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10 Questions Happy and Successful People Always Ask Themselves (That Make A Huge Difference)

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10 Questions Happy and Successful People Always Ask Themselves (That Make A Huge Difference)

It is easy to look at people who succeed in life and think they must be super lucky. But, more often than not, success has nothing to do with luck. Success is about taking little, deliberate actions-steps day by day, over and over for as long as it takes to reach your goals. If you want to succeed in life and become the A+ student of life you ought to be, you need to start asking yourself enough of the right questions.

Asking the right questions helps you determine if you are headed in the right direction and shaping your life for true happiness. Successful people do it all the time and it helps them make the right decisions and take the right actions that bring desired outcomes. Here are some thought provoking questions you should start asking yourself more often to better understand and adjust your life for a bright and happy life.

1. What’s going well in my life today? Any wins (major or minor) this week?

This is a great place to start because it allows you to be grateful for the positives in your life. A positive energy means you are optimistic and optimism fuels your hunger for more positivity and success in life. Be grateful everyday for everything, including the small things that get overlooked because they seem not related to your ultimate goal in life. At the very least be grateful for good health and good friends.

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2. What challenges am I currently facing? Where am I stuck?

Life is not smooth sailing all the time. You will face challenges and get stuck somewhere along the way. Ask yourself where you are stuck and what you have to overcome daily to define the problem and start the process of getting unstuck. The first step for getting a solution to most things in life is often as simple as admitting you have a problem and then thinking about the best approach to overcome the problem.

3. What am I doing right now to improve things? Truly, Am I doing the best I can?

It is critical that you do your best to succeed and improve your life situation. Nothing is quite as satisfying as merited success. If success is not merited, it is not as sweet. Ask yourself if you are really putting in the effort to merit success. This includes investing your time, energy and resources to realize your dreams and visions for the future.

4. Am I further along on my goal(s) and dream(s) today than yesterday?

Only when you make small, steady steps forward day by day can you make progress and reach your dream. If you don’t take stock of your day to day activities, you are likely to lose sight of your ultimate goal and fall by the wayside. Ask yourself this question often and it will help keep you focused and edging closer and closer to your dream.

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5. Am I adding value in other people’s lives?

Our happiness and success is usually tied to that of the people around us, including our family, friends, clients, neighbors and community as a whole. When you add value in another person’s life, you achieve a deep sense of satisfaction and pride in yourself and it always brings good fortune. Ask this question in your daily life and find ways to genuinely add value in other people’s lives and you will never regret it. You will only set yourself up for success and true happiness in life.

6. Where should I break the rules?

Rules can stifle creativity and chock innovation. Sometimes you need to break free from the shackles of rules and regulations, stretch your wings and fly with the wind. Ask yourself which rules you should break on a regular basis to stay in sync with your inner creativity and moral compass. That can make the difference between perpetuating the status quo and charting the way to new, big and wonderful accomplishments in life.

7. Based on my daily routines, where can I expect to be in five years?

Your daily routine determines how fast you can reach your goals and dreams. It is a secret ingredient for success. If you find you are stuck in the same place for too long, then it’s time to evaluate you daily routines and change a few things to achieve better results. Experiment different ways of doing things until you find what works for you and stick with it.

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8. What is the worst that can happen?

Fear can paralyze even the best of us. That includes fear of the unknown, fear of failure and fear of achieving more than you thought possible. However, in every situation, ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen and prepare for it. Remain hopeful always knowing that while it is important to plan and prepare for the worst, the worst that can happen rarely does.

9. How have past failures and or rejections affected my self-confidence?

You will inevitably face knock-backs, failures and rejections in life. While some people doubt themselves and break under the weight of failure and rejection, others thrive on it. You must be the latter. Failure is only an opportunity to do things better next time. Ask yourself this question routinely to learn from your mistakes and develop character and courage to face your detractors with boldness; and also, to recover from bruised confidences. That is how to get ahead in life.

10. Are the people around me helping or hurting me?

You’ve heard it said many times before that you are the average of the five people you keep around you. That is a true assessment. Ask yourself if the people around you encourage and support you to be the best you can be or put you down. If they discourage and bring you down, remove them from your life immediately. You are better off alone than surrounded by people who hurt and bring you down.

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Featured photo credit: I .. C .. U via flickr.com

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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