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Hugh Stewart: High-Quality Questions That Will Take You to The Next Level

We're talking to somebody you likely have never ever heard of and he would prefer it that way.

We're talking to Hugh Stewart who is somebody that I got to know from my past walk of life and who is an absolute genius. When you meet this individual, he has this quiet presence. He is incredibly fit and incredibly well-built and in the peak shape of his life. He's also a genius. He has a Nuclear Engineering degree and he's incredibly humble. I was stymied by him. I was perplexed like, “How does this person be quiet and humble yet powerful and successful at the same time?” I didn't get it early on in my career.

I was fortunate enough to recognize that he was the one who had it going on. Fortunately for me, he stuck out in my head and I’ve come to read his books in which we're going to talk about, The Magic Of High-Quality Questions. We're going to talk about this idea that you can change your life by asking better questions. I know that sounds like a tall order but when we ask better questions of ourselves, of our team, members, of our advisors, we're going to get much better results. I know that sounds simplistic, but that's how Hugh brings it. He is simple yet powerful.

If you're just getting to know Hugh Stewart, he received a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and worked as an Engineer for Pratt and Whitney, Merck, Hewlett Packard and GE Nuclear Energy. He is the past president of a real estate investor association. He is an investor. He is a business builder and he finds great passion in numbers. He helps rather large companies migrate their accounting from one system to another and he is thrilled by this and fascinated by this. He's found the time in his business to work less and empower his team members to make decisions and so much so that he's pursuing dancing.

If you're looking to learn from a true master, a truly humble person and his quiet presence is one that you can relate with, then you're going to love this episode. Let's dive in.

Dustin
Every day, I’m grateful but I’m especially grateful for our special guest, Mr. Hugh Stewart. He is amazing. Hugh, thanks for being here. 
Hugh
Thank you for having me, Dustin. It's a pleasure to talk to you again. 
Dustin
I have to acknowledge you because when we met, you have this gentleness. You're a giant in terms of you're into working out and you're incredibly successful. You have this humbleness. You have this quiet, powerful presence that if it has occurred with other people, it's rare. It’s 1% of 1%. You are a model for me and for a lot of people. That's why I’m excited because I want to share your gifts with the world. I wanted to acknowledge you, sir.
Hugh
Thank you so much, Dustin. That's very kind of you. If you don't mind, I’ll tell you where it came from. I probably should come with a little bit of a stamp on my chest. It would say the initials RA. I don't know if you have to believe this, but it stands for Recovering Asshole if I had to give myself a title. In my youth, I was powerfully arrogant and completely full of myself. I was completely obsessed with the idea that I was better than other people. I had advanced degrees, I was a nuclear engineer in my youth and all these other things that came with material success at an early age. When I was 27, four of my employees got together across two businesses and stole about $200,000 from me or so. It sent my life into a bit of a tailspin where I realized that it was inappropriate to ever consider that my situation or status was superior to any other human being. 
I owned a company at the time. I had five businesses and we had lost it. We lost almost $800,000 of our investor's money. I was in debt of about $5 million and I was losing $80,000 a month. It was a bad place. We were running out of cash. The employee stole the money. I didn't know what was going to happen. Having to go and be in my stores and serve behind the cash register effectively making $2 an hour, working 100 hours a week for about two years, taught me that the power of connection, the power of appreciation, the power of empathy, connecting to other human beings was paramount. I became the listening shopkeeper.
Dustin
I’ve got to imagine when you first had the awareness to say, “I need to get behind the cash register and do this,” you weren't enjoying it. You can look back and you're humble about it. You see the gift is the opportunity there. I can imagine when you first realized they were taking the money and then you were trying to save your business or the business, you still were battling with, “I can't believe I’m in this situation.” Is that right?
Hugh
Sure, it was a powerful resistance. The cursing couldn’t stop. I cursed God. I cursed myself. My relationships weren’t working properly. People needed to listen. They needed to do all these things, “Look at me. I’ve got two advanced degrees. I shouldn't have to do all of this,” and the resistance was powerful until I had an epiphany. I don't know if you want to call it a spiritual experience or a psychotic break. What ended up happening is that in the midst of one of the worst nights of my life where all of these terrible negative associations came to bear, I found transcendence and there was joy in the anger. 
