Learning to pause and take a break from the world’s drama is essential.   When you pause, what do you do with those precious moments?   Do you check troubling news alerts or your Facebook page and become even more agitated?

The quality of your pause moment will direct whether you go deeper into reactive habits or guide you toward outcomes you want for your work and life.

Learning to listen and observe yourself as life happens is a Creator skill worth cultivating.

We began asking ourselves what is the best use of our pause moments.  An epiphany came when we realized the secret is to simply ask reflective questions in the moment.

Gradually we boiled down the sum-total of our work over several decades into these 3 questions that we are really excited to share with you.  These questions are designed, like a compass, to help you recognize whether you are on a path of reactivity, or empowerment and choice.

The feedback we have received from our close friends and colleagues that use these questions as a way of applying the TED* frameworks has been overwhelmingly positive.

We call them “The 3 Vital Questions for Work and Life.”

David chose the word “vital” to describe the questions for a purpose.  Vital means both “important” and “pertaining to life.”   Think about when you go to your health care provider.  The first thing they do is take your vital signs.

In the same way that your vital signs provide feedback about the status of your health, these 3 Vital Questions can help you gauge whether you are moving toward or away from empowered living and healthy relationships with others and yourself.

These questions have grown out of our desire for a method to be able to reflect in-the-moment and apply TED* in response. They help us awaken our inner observer so we can choose more powerfully and reduce our reactive tendencies.

The 3 Vial Questions to ask yourself in any moment are:

  1. Where am I putting my focus?

Am I focusing on problems or on outcomes?  A focus on problems engages the Victim Orientation.  When you upgrade to a Creator Orientation, you focus on outcomes.

  1. How am I relating (to others, my experience and myself)?

Am I producing or perpetuating drama or am I empowering others and myself to be more resourceful, resilient and innovative? These ways of relating flow from the Orientation you adopt.  The Victim Orientation fuels the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™, while a Creator Orientation fosters TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™.

  1. What actions am I taking?

Am I merely reacting to the problems of the moment or am I creating by taking Baby Steps – including the solving of problems – in service to envisioned outcomes?  Dynamic Tension provides a powerfully simple framework for planning and taking action toward outcomes – big and small.

These questions offer a comprehensive context for applying the frameworks and ways of thinking, relating and taking action contained in The Power of TED*.   While useful for individuals, we are also finding the 3 Vital Questions to be engaging for teams and organizations.

In future “TED* Works!” essays, you will see more and more references to the 3 Vital Questions as the organizing structure of TED* evolves.  We will also be sharing various ways we are already presenting the questions, including our new online digital learning program.

By asking yourself the 3 Vital Questions ™ – every day – you will increase your capacity to grow into being a Creator in your moment-to-moment experiences.