Anthony Robbins says “Quality questions create a quality life.” I agree. Once you grasp the power that questions hold to either lead us astray or in the right direction, you will then possess the power to control your mind.
Questions are by far the quickest and easiest way to take control of our focus, emotions, and our lives. If something isn’t working in our lives, it is 99% probable that the real problem lies in the questions we are habitually asking ourselves. Businesses fold or flourish because of the questions they ask about marketing and management. Relationships die when the people in them start asking self-centered questions like why don’t they understand me? Or “Why don’t they pay more attention to me?” On the other hand, they grow with couples who ask, “How can I love and support those around me better?”
Do you want more happiness in your life? I imagine your answer to that question is a resounding YES! If so, then develop the habit of asking the following questions at least once a day. The first and second question is best asked first thing in the morning. The third question works well if asked in the evening.
What am I grateful for in my life?
Research in positive psychology shows us that the simply writing down three answers a day to that question is one of the most powerful ways of fighting depression. Your answers don’t need to be big things like my house or my car. The simpler the answer, the better.
My first three responses to this question are to live, to love and to laugh. Next, I am thankful for clean air to breathe and clean clear water to drink. I am also very thankful for my wife and children, and how incredibly blessed I am to have them in my life.
What am I looking forward to today?
This one really gets me going in the mornings. If I wake up tired and feeling unmotivated, while still lying in bed, I ask myself “What am I looking forward to today? What am I excited about doing or accomplishing?” For me, this is a very powerful question because it forces me to focus on all the great things that I’m blessed to do once I get up and how it will be better than lying in bed. On most days, the answer I give myself is “I am looking forward to writing.” On the weekends the answer has something to do with having fun with my wife and family. The great thing about these questions is that they start me thinking about the positive in my life.
What did I accomplish today?
This question is how I end my day. It is a fantastic question because it directs our focus to all the great things we did during the day. Many people end their day by asking “What did I not get done today?” or “Why didn’t I get more done today?” Rather than focusing on our successes from the day, we delete what we accomplished by focusing on what didn’t do, or wish we had done. This kind of thinking quickly leads us to feel frustrated, overwhelmed and eventually hopeless.
When answering the “What did I accomplish today” question, focus on everything positive you accomplished. Don’t leave something off the list just because you feel it didn’t take you closer to your goals. Life happens, and the most important tasks aren’t always on your to-do list. Sometimes the kids get sick, and you have to stay home and make chicken noodle soup, count it. Making soup may not have been first on your list today, but it was an accomplishment none the less.
Maybe you had big plans to organize the garage on a Saturday, but that morning you came outside to find a huge limb had fallen off your beautiful oak tree. So you have to put off the garage until next Saturday and spend this one cleaning up the yard. It isn’t what you planned, but it is an accomplishment, so count it. Driving the kids to school is an accomplishment and is a very important part of our lives, don’t downplay these moments. Give yourself credit for all you do. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”
By using our selective attention to focus on what we are grateful for in our lives, what we are looking forward to today, and giving ourselves credit for all the things we do, both big and small, we can begin to build incredible momentum towards creating our life by intention.
Question: What are you grateful for in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.