Powerful questions can play a key role in our personal growth.
Although other forms of contemplation and reflection are also essential, the unique value in questions is that when you ask yourself one, your brain has to answer: it can’t leave that shit hanging. It could be a day, two days, a week; a response is going to come. Consequently, they can inspire you to take action to address the unhappier aspects of your life.
And the higher the quality of the powerful question, the better. As Mr Motivator himself Tony Robbins says “Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
So what are some quality powerful questions that you can ask yourself at the beginning, middle and end of each day?
Beginning of day powerful questions
How am I feeling right now?
How you feel when you wake up is a decent barometer of a few important things.
If you wake up on the wrong side every single day, then you have to ask yourself: just what the fuck is up with that? When did life become such an endurance test?Am I willing to let the fact that I am not enjoying my life continue? Click To Tweet
If there is a consistently negative answer to this question, give some thought to changing your life.
Sometimes it is just a self-management problem, and a matter of improving your bedtime routine and sleep quality. If you don’t ask, you don’t know.
How am I feeling about this day ahead?
I find it good value to scope out the contents of my day and assess which aspects I am most looking forward to, and which I am dreading. And then to figure out the reasons in each case.
What can I accept that I can’t change?
Everyone’s lives contain hard cheese elements. It’s perfectly normal. What I personally have wasted a lot of time doing is being in a state of non acceptance about these aspects of my life. And so, whatever happens to be on the dance-card, consider whether you can bring it within your circle of influence, if only by changing your attitude.What can I accept that I can't change? Click To Tweet
What is it the most important (not urgent) that I do?
Here is a distinction given to us by several of the human performance greats. Learn to separate the important from the urgent, and focus more on the important.
Which parts of your day require your total presence? Who is it important that you come through for? How can you reduce non important, non urgent junk from your life?
What have I agreed to do, that I do not want to do?
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find things have found their way onto my schedule that I do not want there. This becomes a good opportunity to check on my priorities and ability to communicate myself.
Who do I need to be being for this day to work?
It is useful to assess which states of mind are necessary for the day ahead. Do you need to be productive and focused, for example? Or do you need to be patient and kind? Ask and then you’ll know.
What can I do today that will be a unique expression of me?
This one has grown in importance over the years. I’ll ask: What can I do for me and my health? Who can I call and have an honest chat with? What small actions can I take in my personal projects? What can I learn that I care about knowing?
How can I be more of ‘me’ at work and at home?
What small steps can I take to show that I am serious about loving myself?
If you haven’t learned to love yourself yet, I recommend that you make it a priority now. I love myself in a whole heap of ways: yoga, reducing time with negative people, turning off notifications so I can work.
What would scare me slightly, that I could do today?
Without courage, nothing else good happens. And so I often like to ask myself: What small thing would represent a victory over myself? Could I ask that guy out? Book a flight somewhere? Send an email asking for that favor?
Mindful checks-ins throughout the day
Where is my attention going right now?
Where we place our attention is where we place our energy, and it is a good indication of where we are going in life. Which is why practicing mindfulness is so essential.
How am I not being generous (with my time/words/presence)?
This is a good one to ask because my generosity levels are a good reflection of how I am feeling about myself and my life. Stinginess is a sign that there is trouble afoot.
How am I feeling right now?
Another mindful check in. Sometimes, I don’t know that I have become anxious or stressed, and that I need to take five to slow down my breathing.
Powerful questions to ask at the close of the day
What was the most important thing I did today?
This powerful question is another exercise in de-fatting life of the irrelevant and meaningless. Also it helps us figure out what’s important to us, which can get lost in the day’s priorities.
Did I give someone my presence and attention when it was needed? Or did I do something well at work?
What gave me the most joy today?
Sometimes, it is the bagel I ate at lunchtime – but that is okay.
What caused me the most inner conflict and stress?
This helps you to know what parts of life are out of whack with your inner most values.
What am I grateful for?
Gratitude is another lamppost of our values. You should be able to think of at least five things.What am I grateful for? Click To Tweet
Do I need to clear anything up?
Did I accidentally say something with the intention to deceive? Did I communicate badly about something? Have I hurt a relationship I care about?
Can I put it right?
What did I learn?
Did the course of the day highlight any perspective/behavioral shifts needed?
What do I need to let go?
You could accompany this one with a little sing song.
Powerful questions to ask before you do something big
Does it move me towards the boldest, most grand vision I have for myself?
If it isn’t a yes – then why am I doing it?
Will it be fun?
This is possibly the most important question of them all.
Even more questions
Still hungry for self-knowledge? Here’s a few more thought provoking questions:
Is my smartphone/ social media use intelligent (or do I need to read this?)
Do I let unexamined thoughts run amok in my day? Do I need to practice mindfulness?
Does my routine, and especially my morning routine, serve my highest values?
What am I making excuses not to do?
Do my actions and decisions contain a good balance of my heart and my head?
Am I taking responsibility for the state of my life?How can I change my experience of this situation? Click To Tweet
What do I feel deserving of/entitled to? (Do I need to read this?)
How can I improve my experience of this situation?
What’s stopping me from enjoying this moment/my life right now?
Are my good life buckets leaking?
How is my Enneagram type’s underlying fear affecting my life right now?
Who and what am I using to reaffirm negative or limting beliefs?
Am I aware of psychological projection and other defense mechanisms I use to misinterpret life?