How you start your day makes a huge difference. Twenty minutes of exercise first thing can help you be in a better mood all day. Repeating a few positive affirmations can help you focus on what is most important.
And so can a few specific -- and very personal -- questions you can ask yourself.
The following is from Mareo McCracken, a global growth consultant and revenue leader at Axis Medical Technologies. (Check out some of his posts on LinkedIn; he often takes an unusual approach to overcoming challenges.)
What is the best way to get what you want? Ask for it.
And if you want to get better -- at anything -- ask yourself to be better. Here are some great ways to do just that. Ask yourself:
1. "Do I show enough gratitude?"
Gratitude is the key to unlocking happiness. Happiness helps drive performance, fulfillment, and success. Are you writing down ten things you are grateful for everyday?
Do you show people how much you care?
2. "What does my 'gut' tell me?"
You you know that gut feeling you have? Trust it. Trust your intuition. Then question the reason you have that gut feeling. You will learn tons about yourself. You have had immense experience and your subconscious processes it all.
Your "gut" is a driving force curating your emotions, knowledge, and experiences. Use it and learn from it.
3. "Why do I do what I do?"
Why are you doing what you are doing right now? What makes you want to do it? How does what you are doing help you realize your ultimate goals? Do your actions help others? What can I learn?
Focus on learning. Focus on experiences. The more experiences you have to learn from, the stronger your ability to help others becomes.
4. "Is this the best I can do?"
Ask yourself: Am I doing my best? Can I do more?
If you can't, awesome, keep going. If you can... get better. Do more. Try harder. Work smarter. Ask others to help you do better.
Master your skill. Master your craft.
5. "Am I using my mentor or coach effectively?"
Mentors and coaches are not always the same person, even though they can be. You might need both, but always have at least one.
Help them help you by actually listening and applying what they teach you. Ask them deeper questions. Ask them to help you stretch yourself. Ask them, "Why?"
6. "Do I love myself?"
This question is hard to answer.
Answer it anyway.
Check your self talk. Am I negative about my actions or thoughts? Do I give others more credit than I give myself? Do I treat my mental and physical self with respect? Am I truly loving myself?
When you love yourself, you can better love other people.
7. "Am I helping enough people?"
At the end of our lives our relationships are the things that matter. The people who we have helped, and who have helped us, build our lives. The more we help others the more fulfillment and satisfaction we will feel.
While success as a destination is hard to find, success as a journey can be experienced every day.
Help more. Make your journey better and bring others with you.
The bottom line: Questions help us think more deeply. They help us understand where we are, find the gaps, fill the gaps, and increase our performance. As we question ourselves we can get stronger because we better understand our motivations... and by taking positive action, we can get a tiny bit stronger everyday.