I remember going through this movement at the end of which it was 1:00 in the morning when I stopped screaming on the floor. I got up, I got my car, I drove to the gym and I ran ten miles. I felt great. I felt amazing. I felt empowered. At that point, it was clear the epiphany came and it was this. The value that I created had nothing to do with what was in my bank account. I created value for other people from the space between myself. I realized the error that I had made for the previous ten years was that I had confused my self-worth with my net worth. That if I was going to get out of this jam, I couldn't equate my past failures with who I was and what I was worth to the world. That same night, I looked at a life insurance policy that I had for $2.5 million and I truly considered whether or not I was worth more than it was.
Dustin
You talked about running there and basically escaping into a run. Is that something that you find yourself doing now? Is this something that reoccurs to help you gain your clarity even in the darkest of times?
Hugh
What's great is that I’ve become a little perverse. I like adversity now. I’ve had worse problems and worse things happened since then. What's changed is I know the game now. The game is nothing is ever as bad as you fear and never as good as you hope. What's great is that no matter what shows up, my job is to be the place where chaos goes to die. 
Dustin
I’m super passionate at this point in my life. What's resonating for me is I’ve been studying a lot of stoicism. Thinking back to you and when I first met you, this gentle giant and you still are, was this your secret weapon or is this your secret weapon? What you're saying reminds me of stoicism like The Obstacle Is The Way, a great book by Ryan Holiday. It sounds stoic to me. Is this something that you have studied and subscribed to? 
Hugh
I picked up Ryan Holiday's book and found a similar message in there. It already confirmed a lot of spiritual beliefs that I’ve been cultivating over the last two decades. This stoicism is a mental approach. Whereas if you approached it from works that you read through people like Eckhart Tolle or even J. Krishnamurti, J. Krishnamurti was one of Eckhart's inspirations in developing his strategy. When I listened to about eighteen hours of his stuff, there was something that reached out and grabbed me and it was this. I went from fearing and resisting to simply running my problems, meaning facing them and not necessarily having the intelligence to solve them, but having the intelligence to face them. 
One of the things that J. Krishnamurti, a spiritual speaker who died in the early ‘80s, said was, “You have the power to face anything that shows up in your life. You may not have the power to solve it, but you have the power to face it. Facing the challenge is the first step to being able to see it through. Being with it, recognizing that your body contains the energy to simply be in its presence.” What he makes an argument for is that he says that we waste that energy by worrying, analyzing, procrastinating and doing all these other things that take away the primacy of being able to see that that challenge is where your character gets to be forged into next. What happens now is when something really bad happens, I’m looking with a smile. I know usually when people talk about when God closes a door, he opens a window. In my case, when he closes a door, a wall falls down.
The last catastrophe that happened was a pretty big deal; a lawsuit lasted several years, a partnership blew up. I’m a partnership expert, so to have one of my partnerships blow up in my face and caused me three years of litigation in which I’m fighting for everything because everything material was about taken away from me, that experience forged the business I own now which is the best company I ever built in the conditions for the best company I’ve ever built, with the best team I’ve ever assembled, doing the thing that I was put on the planet to do in a business I can run anywhere on the planet. It couldn't be any better and the setup was terrible. It was the most delightful manure that gave birth to the most fruitful crop.
When weird things happen, the CEO's job is to be the place where chaos goes to dump, take it in, listen with ears and breathe as you listen. Recognize that whatever step is next is your character being forged again and you can do anything with nothing. I learned a prayer when I was a cadet in the United States Air Force. We used to do cadet competition for national activities in the Civil Air Patrol. We used to say this prayer at practice. It would go like this, “We, the willing, led by the unknown, have done so much with so little for so long that we now know with confidence how to do anything with nothing.” That was our prayer.
Dustin
It's powerful and this is a message I hope people get but I’m also detached. That's part of the message that you say. I want to share a personal thing here. I remember we were in a mastermind group together. I was complaining about a customer we had. I don't remember the details so much. It was a high-end customer and refunding them was going to hurt because we were small. Maybe the customer refunded outside of the timeframe that we thought was fair. It wasn't fair, that was my mindset. I remember you were nonchalant and that's not the right word. You even said, “This is your opportunity to improve your process and system,” and I didn't even get what you said at the time. I was like, “That's a weird thing to say,” almost as if I wanted you to commiserate with me.
