I'm not getting enough sleep, I'm not taking care of myself. The long-term question may be "Why am I overcommitted?", but the immediate problem is sleep deprivation, and doing the "right" thing may compound the problem and/or distract you from addressing the real question.) (2) This may be petty, but I find it annoying when someone who (from her photograph) appears thin, to the point of being almost anorexic, makes self-righteous pronouncements about sticking to diets! (3) The model of behavior she appears to be promoting is total control at all times: you shouldn't make ANY decision, no matter how small, without asking whether your choice serves some lofty purpose. While I agree that it's helpful to observe the patterns in the choices you make, and to change a pattern if it gets in the way of your life goals, some trivial decisions really ARE trivial (chocolate or vanilla?), and it's OK to lighten up every now and then!
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on April 17, 2004
The power of these questions is immeasuarable. It will change your life IF you USE it everytime you make a important choice.
The brain is asking questions on a subconscious level all the time - eg. what should i do now?, is this the right action?, where do i go from here? etc.

If you study people who are depressed and feel stuck in life, you will invariably find that they use the wrong questions. Questions that make them feel stuck and helpless such as "Why do I always fail?", "Oh, who do i think i am?", "why can't i get it right?", "why does it ALWAYS have to be me?". The human mind cannot help but give answers to these questions, thereby creating a loop of negativity.
BUT if you ask the right questions, it will lead to the right answers which makes you stay on your life purpose. The questions in this book are addressing choices you make. There are also other types of powerful questions not included in this book, questions which opens up new ways of thinking and doing things. I would recommend people who would like to explore the power of questions such books as "Frogs Into Princes" and "Structure of Magic" by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. These books address the importance of asking the right questions that they call the "Meta Model" used in NLP. One of the most powerful questions Bandler and Grinder came up with was "What if I could?" everytime you think something is 'impossible'. This question immediately breaks the limitation and opens up new resources and pathways to achieving. Anthony Robbins reckons that this was the one big question that turned him from a failure to success when he was starting out.
And instead of saying "I'm depressed", ask instead "HOW exactly am i making myself feel depressed?" thereby breaking the illusion that depression is a 'thing' that one has, instead of the result of some processes in our mind, or posture. Read these books to master these powerful questions which will change your life.
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on April 3, 2003
This is not your average self-help book. It's more like a moment to moment compass that always keeps you pointing in the direction you want to go. Since I've begun asking the Right Questions I have literally created more of what I want in my life -- more health and beauty in my body, more connection and fun with my kids, more sex with my husband....more contentment and joy in my life.
These questions make it easy to take the high road and live my life in a way that makes me feel truly proud. Thank God the book jumped off the page at me!

One word of caution, though. Using the The Right Questions will obliterate all your excuses about why you don't have the life you want. So if you like your excuses you may not want to read it. But if you're truly ready to live the extraordinary life you always wanted, this book will give you the fuel to do it.
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Take three hours out of your too busy life and read this book.
I've been struggling for months now wondering why I can never seem to find the time for the things I claim are the most important to me. Debbie Ford let me in on a little secret: I have unconscious priorities that are sabotaging my conscious ones. These unconscious priorities are guiding the choices I make on a daily basis, keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be (but can't seem to move out of.)
If you're tired of going around in circles and want the keys that will help you move past where you are to the place you really want to be in life, read this book. It can be a bit overwhelming to apply at first, but asking yourself The Right Questions before deciding whether to buy another pair of shoes, or eat a cheeseburger, or go to the gym will put you on the path toward your dreams.
You should also know that I read Debbie Ford's book "Dark Side of the Light Chasers" and thought "so what?" But the PW review for this book intrigued me enough to give her another chance (thank goodness.)
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on April 8, 2003
I can't believe how much this book has changed my life in such a short time (and I've tried a lot of self help books). By asking myself these questions on a daily basis I have completely shifted how I look at myself, my choices, my responsibilities, and my options! I'm creating exactly what I want in my life, instead of having my "default map" lead me to the same dead ends over and over and not knowing why. People have noticed the change in me and I couldn't be more excited about my life. Believe me, buying this book will be the best investment you've ever made!
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on April 6, 2003
The Right Questions is the right book at the right time. I use the questions every day to look at my life in a new and empowered way. This is a practical guide to running your life with all the tools you need to make all the decisions we face day to day whether life changing or unimportant. If there was a "Care and Maintenance Book" for our emotional and spiritual bodies ... this would be it. Finally, a self help book that works in any situation and is practical for everyday life. This is a great book for anyone.

This book has all the answers.
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on May 31, 2005
This little book is deceptively simple. In a easy and straightforward style, Debbie Ford gets readers to look at the conscious and unconscious choices they make every day which greatly impact their lives. I've read so much in this category that I was skeptical about this book -- just another "self-help" book, I thought. But I will say Debbie Ford got me thinking about things in a new way, and I ended up devising questions to ask myself which have given me insight into my own direction-- I'd say she met her objective with me!

There is nothing ground-breaking in this book -- rather, it's the style and approach which leads to deep self-discovery for the reader. I recommend it.
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