Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wildest Dreams Checklist: Start Asking Yourself EMPOWERING Questions

As you have probably noticed, I'm an avid book reader. Last year I bought an Amazon Kindle electronic reading device, and I enjoy this gadget as much as I enjoy my iPod. For me, it's great because it can store many, many books without creating clutter in my house.

Anyway, here are some quotes that I'd like you to consider from The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith:

"Distinction 1. Millionaires ask themselves empowering questions. Middle-class people ask themselves disempowering questions.

. . . This distinction reflects a universal principle that is summed up in the ancient scripture 'Ask and you will receive.' You will receive answers for whatever questions you ask, so you better ask empowering questions. The bigger your questions the better. Learn to ask yourself questions that stretch you beyond your current levels of experience. Questions hold the answers that you need to succeed." Amazon Kindle Locations 787-97 [emphasis added]

I thought of this because of a recent post by Gina, blog host of What About Our Daughters. Gina asked her audience to consider the question "If you could make the movie of your dreams about Black women, what would it be about?" Well, there was one commenter from the film industry who was focused on "proving" to the audience that the movies we want to see CAN'T get made. This commenter seemed angry and offended that people were daring to come up with possibilities such as viral YouTube marketing campaigns, etc.!

Too many Black women have this sort of attitude. If we want abundant lives, we need to break free of that sort of thinking. One way is to train our minds to ask ourselves empowering questions. In his book, Mr. Smith gives some examples of empowering questions:

"Which question is more empowering, 'How can I double my income this year?' or 'How can I get enough money to pay the bills this month?'

Do you see the difference? It takes the same amount of mental energy to think about answering the big question as it does the small question. Think about questions that expand your mind, because you will receive answers for any questions you ask.

Let's look at a few more examples. 'How can I make $1 million a year doing what I love?' or 'How can I get my boss to give me a raise?'

'What is life trying to teach me right now?' or 'Why do bad things always happen to me?' . . . 'What would I enjoy doing to stay strong and healthy?' or 'Why is it so hard to lose weight?'" Amazon Kindle Locations 797-807 through 807-18. [emphasis added]

Keep in mind that:

"Empowering questions ask what you CAN do and disempowering questions ask what you CAN'T do.

Disempowering questions also ask why things are hard.

Empowering questions make you feel good.

Disempowering questions make you feel bad. You can control the way you feel by asking yourself empowering questions." Amazon Kindle Locations 807-18. [emphasis added]

I've decided to make the Wildest Dreams Checklist a semi-regular blog feature. Please consider this feature part of your personal think tank. This checklist is here to brainstorm ideas in support of your wildest dreams!

What are some practical, (NOT metaphysical) empowering questions that you can start asking yourself RIGHT NOW?


Amenta said...

Khadija, this is so important. Words are power. The Ancient Kemetan taught the concept of Words of Power. And its so good that you have put this information out. Many of us have no concept of how powerful we are and what we draw to us and how we draw things to us. Many forgetten that; In the beginning was sound and the sound was a word or a song and the sound became Light. A book I will offer is Voices of Our Ancestors. This book covers this subject from the point of view of resurrecting the mind and the power of mind. What you give us here is how we can speak for the positive and not the negative.

Thank you for this!


Amenta said...

The book is Voices of our Ancestors by Dhyani Ywahoo

DeStouet said...

Khadijah, how could you think of books as clutter? LOL! In fact, I was pricing different book shelves this past weekend because I have to get another one. The ones I purchased last year are filled to capacity -and than some.

It's funny that you decided to focus on Empowering questions because I have many writing journals and one of them is where I pose all kinds of questions to myself.

I started this after reading a book called, "Women Who Run With the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I highly recommend this book to all women.

In one of the chapters (I can't quite recall offhand) she talks about the importance of assessing ourselves by constantly questioning ourselves, our motives, our desires, our secrets, our attitudes.

On a personal note, questioning my motives and desires really put me in the spotlight and I immediately was able to see many of my flaws.

She also suggested that we ask ourselves questions, that was empowering for some of the same reasons you listed. And she also spoke in great lengths about the importance of asking yourself the right questions. And since that day I've kept a question journal.

One of the very first questions I asked myself was, "Why and for how long has free-will been under attack?"

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post, love it, keep up the empowering work!!!!!!

Khadija said...

Greetings, Ensayn1!

You're welcome. And THANK YOU for the book reference!

Greetings, DeStouet!

Guurl, I've got 4 bookshelves filled to capacity, and plastic crates of books in the basement. And these are just the books that I can't bear to part with! LOL! I've still got all these books even though I usually donate boxes of my used books each year to the public library branch (in my childhood neighborhood).

I had to go paperless to save my house! LOL!

Yep. The questions we ask steer the course of our lives. We can either ask questions whose answers lift us up; or we can ask questions whose answers keep up down.

Greetings, Anonymous!

Thank you for your kind words about the blog. I truly appreciate it!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...


