This morning I woke up in a funk. I had a dream that was super melancholic. What’s worse is that, when I woke, I watched my brain try and build stories around this emotion creating hopelessness around a specific relationship when, in reality, it’s never been stronger. This unconscious story put me in a conscious funk that even my morning meditation couldn’t wipe away.
Turn any day around
Then I remembered a small pink sheet of paper inside of my journal. It was given to me by my hypnotherapist (a story for another day), a practice taught at a Tony Robbins training in 1990 which, clearly, has stood the test of time. On this sheet of paper are seven questions, and one or two sub-questions for each, which have been proven to support well-being both in the moment and long-term. Even if you’re having an average morning, no funk in sight, I can’t recommend this practice more. Taking 15 minutes to answer these questions has the power to turn around your darkest moods and, with consistency, the power to change your life. Notice how your energy changes from the start of the exercise to the end.
- What am I most happy about in my life right now? Why does that make me happy? How does that make me feel?
- What am I most excited about in my life right now? Why does that make me excited? How does that make me feel?
- What am I most grateful for in my life right now? Why does that make me grateful? How does that make me feel?
- What am I enjoying most in my life right now? What about that do I enjoy? How does that make me feel?
- What am I committed to in my life right now? Why am I committed to that? How does that make me feel?
- Who do I love (starting close and moving out)? Who loves me?
- What must I do today to achieve my long-term goal?
The secret behind this particular set of questions is that optimism is 100 percent teachable. By answering these questions, you are entirely rearranging your focus and placing it on an abundance of positivity, all that’s exciting in your life, and there is so much to be excited about. Even if you are facing a massive challenge at that very moment, the last question sets you on a path of action, one small thing completely within your control, that provides hope, promotes progress and leads to healthy habits.
If you have an extra minute…
If you choose to write down your answers, circle some of the positive descriptors that you’ve used to describe your life and your self and read them as a sentence starting with “she is” or “he is.” It could look something like this:
She is learning and progressing, equipped to help others, excited for the future, grounded, growing in love, loved, insightful, ready to change the world, capable of absolutely anything and in the driver’s seat.
The first time I did this exercise, I had something like this sentence read back to me and I was absolutely stunned. With a toothy smile, all I could say was, “She sounds pretty cool.”
Remember: Everything you need and everything you want is right there within you and, no matter how dark the dream or dreary the day, all you have to do is drop down a ladder and give yourself permission to get on out.