It’s not the answers, it’s the questions

I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks, not for a lack of things happening or life content, but more for a lack of being able to pull suitable thoughts coherently into a meaningful narrative. When I resumed writing this blog, I decided on a few key points:

1. It was going to be an account of my personal journey and thoughts.
2. It was not going to be recycled or “curated” content unless it included a personal reflection on that content.
3. There are some personal things that will not be shared.
4. I’m not writing someone else’s story, just my own.
5. I would not write unless I actually had something to say and could say it in a useful way.
6. The blog would be my mirror and I would make sure that what I saw in its writings reflected accurately the person I feel I am AND that if the writing didn’t appeal to me, I would fix the person and not just the words.

So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been a little stuck; the things that I was most inclined to explore in writing were often fairly personal (not everything is shareable) or involved other people (whose stories are not my property), and trying to compose something eloquent seemed more difficult than usual. Writing goes like that sometimes.

What I will share with you is a visualization and positive thinking trick that I snagged from Brendan Burchard that has been working superlatively well for me over the last few weeks since I posted, “The art of picking things up has two parts“. It’s one of those little tips for training your thought processes that really worked for me and I thought it might help someone else.

I thought up five questions that point me towards positive action and balance in different spheres of my life. These are questions that I answer to myself honestly and that consistently yield a clearer insight into what I want and where I’m going.

I set an alarm in my phone for three points during the day and it pops up with:

1. What/who am I grateful for right now and how can I show that today?
2. What is the most meaningful goal in my life at this moment?
3. What fun will I have next?
4. What will I do today to keep myself and my family healthy?
5. How can I become more and how can I use that to give back to the world?

Three times a day I answer those questions (your questions will probably vary!) and act on my responses.
(As an aside, I stuck #3 in as a whim because sometimes I get swallowed up in intensely focussed work and forget to do things just for joy and fun. It has proven to be THE most important question for daily sanity.)

The answers often cover career goals, personal life and relationships, health (physical, mental, social, spiritual) and nutrition, and appreciation/gratitude. All positive thoughts. All centring my thought processes on what truly matters to me. It’s a quick and effective form of meditation and is overwhelmingly positive. Stress, worry, negativity and fear are pushed aside by these sorts of questions.

At the bottom of the list are three words (I’ll let you speculate as to what those words are) that I have picked to describe myself. Three times a day the list of questions, with those descriptor words, blips up on my phone and reminds me of not only my goals for myself as a person, but also reminds me that asking the questions is the key to finding the answers.

What this does very effectively is help me eliminate the chaff and the clutter. The questions distill each part of the day down into it’s core meaning for me and clarify what exactly I will do with the precious commodity of time. They focus me on the people who matter, on the life I want, and on how I’m going to get there. They also compel me to appreciate what I have and to recognize the key points to what makes a good life for me.

And now I must go and enact #3.

There are leaves on the ground that need scuffing…..


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