Sunday, December 10, 2006

Asking the right questions

One way to make a difference to each day is to ask yourself the right questions as soon as you get up in the morning.

This is especially true if you wake up feeling low, anxious or generally out of sorts. I ask myself two questions:

  • What are you happy about in your life right now?
  • What can you do today to make things even better?

If you can't think of anything that makes you happy, qualify the first question with a "could". What the first question does is make you take a positive perspective. It forces you to look at what is right with your life. The result for me, even if I have been feeling negative beforehand, is to change my state, making me appreciate things I might otherwise have overlooked or taken for granted.

The second question builds upon that positive take and gets you into action mode, moving into your day with a plan.

I came across this technique in a book by Anthony Robbins called Notes from a Friend. He suggests using 7 questions that he calls the Morning Power questions but I think that's too many. I can't be doing with anything too complicated. He also has a set of Evening Power questions. I've simplified these too.

At the end of each day I ask myself:

What went well today?

What did I learn today?

Again this forces you to review your day in a positive light, even when you've had a really bad day on the surface. Try this out for yourselves and see if it makes a difference.

I had forgotten about this technique of using questions but started using it again when I dusted off my copy of the Anthony Robbins book a couple of months ago. It's such a simple thing to do but I've found that it is having a positive impact for me, especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed with life or otherwise not in a good state.


Kim Ayres said...

Unfortunately, if I was to ask what could make me happy when I feellow, the first thing that leaps to mind is food - sweet, fatty, salty stuff.

Mark Williams said...

Hm, yes, I can empathise with that. At one stage in my life it was Danish pastries. Another was alcohol. I'm not sure though that what these provided was happiness. Gratification, perhaps, would be more accurate. A quick fix. But they didn't deal with the underlying problem, only alleviated the symptoms and were very temporary. They also led to other problems, like hangovers!

Kim Ayres said...

Happy New Year Mark!