I love that my great friend Bob Tiede devotes this space to “Leading with Questions.” Good questions are often the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people.
So let me ask you a timely, practical question: How do you start your day?
Do you reach for the snooze? Do you stagger to the coffee maker? Go for a run? Scan the obit section? Intentional or not, we all have a routine for the day’s first moments.
When I was growing up, my Mom would always have this loving way of nudging me towards asking myself the right questions in life. She never had all the answers, but she knew where I could find them.
When I was just starting to find my way in life, she told me of a “Secret” that was passed on to her. A secret I didn’t even know was a possibility—maybe you didn’t know either. As she talked about it, there was a serious tone in her voice, a passion, a glow that radiated from her. She told me that there was nothing that I could do or think of in life that would be more important that setting up 2 Chairs right now and doing it every morning of my life.
Now you might be thinking, “Why was my Mom talking about furniture being the secret to the universe?” Well, it’s not about furniture; it’s about who will be sitting in the furniture. The Secret that Mom was talking about is this: God wants to spend time with each of us every morning, before we begin the day. One chair for you, one for Him. He wants to talk to you; be friends. He already knows everything about you and He wants you to know everything about Him.
My mom came to understand her own limitations and turned it into a strategic advantage the rest of her life. She would always tell me that in this life you will have trouble. It’s unfortunately one of the common bonds we all share. Life will be crazy, painful, messy, and suddenly tragic. Often you don’t cause it, sometimes you do. Regardless of how it arrives, you must be prepared. This is where asking good questions becomes a difference maker.
Have you noticed that when things are going your way, you don’t spend a lot of time asking a lot of questions? In fact, you want to “knock on wood,” not rock the boat, and hope life can just stay good. But we all know this kind of naïve thinking leads to problems.
On one hand, you face some problems that you confidently believe you can and should handle yourself: a broken garage door, a flooded bathroom, a kid sick again at daycare, or that one person at work who doesn’t seem to like you no matter what you do or say. But on the other hand, there are other problems that bring so much trouble to your heart that you don’t know what to do or where to turn: an accident, a job loss, a bad health prognosis, divorce papers served, or a son or daughter in trouble. In times like these, you might quickly isolate yourself and start feeling hopeless. If you’re truly honest with yourself, you’d admit that you have a lot more of the second kind of problems than you’d ever want to tell anyone about. That’s why you need something bigger than who you are—bigger than your thoughts, your ways, and clearly bigger than any trouble that hits you square between the eyes.
Believe me when I tell you, 2 Chairs is what you’ve needed all along!
My mom approached this subject of what to do and where to turn in times of trouble by asking me three simple yet disruptive questions—simple because I couldn’t believe I hadn’t asked them before, and disruptive because they quickly disarmed me and showcased my limitations.
The first question she asked caught me completely off guard: “Does God know your situation?”
She quickly followed up with the second question: “Is this too hard for Him?” I almost asked her, “Is this too hard for who?” But I knew my mom was bringing a much higher perspective to my situation.
Then she asked her final question: “Does He have a good plan for you?” That question was the most disruptive because it exposed my limitations. I believed God did have a good plan for me, but I told her I didn’t know what the plan was. She replied, “Of course you don’t know! That’s why you need 2 Chairs! Bob, if there was a one percent chance that God would meet you, would you set up the 2 Chairs?”
As I was listening to her I thought to myself, what would I possibly have to lose by trying? So I told her I would. My mom said that was a good decision because she believed there was a 100 percent chance He would meet me and have some things to tell me.
Skeptical? Try it and see. Already have a “quiet time”? Add this to it. Have an active prayer life? This will boost it because 2 Chairs intentionally slows you down to allow God to respond to you and you to listen to what He has to say.
Why would God tell us in scripture to renew our minds daily if He only meant on Sundays and holidays?
Why would He tell us to seek him first if He meant seventh?
Why would He instruct us to ask, seek, and knock if He didn’t have anything to give us?
I unpack this secret, ask more challenging questions, and pass along my mom’s practical wisdom in my new book “2 Chairs”. All of my success in life and business as well as the ability to get through the hardest of times I can credit back to starting each morning at 2 Chairs. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and discover what I’ve known for forty years—my mom was right!
Note from Bob Tiede: I was privileged to know Bob’s mom, Martha Beaudine! I am thanking God that she shared the secret of “2 Chairs” with Bob and that he has now shared that secret with us in his new book “2 Chairs – The Secret That Changes Everything.” Click “HERE” to order your book today.
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