I never liked waking up in the mornings. I was groggy and unhappy that I had to get out of my comfy bed and go do things I didn’t want to do. It was only on rare occasions like waking up to go on a Mediterranean cruise or go on a fun adventure with friends that I’d wake up with enthusiasm.
Then I learned a simple and profound tool while working for Tony Robbins that made me understand why I didn’t like getting up and also gave me the power to actually start to enjoy the process. The tool is QUESTIONS. Meaning what questions do you ask yourself when you first open your eyes. If you don’t think you ask yourself questions think again. Because thinking is simply the process of asking questions. And if you don’t believe me, pause for a minute and notice the thought process in your brain as you evaluate that idea. Are you asking yourself questions? It just happens so fast and is usually in our subconscious that we don’t even notice it. The average person has over 70,000 thoughts per day.
As I started to take inventory of the questions I asked myself in the morning it made more sense to me why I didn’t like waking up. Here are some of the questions that would run through my head:
Why do I have to get up?
What should I do today?
Why is life so hard?
Why can’t I stay in bed longer?
Why is life unfair?
By asking those types of questions all I was doing was reinforcing more of what I didn’t want in my life. Those are problem frame questions. They got me nowhere. They just made me feel worse. And the more I built the habit of asking them day after day, week after week, year after year, the more the got engrained in my nervous system. I wired myself to feel terrible every morning.
Alas, with my newfound awareness and the power of my new tool I started to reverse this habit. I developed an arsenal of morning questions that made me feel excited, grateful, and enthusiastic about waking up. Here are some of them:
What am I grateful for today?
What am I excited about today?
What can I give today?
Why am I so lucky to have another day of life?
What am I grateful for about the sleep I just had?
And I continue to develop new ones and make up new ones often. The fun part is you get to make up whatever questions you want. You are only limited by the levels of imagination, creativity, and playfulness you can tap in to. If you are focused on making money maybe you’d ask yourself something like, “I wonder how much money I will earn today?” Or if you’re focused on your relationships maybe you’d ask yourself, “Who do I love? Who loves me?”
Remember, this is a habit just like anything in life. Practice doing it for at least 30 days. The first thing you do is ask yourself a few of your morning questions. Watch and see how your life transforms as you build the new habit!