Instead of going through your usual social media routine after you wake up, checking your phone, emails, facebook, twitter, and whatever other platform you’re on, stop for a second and ask yourself more questions. Our brain is a problem solving machine. You have to input important questions to have it come up with interesting solutions or new approaches.
1. What is the one thing I can do that would make everything easier?
We often try to do too many things. So what if you had to pick the one thing you could do today that is really going to have the most positive impact on your life, what would it be?
2. What am I grateful for and why?
The ‘why’ part makes sure that you understand why the things that make you happy make you happy, and perhaps you’ll find other ways to get to those happy feelings.
3. If this were my last day on earth, what is my most pressing unfinished business? Is there something I really need to say to someone? If this were my last day on earth, would I really want to be doing what am doing right now? What can I do differently today?
This is a very important question. If it were your last day on earth, would you still hide your romantic interest in that one friend, would you still hesitate to tell an obnoxious colleague that his or behavior is bothering you, would you still watch compilation videos on YouTube starring people who fall down or hurt themselves when doing a skateboard trick? Probably not. Why live this day any differently? Why limit yourself? Time is running out. In about 50 years you probably won’t be here anymore, and if you’re still here, you won’t have the body anymore to do much of anything… Go do something that scares you a little.
4. What’s your most important long term goal and what can you do for it TODAY?
However small, take a step towards your biggest goal. Do something. People postpone and postpone working on their big project because they think they need to feel ready to take a huge step. Take a micro-step. Better 365 microsteps a year than waiting all year to have the motivation to take a giant leap. The motivation usually never comes, because that giant leap is too daunting. Take a microstep.
5. How can I really have a positive impact on others today? How do I want to present myself to others today? What mood do I want to be in today?
This is kind of a dirty secret: you are much more in control of your mood than you think. So if you’re very grumpy, guess who’s to blame? If you really wanted to, you could decide to be more cheerful or at least to be peacefully detached. This works best when you decide early in the morning, when your will power is still fresh, how you will feel, which mood you will maintain, no matter how the day unfolds. Just decide. This is really powerful. It’s like programming your mind to function in a certain way. It usually works better if you have a mantra for it, and if you carry some symbolic object with you that reminds you of the mood you want to be in, regardless of external factors. For once, just once, don’t ask for scientific studies to back this up, and just try it yourself, see how it works for you. There are no risks involved.