Powerful people, intelligent people, wise people, the most grounded people, all do one thing that most others don’t: They talk to themselves. They’re not crazy. In fact, they’re quite the opposite. Powerful individuals understand that nothing in their lives, themselves included, is stable continuously forever.
Things change. People change. The only way to stay atop of it all is to constantly talk to yourself, constantly ask yourself questions to understand not only what is going on, but who you have become and what you want. You have to ask yourself questions regularly, converse with yourself, if you want to lead a happy and healthy life.
All those individuals that can be truly dubbed powerful individuals ask themselves questions every day. Why? Because they need to in order to remember and in order to make adjustments to their goals and tactics when those answers change over time – which they always do. Here are eight questions you should all be asking yourselves:
1. Where is my focus for the day?
Most of us get up in the morning and do our best to delay the day at hand. We then crawl groggily out of our bedroom and go through the motions of getting ready and making it to work on time. Mornings, more often than not, are spent running through our routines, avoiding too much thinking because half our brain still wishes it was asleep.
Mornings are very important because they basically set the mood for the day. If you wobble around absentmindedly in the am, then you’re likely to continue the trend throughout the day. Get up in the morning and reassess yourself, your life and your focus and you will see a great improvement overtime.
The most successful and powerful individuals get up and remind themselves what their main focus is. Although we all have tons of tasks that need to be completed, there should be one overall focus for the day ahead of you.
2. What personal achievement do I want to achieve next?
Throughout our day, we run through a usually long list of things that we need to check off. And that’s great. But life isn’t all about working – it’s about doing and living, but not necessarily working.
What is it that you want to achieve next? Do you want to run a full marathon? Do you want to get your novel published? Maybe get incredibly fit? Achievements don’t only lie in the work that you do. They also lie in your life outside of work. Never stopping achieving and you’ll never stop living.
3. What habits can I avoid?
We all have bad habits. I often wonder why that is and I’ve narrowed it down two options: Either those bad habits feel incredibly good or the fact that they are bad makes us feel good – we know it’s bad, but we’re strong enough to handle it. Nevertheless, bad habits are bad habits and should therefore be avoided.
This, however, takes quite a bit of concentration. That’s why the most powerful people remind themselves that they have these poor habits and ask themselves regularly, which of those (if not all) they can avoid today. Avoid them for long enough and they no longer can be labeled as habits.
4. What mistakes should I have learned from?
We all make mistakes, but we don’t all learn from them. This is a huge problem because it leads us to make the same mistakes over and over again, with the same negative result. You can’t simply make mistakes, assume you’ve learned from them, and then move on. You have to remind yourself of those mistakes and remind yourself of the lessons you learned from them.
Don’t assume that because you’ve experienced the mishap and understand that it was a mistake that you’ve learned from it. Even if you did learn from them initially, without reminding yourself regularly, you’ll forget.
5. What new mistakes am I willing to make?
Mistakes are a part of the learning experience and therefore shouldn’t be avoided. But they shouldn’t be aimed for either. Powerful, intelligent individuals understand that mistakes are meant to be made.
They also understand that knowing what mistakes you are willing to make and what you are willing to risk will make your life a whole lot easier and less stressful. Mistakes don’t need to be surprises – they can and should be calculated risks.
6. How is my health level?
The more powerful and influential you are, the busier you tend to be. Constantly working leaves little time for anything else. Unfortunately, we can’t simply work and do nothing else because we have physical needs that need to be met. We need to find time to exercise. We need to find time to eat healthy.
We need to find time to sleep. These things cannot be avoided, but often are ignored or overlooked. If you’re a very busy individual then you’ll benefit from regularly checking in with yourself and examining your health level.
If you look and feel healthy, then you have nothing to worry about, but chances are, you could probably use an extra hour of sleep tonight, and a half-hour of cardio, or you could use to get a salad instead a sandwich. Stay on top of your health and your health won’t get in the way of your productivity and happiness.
7. Am I still on the right track?
Sometimes we get so entrenched in all that is going on in our lives that we lose sight of the road we were supposedly following. We get caught up with this or that and then find ourselves far from where we ought to be.
This is why you need to create checkpoints for yourself, based either on time or achievement, and make sure that you are still heading in the right direction. Life has a way of taking us up and throwing us off course. This is fine as long as we are smart enough to realize this and strong enough to push ourselves back on track.
8. Is my end goal still as important to me today as it was yesterday?
The hungrier you are for success, the more likely you are to ignore everything but your goals. However, it’s easy to get caught up with things and lose sight of what it is that we really want out of life. Many times our wants and preferences change. This should clearly affect our goals and aspirations, yet it doesn’t unless we come to conclude that our goals no longer line up with what we believe will make us happy.
Even worse is when we choose to ignore what we know because we’ve already spent so much time driving towards that one dream. As you live, you learn – you change – and therefore you must adjust. The most successful people aren’t always the happiest people, but then you can’t really call them successful, can you?
The truly successful manage to follow the dreams that will make them happy and then go and get them. If your perspective changes, then don’t be afraid to adjust your goals. Being stubborn and set in your ways always leads to misery.
– Kathlyn Ehl