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8 Questions Powerful People Ask Themselves Every Day

8 Questions Powerful People Ask Themselves Every Day

Life is full of questions. What will I wear today? What will I have for lunch? Whether it’s the small questions we face on a daily basis, or the larger, life-changing ones, they cannot be avoided.

Powerful and successful people ask themselves certain questions every day in order to meet their goals. These people understand that nothing in life is constant, and to make it to the top they have to regularly re-assess their lives and tactics. It is only through asking questions, like the ones listed below, every day that they are able to reflect on how far they have gone, who they have become, and what they want to achieve. And if their actions don’t line up with their goals? They make the necessary adjustments so they will be successful.

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Take the time every day to ask yourself these 8 questions, and you can achieve the success you are looking for.

1. What do I want to accomplish today?

Most of us wake up in the morning and go through the day without any focus or objective for that particular day. It’s the “wake up, survive, go back to bed” kind of lifestyle. Their main motivation for the day is just to run through their daily routines, avoiding much thinking and simply getting through the day. Half of their brain wishes to still be asleep.

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Successful people differ greatly from these people. They value their mornings, and they use them to set the mood and motivation for that day. They wake up in the morning, reassess themselves, look into their lives, remind themselves what their main focus is and set their objectives for that day. They focus on the things they want to achieve before the sun sets. That’s why they see great improvements ultimately.

2. How much time should each task take me?

Time management strategies are paramount in the road to success and, unfortunately, many of us are poor at this basic skill. We all have got 24 hours each day, no more no less for anyone. The difference between successful people and those who are not is as a result of what we do with the 24 hours and how we spread that time out over all daily tasks. Winners identify the priorities in their life or businesses and allocate them earlier and more time.

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3. Are my actions with my end goals in mind?

Actions indeed speak louder than words. Things you do are what determine if you will achieve the goals you have set. Successful people will stop once in a while and ask themselves if the things they are doing are aimed at meeting their bigger picture. In fact, they will put everything else away except the things that will help them achieve their goals.

4. What bad habits can I avoid?

Let us agree on one thing: everyone has his or her bad habits. Habits make us who we are. We know these habits are not pleasant, but because they make us feel good, we end up continually doing them. Powerful people, however, understand that bad habits are exactly that–bad, and they should be avoided. They will keep reminding themselves that they have these habits and regularly ask which of those, if not all, can they avoid long enough so they are no longer habits.

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5. What mistakes should I learn from?

We all make mistakes. They are part of our lives, a part of our learning experience. The biggest problem is repeating the same mistakes again and again, and expecting different results. Powerful people will learn from not only their mistakes, but the mistakes of others. They will keep reminding themselves of these mistakes and the lessons they learnt from them. They never make assumptions.

6. Am I still on the right track?

Evaluation is important in our lives. Sometimes we get so entrenched in so many things that are happening in our lives that we lose sight of the road we are following. If we do not evaluate ourselves, we might find ourselves far from the road we ought to be. To be successful, we should keep re-evaluating ourselves and asking if we still are on the right track and if we are heading in the right direction.

7. What sacrifices am I willing to make in pursuit of excellence?

Success is all about sacrifices and not so much about finding happiness. On our journey to success, we will be faced with decisions we need to make. Most of these decisions will put us in situations that we will be forced to choose one of two, or more, options. Most people will choose the easy option. Successful and powerful people understand that to move on to the next level, they have to forget something. These are the sacrifices that they have to make and they make the right decision.

8. What risks will I take to achieve my goal?

Life is all about taking calculated risks. Powerful people will tell you the risks they have taken to reach the position where they are at now. They will evaluate the opportunities in taking those risks and weigh them against what they could lose. Depending on which outweighs the other, they are able to make a calculated decision. That’s what makes them successful.

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems, why?

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

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The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

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The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

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It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

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For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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