"To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science." - Albert Einstein
The morning questions I asked myself while I was in my lows helped me develop into who I am today. I started with simple questions that would guide my day and I always found something to be thankful for.
These are the questions I want you to ask each morning, It can be one a day or all of them:
1 - What is your directive today? I use this to help guide my day so that the message I focus on will direct my day and keep me on the right track. I can’t shake always thinking about WALL-E when I think of the word Directive, it always makes me smile.
2 - What am I looking forward to today? This keeps me focused on the good aspects of my life, things that I am excited about. Starting off with a focus on "the good" helps kick start the Reticular Activating System in the right direction in the morning. This one reminds me of something that Hugh Jackman said in a podcast with Tim Ferris. He said that he tells himself what is going to happen today that is going to be amazing and he shoots to make that one thing absolutely amazing. (If you haven’t listened to that 2 hour podcast with Hugh and Tim you should do that this month).
3- What good can I do today? Again, focusing on the positive here. You’re purposefully directing your mind to search for "the good" that you can do today. At first, this may not be something that comes naturally, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. I call this the Grandma question because my grandma would always remind me to be a good example, "hijo (means son in Spanish), don’t forget to be a good example today, everyone is watching you". That will always stick with me.
4 - Who can I thank by text, a call, a video message, social media, a card, or a letter? This is one of the most rewarding and "feel good" activities you can do. I’ve sent little note cards to my kids, love texts to my wife, videos to my team members, gifts to friends, and so much more. It’s a quick way to keep you going in the right direction and have you start your day feeling grateful for other people in your life. In fact, recent research from the Journal of Positive Psychology shows that doing good for others makes you feel better about yourself.
5 - What will I do today that will challenge my current mindset to grow? Ok, here’s where we change it up, now we dig in a little deeper and begin to focus on things that can help you grow. Do you typically avoid reading, listening to thought provoking podcasts, or learning in general? What are you avoiding that could help you grow? This is the time to write it out and see if you can tackle it in the day, no matter how small the action is that you take towards pushing yourself to grow! On days I only have a few minutes to learn I throw in a part of a podcast, or 10 minutes of an audio book while walking or driving, even if I’m not able to take notes on what I’m listening to, it’s still better than not doing it at all.
6 - What might I struggle with today and how will I deal with it? Here is where we think deeper about any possible problems you might have during the day. A tough meeting, a difficult conversation, a problematic situation, or anything that may derail you. We don’t just stop there, I want you to push to think about the solution before you encounter the possible problem! We often live life reacting to what the day throws at us instead of planning ahead and deciding how to react to tough situations before they happen. I don’t often like showing up to work out, but I do it nonetheless. I know ahead of time that I’ll be putting everything in the way so that I don’t work out so I plan ahead and I have my shoes and my clothes ready. I have my workout routine ready (Most of the time it’s a Tony Horton workout so I don’t think about it), and I just jump into it because it’s scheduled in my calendar. I solve possible failures before they happen. Is it perfect? Not even close, but I try to do what I want you to do because it will make you more aware of the possible failures.
7 - What have I been delaying that I need to work on and place into my schedule? This one is here so you don’t ever let go of a dream, a goal, or something that you longed for, but just haven’t made the time to start or finish! This question is the reason I finally finished the book. I kept on putting the book back on the schedule because It kept on creeping up every time I asked myself this question.
8 - How do I want to feel today? This one is so simple, yet completely overlooked every day. It’s up to us how we decide to feel. Choose an amazing emotion and stick with it for the day! Choosing how you will feel for the day is like putting on clothes, it’s up to you what you wear! What do you want to wear today, what do you want to eat today, what do you want to watch today, and how do you want to feel today? I hope that puts it into perspective. It takes time to mold the mind, but it’s your job to recreate and rewire how your brain functions. This is my favorite question to ask my kids and yes, they hate it, but I’m going to keep asking.
Simply remember that anxiety is natural and that we all experience it on a daily basis at varying degrees. I would strongly advise you to spend time each morning answering these questions. They've aided me in becoming more aware of my emotions, actions, thoughts, and they've helped me in developing a stronger connection with other people as a result of my increased awareness of other people's emotions.
Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.