The word for me that comes right now is you were stoic. Now, I can fully appreciate that. I look for that and I’ve personally had a similar story that you shared, which is that the setup to where I’m at now at WealthFit was leaving a business was going through a breakup of partnership and friends. I do remember you handing me a book that I managed to escape reading but would have served me well in that time. The lead up to all this has put me on the other side of the country. It has put me in an amazing environment with an amazing team. I get to interview folks like you and bring powerful messaging and education to the world, which is one of my gifts. This is what I was put on the planet to do. I can tell you though, the lead up was not so fun. The question I have for you is how you remain true to knowing that the obstacles, the way or the lead up is not the most fun, but on the other side of that, you grow. How do you stay positive or how do you keep mindful of that when stuff is hitting the fan?
Hugh
I have a couple of superpowers and one of them is I’m good at not telling stories. I’m good at asking questions and I’m good at not telling stories. How do you know that something bad is happening to you?
Dustin
It’s either people tell you you're getting input, but I believe it's your perception.
Hugh
It's not your perception, it's your assessment. Your perception is how you take information in. Your assessment is what you do with that information. It's what decision you have come to around the information that has come into your body. Tell me something that happened to you that you thought was bad.
Dustin
One of the things that I thought was bad in my lead up to this was we didn't have a place to live. I couldn't find a financially-acceptable place for my family and me to move out here. I was living in an Airbnb. For me, I couldn't find it and I was struggling.
Hugh
Did you notice that entire story? You could find a place to live, but it was more expensive than your budget could afford. The story we tell about more expensive than our budget has allocated is, “I can't afford that. I have a place I can’t afford.” It becomes a story around a neutral event. The neutral event is, “I’m not able to find a place that fits our budget.” You have a couple of choices. Do you change your perception and seek a place that will fit your budget but you risk things like safety, health, standard living and the ability to not look bad to the people that you're trying to associate with potentially? There are all kinds of other things that happen with a universe that can expand as a result of a perception being turned into an assessment. That whole activity of telling the story, whether bad or good, I’ve gotten good at delaying that process. Whether I tell a good story or a bad story, it's still a story. If I have to choose between a bad story and a good story, I’m going to tell a good story. If I had to choose between a good story and no story, I choose no story. No story gives me the gamut of the full pregnant universe of possibility. If I have no story, then all I have is the darkness of space from which to forge the next million dollars.
Dustin
I’ve got to know, are you superhuman? You get punched in the face. That's something a lot of people can understand. You get punched in the face and that hurts. You weren't expecting it. I’ve got to imagine you were feeling pain. That's an emotional thing, a situation. Are you saying you don't feel that emotion or that pain or you do, and you figure out a way to detach or delay the creation of the story if there is a creation? 
Hugh
We talked about the workouts a little bit. I’m a CrossFitter. I work out less because I’ve taken up dancing. I dance 10.5 hours a week. I can bust salsa and bachata. I used to hate salsa music but now I can't stop because I’m learning much from learning how to dance. I was dancing so much that my right leg stopped working. I couldn't walk and I was back in the studio because I could walk again. What I learned was I needed to stretch more. Here's something that's interesting. The reason I started that whole story for you was the pain on the dancing is important. From the CrossFit, it took me six years to get my deadlift up to about 600 pounds. Now, I’m over 600 pounds. I have a back squat of about 535 pounds. I have a front squat of 420 pounds. People don't know how to make clothes for me because my body looks strange. 
Here's the real thesis. When I’m done with a ridiculous workout, an insane workout, a Murph for those of you who are CrossFitters where you run a mile, you do 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats, run another mile. Most people would look at that workout and decide that's too much. That's insane. You do that workout and if you have the mental fortitude to get through it and then you're done, the next two days your body is going to be in a state of shock if you haven't prepared for that. Who says that pain is bad? Why is that pain bad? When you recover from it, your muscles will be able to do things you've never imagined because you just did 100 pull-ups after running a mile. You did 200 pushups after doing 100 pull-ups. You did 300 air squats after doing 100 pull-ups and the 200 pushups and then you ran another mile. That's ridiculous, but you did it. Now your body is recovering from it by going through something called pain. 
Why is pain bad? We make up a story that it is. The analogy I’m making to you is you don't have the benefit of all that prep and choice for whatever your situation is, but you have pain as a result of some experience that's happening. All I’m saying is I’m having pain, but what's my story around whether that pain is bad or good? I’m not even saying you don't have a story, I’m saying delay making one as long as you can. What ends up happening is I feel pain. I avoid things that I don't want to hurt. I wait before I assess and before the judgment happens. The longer I can wait to assess the pain, the more space I give for something new to come in and contrast with it.
