Advertising
Advertising

The 3 Questions That Will Lead to Guaranteed Success

The 3 Questions That Will Lead to Guaranteed Success

Asking questions can be extremely powerful, but those questions must be relevant to your life, and you must take the time to answer them.

If you want to increase your productivity, efficiency, personal growth, and motivation there are 3 questions that will do exactly that. By taking the time to sit down and address them, you can drastically accelerate your progress on all your goals.

Advertising

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

    The 3 Questions That Will Lead to Massive Success

    The 3 questions are:
    1. What did you do today that moved you towards your goals?
    2. What actions did you take today that prevented you from achieving your goals?
    3. What new practices can accelerate your progress towards your goals?

    Before I jump into explaining how to use these specific questions I want to discuss why each one is powerful. Each question plays a very important and critical role.

    What did you do today that moved you towards your goals?

    You do things each week that move you towards your goals, and the more of these actions that you do, faster you will attain them. This question helps you identify those key behaviors, as you should aim to increase them.

    Advertising

    What actions did you take today that prevented you from achieving your goals?

    You are likely also doing things that prevent you from achieving your goals. These behaviors become the barrier between you and your target, and the quicker you eliminate these behaviors from your life, the faster you will achieve your goals. This question helps you identify the specific things you did that are preventing you from achieving your dreams.

    What new practices can accelerate your progress towards your goals?

    No matter where you are in your life, there is always room for improvement. The key is to identify new practices that will accelerate you towards your goals, and this question helps you identify new tactics that will increase the rate by which you achieve your objective.

    How To Ask and Answer the 3 Key Questions

    Knowing the questions is powerful, but that alone isn’t enough: you need to take the time to sit down and answer each of them honestly as well, as ideas and concepts lead to nothing without action. Below is a specific step-by-step process to get the most out of them.

    Advertising

    Step 1: Identify one goal you want to focus on.

    This is very important! Identify one specific goal you want to focus on—it can be anything but for now, so just choose one. Once you know your goal, move on to the next step.

    Step 2: Set up a Weekly Meeting With Yourself.

    Establish a time once per week where you will have a meeting with yourself. Never miss this meeting! During this meeting you will assess your progress on your goal using the three questions. Anytime is fine, as long as you can make it to the meeting and don’t forget about it.

    Step 3: Run the meeting.

    Now, it’s time to sit down and run the meeting. For this, you need the following:
    1) A timer
    2) A pen
    3) 4 pieces of lined paper (we will use the 4th piece of paper in step 4).

    Advertising

    If you prefer to write on your computer that’s fine as well. At the top of the paper, write down the 1 goal you’ve chosen. On the first paper you are going to write down the first question: “What did I do over the last week that moved me towards my goal?” Set the timer for 4 minutes, and to write down everything you did over the last week that moved you towards your goal. Then do the exact same thing for the two remaining questions; one per sheet of paper. Once that’s completed, you move on to the next step.

    Step 4: Develop the Next Week’s Action Plan

    On the top of the 4th piece of paper, write “This week’s action plan” as the title. Just below that write out your goal, and then look at your responses to the first question. Choose 3 actions you are going to continue to do, and write those 3 behaviors down on the 4th sheet. Then, look at your answers to questions 2 and 3. Choose a behavior that you’re going to stop doing, and then choose a new one to replace the one you’re giving up. Now you have 4 very clear action steps.

    Step 5: Rinse, Repeat, Recycle.

    You have established a very clear plan to accelerate your progress towards your goals,  but doing this one time isn’t enough. It is critical to sit down each week and to do this. You will be amazed by the improvements you are able to make over time, as this is a built-in system that guarantees constant improvement from week to week. If you improve every week, it is just a matter of time until you achieve your goal.

    More by this author

    The 3 Questions That Will Lead to Guaranteed Success 11 Actions You Can Take Today That Will Drastically Improve Your Health Skyrocket Your Productivity in 60s

    Trending in Communication

    1 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 2 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 3 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 4 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 5 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

    Advertising

    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

    Advertising

    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

    Advertising

    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

    Advertising

    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next