I’ve talked about Primary Questions in this blog before. A Primary Question is a question you ask yourself first thing in the morning and throughout the day. It has the power to shape your day.
Most of us unconsciously ask ourselves questions that are negative, such as “Why can’t I get anything done?” or “Why can’t I lose weight?” These questions inevitably trigger negative emotions as there are no positive answers to questions such as these.
If you ask yourself “Why can’t I get anything done?” over and over, you are also unconsciously answering the question over and over. Hearing things like “Because I’m a loser,” or “Because I’m totally disorganized and I always will be,” over and over will create feeling of helplessness, anxiety and even self-loathing.
How do we act when we feel helpless, anxious, or when we hate ourselves? Depends.
Someone who thinks “Why can’t I get anything done?” would probably be paralyzed and take no action, which leads to, you guessed it, getting nothing done.
Someone who thinks “Why am I so fat?” would probably overeat.
These unconscious questions that we ask ourselves every day are very powerful: they have the power to keep us from our best selves, our best lives.
Unless we change the question. We can consciously ask ourselves a different question, a question that has positive power in our lives.
Early last year, I came up with a new Primary Question. I no longer unconsciously asked myself “Why can’t I get anything done?” (yes, that one was mine,) I started asking myself, consciously, every morning: “How do I want to feel today?”
That question was powerful for me because it led to the answer (most often): “relaxed and happy,” which led to another question: “What do I have to think in order to feel relaxed and happy?” That question led me to positive thoughts that shaped my day in a very positive way.
I really was more relaxed and happy, even though nothing else had changed in my life.
Recently, I tried out a number of new Primary Questions to see which felt the best. The one that resonated the most is so “Life-Coach-y” and “new-Age-y” that I hesitate to even write it here. But it’s been working for me so here it is:
“What’s perfect about today?”
The answer to that question is powerful because it brings up in me a sense of wonder and gratitude.
No matter what’s going on, if I ask myself “What’s perfect about today?” I get an answer that makes me feel better.
What’s perfect about…
- spilling coffee all over the kitchen? It gives me (needed) time to think while I clean up.
- my son’s pneumonia? I’m able to be home with him and pay attention so he gets what he needs to get better.
- Tom’s new job with longer work hours? His happiness overflows on our whole family.
What’s your Primary Question?