Dustin
I’ve got to ask you this because I’ve always heard the quote, “Motion beats meditation,” or it's easier to move a ship that's already going versus getting it from zero. It's easier to pivot. It comes from a general, which you can appreciate. It was easier to tell the troops to move a different direction than to get them to get started. What you're saying is you are delaying the story creation. How do you take in what I shared with you about a fast response through a series of short, fast responses we find our way or we get to the solution?
Hugh
I’m going to ask you to watch your assumptions because your assumption was in that last moment or my assumption of your assumption is that you assumed that I stopped. You don’t stop taking action, you just delay the story around any action being taken. We're not telling a story yet. We're not done. We're still running. Think about how you see some of these sprinters. They're running 100 meters. They'll be in competition with each other. Look at where they start to slow down because they know they’ve won versus the ones that don't know that they’ve won. They run to the very end of the race. They pick up speed in the last 10% because they haven't decided yet that they’ve won or lost. They are still running. Where do you take your foot off the gas? This is the flip of what we're talking about. Where do you decide that you’ve won or lost when you're running? All I’m saying is I’m not decided yet. I’m not going to stop. I’m not going to pull punches. I’m not going to assess the situation.
Let's make a distinction here. I’m not talking about being situationally aware. You're looking at your market. You're making decisions. You're making decisions. You're making the best call. I’m saying on a global sense, I’m not casting judgment like, “I’m doing well or I’m doing poorly.” I’m not going to go there. I don't know how I’m doing. This thing that's happened to us, I’ll make it corollary. In our software business, we've done over 400 projects. We have served well over 200 customers. Five of them have had negative experiences with us. We don't have customers, we have evangelists. We have people that say, “I wish we would have known that you existed or we would have saved money, time, whatever.” That happens every single day in our business. These five that have been the negative experiences, I’ll remember them until I die because, I take personally, as our opportunities to leapfrog all of our processes and systems. I am grateful that they had the experience they had. Even though we lost money, we lost time, lost reputation. It was embarrassing. All of that happened and yet every single one of them has contributed to our technology or process and everything about our business getting much better. 
I used to be called a bullet catcher because in my stores, I love to take on the customers that would be most angry. I loved to talk to them because that was an opportunity for us to learn about what was going on. It gave us an opportunity to practice an industry-leading technique that we created called the moment of dignity. It’s where a customer felt absolutely hurt from the bottom of who they were, their humanity was punctuated, engaged and connected with. We brought them from a place of anger to a place of congruence and then we appeased them. We didn't do what they wanted just because they were angry. We allowed them to be able to express their anger. We allowed them to feel human and not in a patronizing way. I enjoyed practicing that with our angriest customers and they would send us their grandmother the next week. That would be the best thing that could happen.
The idea is to be alert to how you judge the results of your business. You have a metric. You need to make money. You need to be able to have a profit. All of these things are true. If they don't happen, how else can they be used to profit your business? If you can start with an underlying disposition that you live in a friendly universe, everything that shows up is here to support your growth. Everything can be used as fuel. What else is there? What can stop you? Obstacles, they make you stronger. Opposition? Competition? All these things make you faster and stronger. People's negative opinions, doubt, your own fear, these show you where your character gets to grow into next. Jealousy, hatred, these show you how you get to forgive and transcend. All these messages from a kind universe ask you to grow into the next version of yourself.
Dustin
I was a little self-conscious about essentially the topic. I could talk to you for hours on this. My intention is to get into the power of questions. I was a little self-conscious having read the book, The Magic Of High-Quality Questions. I completely recommend it. It's a short but yet powerful, incredible read. Here I am asking Hugh about questions. I thought I would flip the script and ask you how can I get the most out of our interview in conversations as it relates to questions?
