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Read a non-fiction book for an hour each day.
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Good morning

by Vlad Dolezal on October 5, 2010

Note: This post is part of a series on developing positivity into a subconscious habit. You can read the other parts here:

I went through a period where I was depressed quite a bit. I would get up in the morning and my whole day would be pretty much ruined by depression.

And then, one day, I got up, and my mind started doing its thing. I decided I was just gonna let it do its thing for a while and watch. So I laid in bed, and just kind of paid attention and made some notes.

I sat there for about an hour, an hour and a half. And I realized, as I watched it intermittently, that it was thinking about things I didn’t want to have happen, things that I didn’t like and focusing on where I wanted to be where I wasn’t. And that would pretty much ruin my whole day.

– a guy called Richard from a personal development video I watched ages ago

Your morning sets the mood for the rest of your day.

Which is why I decided to focus the first part of the Hardwire Yourself For Positivity series on changing exactly that. I will share a way to interrupt your old morning thought patterns and replace them with thoughts that will get you energized and excited about the day ahead, every single morning!

And it will all be through the power of questions…

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Consider these few questions:

  • Why does this always happen to me?
  • Why can’t I ever do this right?
  • Why is everybody against me?

Aside from the fact that they’re all negative, pessimistic questions, I’d like to call your attention to another fact:

They all contain presuppositions. In other words, in order to answer the question, you need to accept the basic premise of the question. Namely, their respective presuppositions are:

  • “This” always happens to you.
  • You can never do “this” right.
  • Everybody is against you.

This wouldn’t be such a problem, except your subconscious mind is incredibly smart… yet incredibly dumb at the same time.

The awesome answer-seeking power of your subconscious mind

Your subconscious mind is like a top-of-the-range missile guidance system. You give it certain paremeters, and it will look and look, and it will find a target that fits your specifications.

Unfortunately, it has no critical faculty – it unquestionably accepts the parameters you give it. Just like a missile guidance system.

With your subconscious mind, the specifications you set it are questions. You ask a question, and your subconscious mind will give you an answer, if you ask repeatedly and emphasize that it’s really important.

And the answer will always include the basic presuppositions of your question.

You ask why you can’t ever get it right? Excellent! Your subconscious mind will give you plenty of reasons… why you can never get it right.

You ask why everybody is against you? Your subconscious mind will give you boatloads of reasons, and bring up plenty of examples supporting the presupposition.

It’s easy to see how, with questions like that, you just run yourself into the ground with depression and de-motivation.

On the other hand, consider a question like:

  • How can I most easily do this?

This question presupposes that:

  • You can do it
  • There are several ways it can be done
  • It’s going to be easy

How’s that for empowering presuppositions!

And remember, if you ask long enough, your subconscious mind will give you an answer to your question, every single time.

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I won’t be telling you exactly what questions you should ask yourself. One of the big beliefs in life coaching is that you know what’s best for your own life. So instead, I will show you a way to develop your own questions that suit you best.

Before we get to that, our goal will be to create 5 empowering questions you will ask yourself every morning, right after waking up, to hardwire yourself for positivity for the day ahead. (More on how you will use them in a moment.)

Okay, ready?

In order to not leave you stuck, here are some examples of empowering morning questions:

  • What am I excited about in the day ahead?
  • In what ways is today going to be totally awesome?
  • Why am I glad to be alive today?

I’m not saying you should use all of those, or even any of those… they’re just to give you an idea of what an empowering morning question looks like.

And now it’s time to create your own empowering morning questions. Simply ask yourself:

  • What questions could I ask myself to get excited and feeling positive about the day ahead?

And as your subconscious mind serves you answers, just write them all down. And keep writing them down until you come up with 5 questions you’re really happy with.

Don’t worry about running out of ideas. As long as you keep asking, your mind will keep delivering you answers. And even if the first dozen questions it comes up with are crap, you will come up with some really good ones. Trust me on that.

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Through the last exercise, you will have come up with 5 great empowering questions that will get you excited and positive about the day ahead.

So how do you use them?

I suggest you take them, and make a 30-day trial out of it:

For the next 30 mornings, the moment you wake up, before you brush your teeth, use the toilet, or even have any other thought, lie comfortably on your back and ask yourself the empowering questions, for 3-5 minutes.

This will help you interrupt any old disempowering thought patterns you had. Because your mind is a clean slate in the morning, the first thing you put on it sets the mood for the rest of your day. And getting in there first, before any old negativity habits have the chance to kick in, will give you a massive head-start in positivity for the day ahead.

The next part of the Hardwire Yourself For Positivity series will come next Tuesday. There, I will show you a way to banish negativity from your life any time it comes up, through understanding where it comes from, and a little dash of NLP magic 🙂

Happy positivity!

(P.S. One last thing. If you come up with some empowering questions you’re particularly happy with, please share them in the comments below.)

(image courtesy of vramak)

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Blake October 5, 2010 at 13:48

Hey Vlad,

I thought up some questions–just wanted to share them with everyone to possibly get some feedback. I think one thing that is interesting about these questions is that after writing them down and looking at them is that you can really identify what is important in your life just by looking at the focus of these questions.

Here are my questions:

What am I going to learn today?

Who am I going to get to know better?

Why is today the best day ever?

How am I going to get to know myself better?

How am I going to give a part of myself to others today?

Reply

Vlad Dolezal October 5, 2010 at 14:15

Those are some pretty good questions!

I would personally tone down the third one slightly, for example “How is today one of the best days ever?”. Though some people might choose to live the life with the mindset that every day is even more awesome than any day you have had so far, in which case your version would fit 🙂

Thanks for sharing!

Reply

desai prakash April 11, 2011 at 07:41

hi vlad
this is fantastic
u give me something new. i know it really going to help me and im going to be more and more positive and im going to achieve my goal
thank you ones again

Reply

Maynard July 5, 2012 at 23:56

Thank you for sharing your reflections about empowering questions. Our teleological mind will always seek to respond to a sense of direction. Questions are arrows that directs our attention to the target that we created with our questions. That’s why is so relevant to start the day formulating the questions that are going to direct the energy of one’s life in that direction…
What’s next????????????
With appreciation!

Reply

Marty September 14, 2012 at 10:00

Great article. I love the fact that as I look for material to use to run groups and 1:1 sessions, I find material easily through web search. There’s always a new slant on common subjects in coaching and I find it helps me to develop delivery through my own style.
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Geoff January 22, 2013 at 03:32

How about using the 6 interrogatives? Who – what – when – where – why – how – any of these questions could be switched around or cycled through, as a meditation. Or, pick six different positive action words – the example below uses smile build – laugh – explore – hope – play.

– At whom will I smile today? (what will I smile at today – when will I smile today – where will I smile today – why will I smile today – how will I smile today)
– What will I build today?
– When will I laugh today?
– Where will I explore today?
– Why will I hope today?
– How will I play today?
– How will I forgive today?

That last one was extra credit 🙂

Reply

Vlad Dolezal January 22, 2013 at 09:51

Nice idea of picking different positive action words, Geoff. I’ll play around with that one myself and see what happens!

Reply

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  • Vlad Dolezal

    Hi, I'm Vlad, and I'm a life coach. I love running experiments with my mind, and finding new ways to help people find their passion. I'm also vegetarian, polyamorous, and spend an unusually high amount of time climbing trees.

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    "I cherish the practical advice that Vlad passed on to me and I highly recommend his coaching to anyone who wishes to regain control of their own destiny. And the cream on the top is that he’s a really nice funny guy to talk to."

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