Question with Two Feet to Spark Curiosity

eweber   October 6, 2008   48 Comments

If you find yourself defaulting to ruts or stuck in rigid routines, try asking, “What more could today offer through a different approach at work?” Or rather than worry over failed finances,  it’s worth chasing a question that sparks your brain’s capacity to hit reverse.

Ask a new kind of question, “What hidden or unused assets can be put to use to launch a new and winning venture,” for instance, and your brain leaps to examine the old, while building new neuron pathways to renewed prosperity. It works best when you follow the human brain’s natural proclivity to resolve puzzles. The opposite is to stress over problems, and research shows that stressed brains rely  more on habits that lock you into ruts, rather than progress with winning innovations.

Rather than limit your brain’s working memory or stick to tired traditions 2-footed questions offer brilliant new approaches to stubborn problems? Did you know, for instance, that two-footed questions move people to see problems with Einstein-like-curiosity for vibrant answers that raise IQ.

Rejuvenating  brain studies show surefire ways to grow and retain brainpower through regular workouts. Add to mental fitness – questions that engage curiosity through multiple intelligences.

Einstein enlisted curiosity through questions, as a guide to mind-bending performances, and so can you. Like a good engine in winter, curiosity needs to be revved a bit by actions questions cause.

Here at the MITA International Brain Based Center, we pose 2-footed questions to rev up curiosity and create life-changing solutions. One foot leads into solid facts  and the other steps into interest and experiences of people questioned.

Can you see sparks for learning and curiosity for new approaches to problems people care about?

Take the economic crisis we currently face.  From a brain based perspective, learners might pose this two-footed question:

How can we bailout from financial losses and target brainpower for financial growth, in spite of bad news daily?

This 2-footed question raises new curiosity to fuse financially sound facts together –  into solutions that could turn financial disasters around. While messages of mistrust and cynicism jump out of computer screens daily, to rob both our coffers and our brainpower, two footed questions offer a road back to prosperity. How so?

Consider problems identified below:

1. Problem identified: Confidence is weakened.  Curiosity sparked: It takes intrapersonal intelligence to recharge money decisions. Not surprisingly, that confidence diminished with each negative news cast believed. Bad news erodes your intrapersonal intelligence, preventing you from handling finances with integrity, motivation, well-being. It robs intelligence needed to mind-bending risks for mutual dividends in every circle.

2. Problem identified: Decision making is marred. Curiosity sparked: The brain’s chemical fuels are hampered by the incessent doom that fills discussions about our losses. For example mental chemicals that guide good decisions include serotonin, which is reduced by this emphasis on negative financial newscasts. In contrast the stress and anxiety caused by failing finances creates more cortisol chemicals, which reduces our ability to move forward successfully.

3. Problem identified: Stress is increased at harmful levels. Curiosity sparked: Long term stress will literally shrink the human brain, shorten life spans, slow down thinking, and lower the immune system.

The list of mental losses goes on, as each negative emerges from our interactions, and creates an equally or more potent negative in the human brain’s machinery. How could we expect to improve the fiasco financial landscape in such a weakened intellectual state?

Perhaps this is a  smaller start than most make, but I plan to begin a renewed conversation today that will trigger brainpower to improve my own and others’ financial well being for the day. How so?

Relying on the brain’s natural supply of plasticity:

  • I’ll strengthen my intrapersonal intelligence by ensuring integrity in my accounts.
  • I’ll raise and maintain my serotonin levels for good decisions,  by looking more at solutions than problems.
  • I’ll run from the stress and fears over lost finances, and instead  walk along  the Erie Canal today, as I review my own life-changing financial targets.


These whole brain questioning tools at secondary, college and beyond help learners to form teams, complete projects, test prep, raise character, write well, interview peers and experts, and analyze.

Related posts:

Smart skill 1 = Question to Refuel Finances Past Media Fears
Smart skill 2 = Question to Leap Over Life’s Ruts
Smart skill 3 = Question with the Brain in Mind and Move
Smart skill 4 = Question Research to Create Cutting Edge Tools
Smart skill 5 = Question Myths and Reboot Brainpower
Smart skill 6 = Question Ahead for Grandparent or Family Roles
Smart skill 7 = Question to Know How You are Smart
Smart skill 8 = Question with Two Feet to Spark Curiosity
Smart skill 9 = Question Broken Systems with Solutions in Mind
Smart skill10 = Question Brainpower Through Growth Surveys

48 thoughts on “Question with Two Feet to Spark Curiosity

  1. Jeanne Dininni

    Very good advice, Ellen! Mistrust and cynicism are definitely not positions of mental or emotional strength from which to operate. Instead, they help create the long-term stress that’s so detrimental to our well-being.

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  9. JD

    Ellen, wow, this is profound, all the brain related chemicals that evolve around everyday life. your 2 footed questions provide an opportunity for salesmen to understand how to find out the true needs of their prospects. It can take sales to a higher level of profesionalism and beneift the customers as well. You have a lot to offer in the way of sales training, asking questions is a skills that salesmen need to learn to be good at, but more important is to listen to the answers given. That applies to 2 footed questions as well.
    I am not a grand parent yet, it sounds like a lot of fun. Ellen I know you are too young, how did you learn this insight?

    JDs last blog post..Let’s Do What We Do!

  10. eweber Post author

    Oh, Jim — you are kind!!! It’s true I have no grand kids yet but I cannot wait until I do have grandchildren!

    Jim, can you imagine the delight of grand-parenting that draws people together the way you do as a leader? Now that is cool!!!

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  27. Shrikant

    I am intrigued by your blog and its vast knowledge source.
    Highly appreciate your being in this state of sharing.

    What would be the two step question approach for those who fear a job loss esp. because of lower levels of self-confidence (internal cause) and higher competition from the higher numbers of workforce (external cause)?

  28. eweber Post author

    Many thanks for your kind comments Shrikant. Fear is the enemy of safety from job loss or of the rebuilding process it requires after. Here are a few ideas that may work well – with the brain in mind.

    What do you think?

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