Hugh
The name of the book that I wrote is called The Magic Of High-Quality Questions. The thesis is simple. It says that if you're not happy with the results of your life, if you're not happy with the things that are happening in your world, take a look at the nature of the questions that you may be implicitly asking. What are you asking that you're getting the answers for that you don't like? Chances are if you can take a look at the questions that you ask yourself and the questions that you ask other people, you'll notice two things about that if you're not careful or intentional, they keep you stuck in the way that you are and the way that you're operating. I created a question quality meter and it has two metrics to basically give you directions on how to make better questions happen in your life. It has specific directions. The direction is as follows. You want to ask a question that when you are done asking the question, you look for two specific emotional responses to happen. One of them is that you have a heightened sense of creativity that comes out of you the people that you're asking the question to, not just yourself. 
The second is you have a sense of confidence. Creativity and confidence are the currency of high-quality questions. If you find yourself feeling down, dejected, depressed or overwhelmed about a situation. What's a question that you can ask about it or the situation that can inspire a new way of being in yourself so that the next action you take is inspired by either confidence or creativity? Let's break the rule first. Let's show you how you don't do it. An employee shows up to your company fifteen minutes late. He goes to their desk and sits down. It's the fifth time this week it's happened, what do you do?
Dustin
“Johnny, why are you late? What’s going on?”
Hugh
Do you care why he was late? 
Dustin
I just want him to be there on time. 
Hugh
Correct, so why ask the question you don't want the answer to?
Dustin
To assert, “I noticed you're late. You didn't slide by me. I know you're late. You know you're late. Let's not let it happen again.” It’s the implication of, “You're late.”
Hugh
Let's unpack that. On the other side of your question, “Why are you late?” How much creativity do we have the opportunity to explore?
Dustin
I feel like none because it puts the person on the defensive. 
Hugh
Correct, and then how much confidence do they get to have an inspired and expanding future on the other side of that question?
Dustin
I would have to say zero.
Hugh
We know now from the two metrics that we set up that is not a high-quality question. Why don't you pose that scenario to me and I will show you an example of what could be a question that would be substituted? I’m the boss this time. I’m going to pose it to you. Same scenario. It’s five days in a row and fifteen minutes late. He slides back past you at the desk. I would go up to Johnny and say, “Johnny, I care about your future and I care about your effectiveness at the company. How can we support you so that you're on time if not five minutes early from tomorrow going forward?” Let's check in. If we wanted to measure what was the creativity that's available to Johnny on the other side of that question, what would it be? Is there a room for collaboration or brainstorming? Have we bypassed the dysfunction? Do we care? We can get into why he was late, but it's not the heart of the matter. We don't want that. We want instead for Johnny to begin to see that he can create a situation and a context in which he's five minutes early and he has to support the business to be successful.
Dustin
Let's role play a little here. I’m Johnny Bad. You asked me that question and I’m like, “Hugh, you're right. I’m sorry. I’m going to try harder,” but you don't feel like he gives you a great answer. I guess after we've asked the magical question, then what do we do with that answer? What would you do with it?
Hugh
The exploration is what comes next. Right after it, we create a context for him saying, “I’m sorry, I’ll try harder,” is not an answer to the, “How can we support you so that you are five minutes early every day for the rest of your career here?” “I’m sorry, it won't happen again,” is not an answer to that question. I don't stop until I get an answer to that question, which is delving into, “Here's what's happening in my life. Here's how we can help, here’s what I can work on. Here's how I can commit to you and the business that five minutes early every day for the rest of my career here can now be supported and happen.” Will it happen? Maybe, maybe not, but now you are operating on the problem with a completely different confidence and inspiration. It's a slight shift in focus. We're not going to waste time with me imposing my authority on you. That doesn't create creativity. That does not create a sense of collaboration and confidence. My job as the CEO is to breathe confidence and creativity into everyone else. I am responsible to be the place where chaos goes to die. 
Dustin
You talk about intentions behind questions and there was something in the text that I like. Knowing the WealthFit nation is money-minded, you said, “The intention can make the difference between being a millionaire and being broke and out on the street.” Can you break that down? 
Hugh
A lot of times when we are frustrated by our financial situation, we'll ask questions we don't want to answer. We'll ask questions like, “Why I am so broke? Why does this always happen to me? Why can't I seem to make it? Why can't I seem to get a break?” Let's check it. On each of those questions, what's the likelihood of creativity being sparked? What's the likelihood that we will be able to have confidence in being inspiring that will inspire the next action? 
Dustin
 If I ask myself those questions, I'd be beating myself up because it doesn't seem like a good frame.
