Let us do a quick little exercise. Be sincere and do it – don’t just read through it! I promise it will be an eye-opening experience. Be mindful of your own safety – if you are driving or doing any other activity that needs your undivided attention please do this exercise later.
Look all around you and spot the color red – any object, any item that is red in color. Keep looking around for one minute and count the number of red things you are able to spot. Done? Great! How many red objects were you able to spot?
Now close your eyes and recall a few objects around you that are BLUE in color! I know – you are saying – What????? You feel that I tricked you! Please bear with me as I have a point to make and I will come to it. How many blue items can you recall? None? May be one or two? Let me guess – this number is much less than the number of red items you counted around you! The question is why? Well, because you were looking for red – and hence did not see (or pay attention to blue).
Now open your eyes. Look around for a minute and count the number of blue things you see. Did you see many more blue items around you this time? Of course, you did! Why? Because this time, you were looking for blue. The blue colored items were all around you previously – when you were busy spotting red items. But you were practically blind to them! Your eyes did see the blue colored objects – the first time around. But your mind discarded them – because you were looking for red! In fact, your mind discarded all other colors except for the color you were looking for.
What is the key takeaway from this exercise? We only see what we are looking for – not just when we are spotting colored objects around us, but in all aspects of our lives. What prompts us what to look for? Those are our habitual questions we ask ourselves, often unconsciously.
Consider the following questions.
- Why do I have to wake up so early? Why can’t I go to bed on time?
- For God’s sake, why can’t I stick to a diet or lose any weight?
- Why do I have to pay all these freaking bills?
- Why are people around me such jerks?
- Why am I such a failure?
Remember that you will find – in your life – what you are looking for! If you ask these negative questions – that is what you will discover in your life.
Start each morning by writing down answers to a set of 3-5 positive questions that make the most sense to you, and are suitable to your life situation. Consider these questions as a start.
- What am I grateful for in my life?
- What can I do today, to progress towards my goals?
- What can I do today – to build trust and positive relationships with my family, friends, and colleagues?
- What can I do today to be more productive, happier and healthier?
The key to this technique is to WRITE down the answers to these questions and not just reading them and thinking about the answers. Please write the answers down! Preferably as soon as you wake up, and definitely as a part of your morning routine before you head out from home.
“Seek and you shall find” The most important point to make here is – what are you seeking? Once you start looking for positive things – you will find a lot more of them around you – in your own life. You will feel a lot better every morning. You will see daily opportunities for being happy, building relationships, and taking small steps towards your goals – that you may have missed before.
What habitual questions do you ask yourself routinely and often unconsciously – that are bound to make you feel unhappy, frustrated, tired, and fed-up? What are some better questions that you have asked yourselves that have helped you to start your day with positive energy and enthusiasm? Please write your responses in the comments section below. From your suggestions, I will compile and post the list of top 20 positive questions.