“No matter where you go – there you are” – Confucius
As you fall asleep at night, have you ever wonder why the day seemed filled with activity but nothing in you or your world has changed or changed in a way you like? If you don’t consciously set your direction, then where you go and, by default, where you are, is a shot in the dark. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for letting the day unfold and seeing what the universe brings my way. But I believe the universe will deliver what I want and need if I make my intentions clear.
One way to make your intentions clear to yourself and the universe is by asking yourself the same ten questions every morning and reviewing how the intentions worked out before you go to sleep at night.
10 questions to ask yourself each morning for a productive day
1. How do I want to feel?
Many people don’t give much thought about how they want to feel. They let it happen randomly rather than targeting the feeling they want and using it as a guide for their day.
Really think about it, how do you want to feel today? Do you want to feel creative, strong, joyous, free, wild‐hearted, loving, fierce, calm, inspired, or something totally different? Once you decide how you want to feel write the word(s) on a notecard put it somewhere you’ll come across it on a regular basis. You use it to choose actions and thoughts that will bring you closer to that feeling (don’t forget the universe will help now that it knows how you want to feel).
2. How will I be of service today?
What can you do to make the world a little brighter today, to use your skills and talents to make a difference? Do you know someone that needs encouragement / support? How about a way to use your skills and unique essence to contribute to the world? Why not try a random act of kindness? Set the intention every day to be of service in some specific way. It will feel amazing when you review your accomplishments at the end of the day. The more you do this the more opportunities the universe will bring your way.
3. How will I step out of my comfort zone?
Psychology Today reported that one of the benefits of stepping outside of your comfort zone is that it pushes you to dip into your personal store of untapped knowledge and resources. You don’t know what you can do until you try. Once you start trying and experimenting with new ways you will surprise yourself over and over again.
We develop skills by practicing and we can only expand our comfort zone by venturing outside it. So practice pushing the bounds of your comfort zone a little at a time. Confucius said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Decide each morning what step, small or large, you want to take to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Just keep stepping.
4. What am I avoiding?
What are you avoiding or resisting? I’m not talking about ignoring – that’s a sign that something isn’t important to you. Avoidance/resistance is fear. In Steven Pressfield’s book, “The Art of War”, he points us that resistance is too cunning to show itself in this way because if it did we would see that it is our fear that’s holding us back and we might act in the face that fear.
We tend to rationalize why we are avoiding something. Cut through the rationalization and see what you’re afraid of and why. Once you acknowledge these things you can develop a plan to move forward.
5. What am I taking for granted?
Sometimes things are right in front of us and we don’t take notice until they’re gone and then we deal with regret. Take notice, be present, acknowledge. Look at the people, circumstances, and things in your life and appreciate that they exist for you and with you. The universe will bring you more of what you are grateful for.
6. Who can I forgive?
Remember, forgiveness benefits the giver. My favorite definition of forgiveness is acceptance. Accept that you cannot change what has happened. This may mean forgiving a person you feel wronged you and, just as importantly, it can mean forgiving yourself for hurting someone else. This isn’t always a one and done question. Forgiveness takes time and patience. You might end up forgiving the same person for the same thing for a few days in a row for it to really “stick”.
7. How can I grow?
Is there something new you can learn, experience, or try that will help you grow into the person you want to be? Plan out a simple step every day, no matter how small. Remember the quote from above, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” When we stop growing we start withering.
8. What can I let go of?
What can you release from your life today? Could it be an item that no longer brings you joy, a relationship that is no longer serving you, or a negative thought that holds you back? What can you
release and set yourself free from?
9. Who can I appreciate today?
Every day let someone know that you appreciate them and, just as importantly, why you appreciate them. Don’t wait until they can’t hear it. It doesn’t have to be something grand. Everyone loves to know that they are seen and appreciated in life. Let someone know they make an impact in your life.
10. What did I learn from yesterday?
Setting intentions is a powerful step but it’s power is diminished if we don’t review the outcomes. Do a quick review of your day and see what insights you can carry forward today. When you stepped out of your comfort zone was it as scary as you thought? Were you surprised at how someone reacted to being appreciated? Did you feel a release when you let go? Or did the universe deliver you something unexpected? Was it aligned with your intentions or is it trying to tell you something.
If you get stumped on one of the morning questions, use the feeling you chose in the first question to help you search for your answer. That’s the reason it’s listed first. It’s your daily guidepost. You might find it helpful to write your questions in a journal so they are handy to review each morning. I also write down my answers when they really move me. It makes reviewing more fun and insightful.
As you go through the day, be present wherever you are and remember the intentions you chose for yourself. We find what we’re looking for. If you saw 100 cars throughout your day as you were doing your normal tasks they would hardly register, but if you were looking for red cars, suddenly you’d see those cars everywhere.
Look for ways to bring your intentions to life and you’ll find them. The universe will help you. So, answer the ten questions above to place your order and watch for the delivery vehicle.