Let's take this out of the metaphysical realm and into more practical matters (which is where I prefer to be). I'll go first by giving an example of some of my own questions.

Some of the ongoing questions that I've asked about the side business that I'm building are: "How can I automate some of this? How can I make this business a source of truly PASSIVE income---meaning that I don't have to be constantly involved in its operation?"

Well, I've found various answers. One answer that I'm exploring is WebStore by Amazon. If you're a budding entrepreneur, I would suggest that you check it out!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...


1. What steps do I need to take to prepare myself for living part time in Dakar? How can I use that experience to strengthen my relationship with Allah, self, and family?

2. What local programs have the best French immersion experiences? How can I budget, and plan for them? What are simple steps my family and I can take to start speaking wolof fluently at home?

3. How can I --accelerate-- the time it will take to complete my undergraduate degree? What will I do differently when completing a masters degree?

4. Who can I consult about creating an African American Islamic home schooling curriculum or a regionally accredited distance learning charter school that is rigorous, relevant, inspiring, and Islamically exhilarating?

5. I can quit this 9-5 when I save up $12,000, what can I do to avoid temptations ( eating out, shopping, etc) so that I can reach my goal by August 2009 no later than November 2009.

7. My husband and I need to maintain our relationship, how can we find a network of registered child care workers so that we can get more time to ourselves?

8.I want my child to be well dressed, and I do not care for the clothing in most department stores ( with the exception of Sears) how can I go about learning to sew modest, trendy, but age appropriate clothing.

What a great way to end the week and begin the year!

Khadija said...

Greetings, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

Now THESE are the sorts of questions I was hoping to hear! Here are a few thoughts:

About Question #2(learning French & Wolof): I would suggest that you check out author Tim Ferriss' blog at He has several really good posts up about making one's foreign language study as efficient as possible. In fact, his latest post is How to Learn Any Language in 3 months.

About Question #3 (how to accelerate acquisition of your undergraduate degree): I boil degree programs' component classes into substance that is directly relevant to one's major, and general credit hours "fluff."

Fluff isn't inherently a bad thing. It's good to have a broad-based education. The problem is that as an adult student, you probably don't have time to invest in required general fluff classes.

I would suggest that you look for loopholes around required fluff credit hours. For one example, some universities offer several hours of college credit for an (adult) student's "life/work experience." This usually involves doing some sort of portfolio about your work experience.

For another example, sometimes you can "place out" of fluff classes by taking the college equivalent of high school AP (advanced placement) tests.

You'll have to carefully read through the university's materials. Colleges don't advertise ways that students can avoid spending unecessary time and money on "fluff" credit hours!

About Question #7 (finding a network of registered child care workers): Does your local government have a listing of licensed child care facilities that you could sift through?

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...


Please feel free to add your own 2 cents in response to anyone's questions. I would like for the Wildest Dreams Checklist discussions to serve as part of your personal think tank. The purpose of this conversation is to brainstorm ideas in support of your wildest dreams!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Hi Khadija,

This is another awesome post.

Miriam you are simply brilliant.

My really hard question deals with business as well more so in the area of how to anticipate conflict and out think the competition.

I had a web business that I started back in 06 - it floundered but I am resurrecting it. The thing is that it had been ripped - some of my copy word for word by other e commerce sites. I have now regrouped and come up with a 2nd angle using little of any of the old copy, but I want to protect things this time around and go after some of the infringers as the old copy was a part of my patent app which is still in review by the USPTO and these people are using it word for word.

The second business is one that again is in a position of being the first of its kind. It is a service where as the first deals with goods - although it will have a goods section. The thing is that it is spiritually based. And there is only one other similar, but mine is much improved - obviously IMO. Due to it being spiritually based I know that people will come for me. I don't know, but I have a feeling esp since I will majorly undercut prices and make a lot of things that are secret well known.

Both business are targeted to help in some ways that people are getting shafted within these industries.

So I want to cover my backside.

Since I am conflict averse I want to know how to prepare myself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestions Khadija!

I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve been married 7 years to a Senegalese man, and visited Senegal, but can’t speak more than a few sentences. I took French when I was in high school but lost command of the language. My husband has tried hard to teach me, but I’m used to phonetic languages, and can’t memorize every single word! I told him, at the rate we are going (meaning language lessons) we will end up divorced if we don’t quit! Also, another issue I’m concerned about is that the French spoken in Senegal is a bit different than what is spoken in France, but I think it’s better to at least try to establish some type of foundation?

Its funny you posted Beverly journey—my husband and I have been discussing how we want our children to become apart of his society aside from family relationships there. I had been putting it off –just being lazy—but feel “renewed” lol to seriously look at how she can benefit from both heritages—and I believe the best experience is real life experience versus a text book.

Thanks for the college credit information—you’re absolutely right, they are certainly not trying to publish information in which a candidate could SAVE money! LOL

I’m looking here for now:

I’m currently corresponding with to ask about an accelerated program.

