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It’s not long after the sun rises and the morning bird songs are downed out by the maddening melodies of our alarms when the stress free adventure of our dreams inconveniently turn into the stress filled reality of everyday living. Putting one foot in front of the next, with little hope for what’s to come, we set out to face a day that we’ve come to believe can’t be won. The frantic pace of society, the insurmountable to-do list, the endless running around, why even make the effort to live with optimism, vigor and charm. Yet as the daily angst and frustration sets in, a wiser softer voice whispers to us saying to fully enjoy the day while striving to become all that we can become. Unfortunately, it’s too late — the craziness has begun.
If you are like most people, this is a script you’re probably familiar with as the demands of life coupled with the natural negativity bias of the mind make it seemingly impossible to live each day with passion and joy. Fortunately, however, this doesn’t have to be the case, and to transform how you experience daily life may not be as challenging as you assume it to be. The internationally acclaimed leadership expert and best-selling author John C. Maxwell tells us:
If you are willing to change your thinking, you can change your feelings. If you change your feelings, you can change your actions. And changing your actions – based on good thinking – can change your life.”
So how do we go about making the needed internal shift? Thanks to the brain’s amazing power of neuroplasticity, there are a variety of strategies that we can use to change the thought patterns of the mind, with one of the most transformative being the practice of conscious questioning. It’s certain that by asking yourself empowering questions, before consciously pondering the answers within, you can revamp how you think about life and experience the world. As you’ll discover by exploring the five morning questions featured in this article, you have the ability to turn your daily discontentment and stagnation into their life-affirming alternatives of happiness and growth.
If you were to take an honest assessment of the moods and feelings that govern your daily life, you’d probably be hard pressed to say you live each and every day to the fullest with genuine appreciation for the blessing that it is. Of course, it’s quiet natural for discontentment and fatigue to rise to the surface as you’re juggling a seemingly endless number of personal interests, obligations and relationships, but this isn’t to say that you lack the ability to transform the internal state that presides over your day-to-day activities. In fact, by simply asking yourself the following five morning questions after you wake up, and spending three to five minutes analytically pondering the answers within, you can move yourself to a place where you graciously enjoy each passing day as you march towards the achievement of your dreams.
Although it can be easy to assume that the only way to find happiness is by satisfying the selfish desire of the ego, the truth is that, because the impermanent nature of reality makes all worldly aims unsatisfactory in nature, we’ll forever remain caught in a cycle of craving what’s newer, bigger and better when we approach life from this point of view. Ironically enough, despite the fact that we naively assume that we’ll hamper our chances for fulfillment by selflessly going out of our way to help family, friends and strangers alike, acts of kindness and compassion actually increase our feelings of life-satisfaction and foster a sense of connection with others. This is the reason why the previously mentioned Dalai Lama says:
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
When taking into account the scientific research that shows how altruism and benevolence have as much of a positive effect on the doer of the deeds as the recipient, it becomes easy to see why asking ourselves ‘How Can I Help The Greater Good Today?’ each day can have such a uplifting effect on our life. Moreover, because feeling connected to others and our communities as a whole is vital for psychological health, one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to act in ways that put the greater good first. Best-selling author Mitch Albom tells us:
The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
Regardless of where you find yourself in life, it is certain that the five morning questions in this article can infuse your days with happiness and growth. This, however, isn’t to say that these are the only questions that can do the same, and depending upon your life circumstances, you may come to discover that different questions better suit your goals, needs and beliefs. If this happens to be the case, then by all means tailor and utilize whichever questions strike a cord at the core of your being. With that being said, we’ll now leave you with one additionally thought-provoking question from best-selling author Kamal Ravikant. He encourage us to ask ourselves:
If I accepted my mortality to my core, never knowing when the chain snaps, then how would I live?”
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