Hugh
These are all wealth-based questions. “Why can't I make a $1 million next week? How come everybody else seems to have it easier than I do?” As opposed to, “How can I make that $1 million happen next week? How can I get four more sales in the next five days? How can I inspire people to pay me $83 a month? How can I get 1,000 people to inspire and be inspired to pay me $82 a month? That's $1 million a year. How can I?” That's my thesis. There's a guy who got it even better than I did. When I read his book, I went mad. I got this wrong in my book. There's a part of my book that I get powerfully wrong that he gets right. The one question I am completely wrong about, and I’m right about it in context but I’m wrong about it globally. I want to make sure people get this. I say, “A tactical why question is the most useless question you can ask. Why is this happening to me? Why I am so broke? Why are you late?” I find these to be relatively useless questions because they don't help us get to what we're ultimately after and then waste a lot of time, money and effectiveness. That's true. 
There's a fellow by the name of Noah St. John who writes a book called The Secret Code Of Success. Noah St. John has managed to empower the why question as to being one of the most highly vibrational questions that I have ever heard. Buy my book and buy his book because both of them work. What his book does is that it takes the power of affirmation and builds it into a why question that is dynamic. I’m not going to steal his thunder. I’m going to let him do his thing for you. I use his method in my question asking every morning because it has empowered my question asking with an even more powerful way to not vibrate and get your creativity engaged. He asks you to change your vibration at the cellular level with some of the power of these questions. 
Dustin
I don't want to steal his thunder, but I do know Simon Sinek and Ridgely Goldsborough who we had on the show, they talk about why in the context of having your team members or even yourself. What comes to mind for me is having your team members ask the why or understand the why of what we do. You made a bold statement and I may have taken it out of context. You made a bold statement that the why simply wastes time.
Hugh
The negative why question, because it’s what we normally go to when we say things like, “Why am I so stupid? Why are we late?” The husband comes home from work, “Why didn't you get me something nice?” These are the default. We talked about this in the book as being the negative automatic where we question and want to dig deeper. People say, “I want clarification as to why something.” “No. You don't care why I was late. You just wanted me to be here on time,” to be in that intention. “If you want me to be on time, then let's talk about my being on time. Don't talk about me being late because you don't care. You don't want me to stay there. You don't want to be emotionally there. We're not going to be creative about it. We're not going to have confidence about having that conversation, so let's not go there.” Those are powerfully negative ways to abuse time and the question of why. Whereas if you understand the inspiration behind positive and empowering action, why is your best friend. That's the thesis that the Simon Sineks and the Noah St. Johns of the world will ask you to employ and engage.
Dustin
Do you believe that questions can get you out of any situation that you find yourself in positive, negative?
Hugh
We're telling stories. You asked me a loaded question. I hope to never get out of situations because I don't know what that situation is there to teach me. I get to experience poverty. I get to experience failure. What am I there to learn? It will leave me like the clouds leave the sky when it's time for it to be sunny. It won't move on until we've learned whatever we're supposed to learn from it. It's not there by accident.
Dustin
I hear a lot of detachment there. I can appreciate learning lessons in life and I wouldn't be here without them, but I also think too that I don't want to have to go through terrible situations.
Hugh
Don't make them happen.
Dustin
What I hear you saying is that we control that destiny.
Hugh
We create the context for them to happen by action and action, appropriate inspiration and the like. Let me back this up with science because this is not woo-woo stuff. I was a Nuclear Engineer in my early career. I used to design nuclear fuel for a living. One of the things that would come up in nuclear physics is the idea that matter itself isn't real. It's based on what's called energetic vibration. If you study things like M-Theory and String Theory, the idea is that the universe and matter in its primacy are not really there. What’s there are energetic vibrations that literally shake molecules into existence. The table that you're sitting at isn't really there. It's simply vibrating into existence. We know this because if you've ever watched opera singers break the glasses when she sings, the reason that glass breaks are because it has a natural resonant frequency. The glass itself, it's vibrating. When her voice hits a certain octave that's a multiple or harmonic of that glass’ natural frequency, it excites it enough to shatter it. That's the science behind it.
We know things are vibrating. If you have ever traveled in an old car and you noticed that sometimes the dashboard will start to vibrate violently, it's because the engine’s revving has found a harmonic of the dashboard’s natural frequency, so it starts shaking like that for a few seconds. It's all that happens. My posit is that if everything is energy and matter is a simple energy and vibration, what's to say that experiences are not simply higher order vibrational things that happen. If you understand the frequency and resonant systems, everything that is happening to you at this moment is in absolute harmony with you and your state. Why fight it?