The problem with using the state registry is that they have licensed home day providers and I’m scared to death to place my daughter in their care even for a few hours—strange men coming and going—older boys—you get my point.

I’m going to call up an old Mocha Mom who used mother’s helpers, and see what happens from there.

Thanks for the positive encouragement. I’m glad to find a place where you can share your goals, and aspirations with out being shot down from naysayer’s, soothsayers, and down right hateful folks.

Thanks for the safe place…

Anonymous said...

Hi Miriam,

I wanted to add on education:

Checking to see if your school has some classes online. Most now do including some Ivys and jumior Ivys [ my terms only:) ]. If they do make sure that the classes are structured so that there are no webinars or time restrictions so that you can log on at your convenience.

The reason I say this is because it is easier (time management wise - as you have a family) to overload if need be to accelerate the degree via online classes versus doing it the traditional way.

If you can't test out or get life experience credit you could take 4 classes the traditional way and take the fifth liberal arts class online.

Or you could see how many transfer credits your school allows and get the classes pre approved and take them online somewhere else and transfer them to the school. None of this (online classes) will be reflected on your degree.

If you can afford, you can also take the liberals arts classes during the mini terms (usually a month long). You don't get finaid for these, but you can apply early for scholarships, grants and other aid to cover these.

Another option is to go year round including the summer. You do get finaid for this. Most schools allow two classes during the summer if you are on the semester, but if you are a good student, and this is where online classes are a plus, you can overload taking the liberal arts classes during the summer. I took 3 classes each summer. The normal two plus i overloaded.

It is not that had if you are on a semester system as it is stretched out over several months and most liberal arts classes are just reading and regurgitation. You can also just do this generally to speed up your degree. You can shave a year off by taking summer classes and mini term classes.

As far as grad school don't wait to get your recs from people and apply at least 6 months before you graduate undergrad. It is pricey - the app fees and some of the tests run 300+.

Whether or not you can accelerate a grad degree depends on your major. Some schools offer this in business for example and you must go to school year round. The classes in this type of program will be very short about 6 weeks long and you can only take one at a time.

At the school I just left there was a mix of semesters and quarters and I couldn't do it. My undergrad degree was in a different field so I had to take prereqs that were 6 weeks long along with the traditional semesters and it was too much.

Hope this helps.

#4 I think that is a good idea and much needed. I often wondered why this rarely exists. i don't have any indepth info but I found these links that may help you to get started.

some of the stuff here is free:

this all pertains to islam

scroll down to muslim

#8 My mom is an excellent tailor. I will ask her.

Khadija said...

Greetings, Aphrodite!

You said, "I had a web business that I started back in 06 - it floundered but I am resurrecting it."

{raised fist salute}

It sounds like you found out the hard way that people are going to steal! It doesn't matter what it is. It's good to ask questions about how you're going to deal with the future theft.

You might want to consult with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property so you have an idea of your options, as well as how much hassle is involved in enforcing each option with the thieves.

Hello there, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

What I found interesting about Tim Ferriss' blog posts about language study is that he pointed out several logical, efficient ways of going about it:

1-Emphasize learning the most frequently spoken words/concepts. I would guess that this crosses most languages and cultures because people tend to talk about what they like, want, and need as opposed to other stuff. He's got a most frequently spoken list on one of his blog posts.

2-Emphasize learning vocabulary surrounding the same interests and topics that you actually discuss in English! [I'm shocked that I never really thought of this before! LOL!] In your case, this would mean focusing on the vocabulary surrounding the things that you and your husband are already talking about in everyday conversations.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Amenta said...

Hi SisterSeeking/Miriam/MaryAnn, Give a try for language lessons. There may be some free offerings there maybe Rosetta Stone.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Khadija!

BIG hug and kiss!

Tim Ferriss’s blog is AWESOME! OMG!

( feeling like I’m on Oprah favorite things right about now)

I’m so reading his book!


“Or you could see how many transfer credits your school allows and get the classes pre approved and take them online somewhere else and transfer them to the school. None of this (online classes) will be reflected on your degree.”

This is a good idea.

Thank you all SO MUCH for sharing! I feel like I have less restrictions, and more flexibility.

Off to the Ferriss’s blog!


Anonymous said...

@Miriam/Mary Ann,

Many fabric stores have classes, and you can also get DVDs. I took sewing in home ec and a beginner's class at a fabric store many years ago.
When I decided to get back into it taking a class was not feasible, so I got "Vogue Sewing" and "Sewing for Dummies" and those books have been great. If you pick up a beginner machine and just go at it you will be fine insha'allah.
"Sewing for Dummies" has easy projects to make, and when you are ready to try apparel start with skirts, and go for patterns marked "easy"
Hope that helps.

Welcome said...

Thanks for the heads up on Gina's post.

Khadija said...


You're welcome!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.