These kinds of questions are very powerful tools that allow us to rapidly solve problems, whatever they might be. When we have a problem we usually focus on the problem itself – why it happened, whose fault it was, what we should think or feel about it, how stupid they or we are etc. Breakthrough Questions flip this around by focusing on the way forward; on breaking through the problem to the other side – and they can, in an instant, help us solve things we thought we couldn’t solve. The ultimate benefit comes when we realise that once a problem is solved it no longer weighs on our mind in the same way. Which means we can relax, and get some rest. 

These types of questions focus our minds (and those of people we live or work with when we share them) on solutions NOT problems. They assume within every problem (or challenge as we think of them) that there is at least one solution – a breakthrough – that will get us past the obstacle. With this assumption in place our powerful inner minds can stop worrying about whose fault the problem was or why it’s so bad and set to work to provide us with the answer – or usually many more than one – as our creativity steps in. Usually when we use them we realise that there is always at least one way forward – and usually many more. 

In addition to the solutions they create, most people find that when they ask themselves a Breakthrough Question the feeling of negativity that usually surrounds problems starts to fade. As we get busy on solving a challenge we find ourselves accessing the peace and fulfilment that comes when we do something, anything, to work out a way forward. To paraphrase a quote, far better to light a candle in the dark than complain that we can’t see! 

Breakthrough Questions are usually our first point of call when encountering any barriers, limitations or obstacles whether they are external ones (people, the system, money, resources etc) or the ones in our minds. If they don’t solve the challenge then we can ‘Use it’ or ‘Defuse It’ instead. 


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By Nick Jankel

Professional Global Keynote Speaker, Transformation & Innovation Catalyst, Leadership Theorist & Practitioner, 6 x Dyslexic Author, 3 x TV Coach, Co-Creator of Bio-Transformation®