There's nothing that's happening in your state that is not congruent with you. Why? It’s because it's happening. There's no way to argue that. If you back up and you recognize that you do not live in a disconnected, chaotic universe, instead, you live in a harmonic one, one that looks at energy patterns that are constantly building on each other and they are in harmony at all points in time. They're moving but they're in harmony, then there is nothing that is literally happening to the matter of frequency that's happening on you and the situations that you're in that are not constantly in harmony. I’m not saying they can't change, but where they are and what's happening is congruent. Be congruent with something else if you want something else to happen.
Dustin
It said in my head a different way or how I interpreted what you shared was raise your vibration and it will suspend the woo-woo conversation. Essentially, what you're saying is raise your vibration or change your state so that you can attract better experiences. 
Hugh
Let's break down and change your state because even that sounds woo-woo. Let's make it simple because people want to be able to take action. If you want to lose weight, don't eat pop tarts. Don't drink soda and then wonder why you can't lose weight. That is an incongruent activity with the context of being in the greatest shape of your life. I personally have a question. My fourth question, thanks to Noah St. John, every day I say this at least four or five times a day is, “Why do I maintain the health, body and fitness of my dreams?” I ask it when I’m running. I ask it when I’m eating. I ask it while I’m meditating. I’m asking that when I’m going to bed at night and I ask it when I wake up in the morning. That's my fourth question. I have fifteen of them. “Why do I maintain the health, body and fitness of my dreams?” I have the health, body and fitness that most people would envy. Is it an accident? No, I am the context for it. Do I eat junk food? Sometimes. Do I eat it most of the time? No. I’m drinking water. I’m at the gym. I’m doing all the things that make that question gets answered appropriately. If I’m not happy with my results, I take a look again at the questions that are making my life go.
Dustin
You said you had fifteen. I don't need them all, but can you share one other that you feel comfortable sharing, so people can understand the types of questions?
Hugh
I ask this one, “Why do I invest my time and resources so wisely?” 
Dustin
Are these things that you find yourself asking you revisit once a month or every day you're asking yourself these fifteen questions throughout the day?
Hugh
I took Tony Robbins’ RPM chunking course, and then I took Jon Butcher's Lifebook course. It was one of your events that a speaker took the stage and I ended up taking it. I’ve since become friends with Jon Butcher and his family and they're amazing. I combined the two courses and put them on Trello. What I did was I created all these areas of my life having done my Lifebook that I care about. It's from each premise in one of those areas. I have fourteen areas of my life that I created questions from the central question that I wanted to have answered for that area in my life. It's intentional and took years to cultivate the fourteen of the fifteen questions that I asked. The fifteenth one is usually swappable. It's something that has to do with something that I care about.
Dustin
There's one other thing that I wanted to bring awareness to. You talk about hesitation and procrastination. We touched on it with this idea of taking action and momentum versus giving it space. There are folks, experts, gurus that say procrastinate. Procrastination is not a bad thing. It allows you to come up with ideas. It allows you to meditate on things. You have a point about hesitation and procrastination in the book. It could potentially be viewed as a negative thing. Can you speak to that?
Hugh
I’m not in a position to say procrastination or hesitation is an evil or bad thing. It's a thing. The story you create around it is important. The inspiration going into those activities is what's primary. If you're procrastinating because it's not time to take action yet and everything in a congruent universe is suggesting that you are waiting let that take its course. If you are sitting in that waiting and you are afraid to step forward because you feel you're not ready, you're not enough, you don't have enough time. You make excuses. You find yourself inserting reasons for why you don't think now is the time or you're not the person or it can wait until next week. Check it.
There are times where you're preparing and you're resting, and then there are times when you're getting up and you're going. If you're in that natural flow, you're breathing and it's appropriate for the congruency of your life, fantastic. You get to also be the judge of what you're facing in your fears. If it's the fear of not looking good, the fear of failing or the fear that you're not enough or you're not worthy, something isn't right yet. That's the thing that's causing you to go, “I like to feel moving but wait.” That's not something that's likely to be serving you. Let's remove the good and bad out of it. Positive or negative, let's get rid of all of that. Let’s resolve the world instead to be helpful or not helpful. Does it help you advance your cause or does it take away from it? It's not good or bad. Is it working and are the results showing up that are serving you? Are they not? It's not necessarily a good or bad thing.
