This week I read an interesting article shared by Arianna Huffington on Linked In about what 7 high achievers do when they get out of bed. The activities ranged from reading and checking their calendar and email to meditating, being grateful and gathering their thoughts.
Personally, I follow the 8 habits that I teach in my Happiness Habits Transformation e-course because this simple daily routine prioritises guilt-free space in my day for ME and puts the focus back on my well-being.
Because I passionately believe that we ALL deserve the gift of inspiring, nourishing space in the day for US in order to show up in the rest of our lives as our most positive, powerful & productive selves.
But enough about me… how do you begin your day? Even if you don’t realise it, it probably begins with questions.
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Our mind thrives on questions, it loves to go to work answering them.
So for example if I asked you… what color is your front door? Tell me, what are you thinking now? I bet it’s the colour of your front door.
My question momentarily hijacked your thought process and focused it entirely on your front door. You didn’t consciously tell your brain to think about that; it just did automatically.
Questions are powerful. Not only does hearing a question affect what our brains do in that instant, it can also shape our future behavior. And that can be a powerful principle that we can use to our advantage every single morning.
This is because questions trigger a mental reflex known as “instinctive elaboration”. When we get asked a question, it takes over our brain’s thought processes. And when your brain is thinking about the answer to a question, it can’t think about anything else. And because our thoughts affect our emotions and our behaviours, questions can have a profound effect on our results.
Research has borne this out too – in 1993 a study was conducted with over 40k people that showed simply asking someone if they were going to buy a new car within 6 months increased their purchase rates by 35%. Interesting eh?
So what has this got to do with our morning routine?
For me, it’s all about asking ourselves the right questions. The questions that hijack our brain and focus it on the right things. Often we ask ourselves questions without even realising it. They’re usually questions we’ve asked ourselves repeatedly over a long time and so they become subconscious habits.
Questions like… what’s in my email inbox? What’s happening on social media? Did anyone look at my last status on Facebook? Why did I go to bed so late last night? What if my kids are late for school again? What if my client meeting doesn’t go well today?
All these questions direct our brain in a particular way. They lead us to jump onto our phones, to second guess ourselves, to start a negative thought loop or worry about a future that hasn’t even happened yet.
So how about we start consciously asking ourselves DIFFERENT questions in the morning?
What do I want to create today?
How do I want to feel today?
What do I want to be able to celebrate tonight?
How can I be of service to my clients / my family / my friends and my community today?
You see these questions stimulate our brain to find creative answers… and those answers direct our thoughts at the very beginning of the day, guiding us towards choices that can boost our satisfaction and well-being.
So here’s a question for you… how will you change the questions that you ask yourself every morning?