Dustin
I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you about your routine. We've heard you've invested a lot of businesses. You’re excited about what you're doing. You're a fitness guy. What are your routines to get your mind ready or to prep your day? What are some of the success routines that you call upon?
Hugh
I won't go into too many details of my personal day because it might scare some people. What I say is I love and have adopted the works of Shawn Achor. He's a big positive psychology fellow and he has a great talk on TED. He has a couple of good books. His talk on TED is probably the most famous, seventeen minutes and it's about happiness and positivity in the workplace. In it, he gives you five things you have to do or you get to do on a daily basis to manage your perspective, to manage your happiness as you walk through your day. I’ve incorporated those five things into thirteen other commitments that I communicate with my assistant every weekday at 5:30 in the afternoon. I’ve done it every year.
Dustin
Your assistant is your accountability partner. You communicate to your assistant to keep you in line, to keep you on track or that's the way that you want to operate.
Hugh
That is a key part of my day is having what we call the accountability checkout. I will not rob you of going to watch the TED video. It is fantastic by Shawn Achor. It is a good resource. It gives you those five things. It's not about making money. We had the best month of business that we've ever had in the software business. What's awesome is that I’ve probably worked less than I’ve ever worked. I’ve been able to do my dancing for ten hours. I’m performing in a show. We've upped the practices. My family life is in great shape. My relationships are in great shape. I’m continuing to improve how I’m mentoring my employees and there's a lot of rest that's happening. The reason I can say all of that is because the life balance is incredibly important. You can have it all. It may not look like anything you expected to but if you suspend the image in your head and the story of what that's supposed to look like, all kinds of magic are possible. All kinds of outcomes are possible.
That's why we suspend telling the story because you allow the infinite to come in when there's space. When you tell a story, when you assess a situation, there's no more space. There's no more room for interpretation. There's no more room for taking in something new or learning from it. You're hurting. You’re poor. You're broke. You haven't had your chance yet. Wake up, smile and serve somebody and see what happens. The next conversation could make it $50,000. If you're in a space where you're assessing that your life is garbage, you won't be the context for that money to enter your life.
Dustin
Every time we engage, we chat, I’m continually inspired. I’ve got to ask this question because I feel you are superhuman. In a good way, you have developed yourself. Every time I sit at your feet essentially, I learn a lot. That's why I was super excited to get you onto the show because I want to show you to the world. What's your guilty pleasure? What's the chink in the armor?
Hugh
I have a terrible weakness for watching Rick and Morty on Adult Swim. It’s a cartoon show about the smartest man in the universe. That’s my weakness. I love me some Rick and Morty.
Dustin
Hugh, you are amazing. Thank you. We definitely need to get you back onto the show if you'll have us. You have so much wisdom to share. Where can people find out more about the book? Where can people find out how to stay up with what you're up to? How do they get ahold of you?
Hugh
We don't offer personal coaching or anything like that. We used to do that, which was why the book was written. Now that I’ve got my software interests and I only coach and mentor multimillion-dollar entrepreneurs at this point, people who want not really big things to happen in their world. We don't do the personal coaching stuff. As far as the book is concerned, it's on Amazon. It’s The Magic Of High-Quality Questions. As far as our company is concerned, our software business is a platform transition. We help companies all around the world move their accounting history from whatever legacy system they're on to some amazing platform called Sage Intacct. It allows you to be able to run 30 or 40 companies from a single platform and keep them all separate but at the same time, integrate with anything. You can have dashboards that go straight to your cell phone. It's a beautiful technology that I’m grateful that I’ve been a part of. If you come and visit us at PlatformTransition.com, check out what we do for our services. Get the book, enjoy it, read it. If you want to reach out to us, we can always set something up through Dustin so that if he thinks that it's worth making something happen, we'd love to support him.
Dustin
Thank you. I appreciate it. I do highly recommend the book. No matter where you want to grow in life, fitness, wealth, career, relationships, and all the other categories that will come to mind. It's a quick read. It's a powerful read. You will finish it quickly because it grabs you and it's powerful. Thanks, Hugh. I appreciate you. Thanks for sharing your wisdom as always and being you.
Hugh
Dustin, until next time. Thank you so much for the invite. Be well. Take care.

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