Recently I read a very touching article about a couple that was very much in love, and were in the process of facing one of them having terminal cancer. The story was quite sad, but had a seed of hope and happiness in it. And one of the things that this couple did at the end of their day, every day, struck me as an incredible idea.
One thing these two people would do at the end of every day they spent together was ask each other a question
And, as it turns out, this is an incredibly powerful question. As I recognized this, I decided that I was going to commit to asking myself this question on a daily basis, and see how it affected me personally.
Before I tell you what the question was, I want to explain something about questions that is often times largely overlooked. This is something that comes roughly from the NLP world, that I learned from my 10 month training in the Super Mind Academy.
A question has a very specific, and direct effect on the mind. This may sound overly simplistic, but
Every time you ask yourself a question, the mind is going to find an answer to it
You might read that and say, “well duh”. But when you look at the mind as something that you can direct, control, master, and lead into thinking how you want it to think, and producing emotions that you want to experience, this becomes very good knowledge.
You don’t just have to ask a question because you want to know the answer to it. You can ask a question, because you know it will elicit a certain response. Like I said, any time you ask the mind a question, it’s going to answer it, or at least attempt to answer it. This doesn’t just happen at the conscious level, but at the unconscious level as well. Even if you don’t consciously find the answer, your unconscious mind may have. And this can be used to your advantage in a variety of ways.
Let’s say someone you know has a straight face and is being quiet. You might wonder if something is the matter. So you as them “What’s wrong?” Guess what you just did? You just sent a direct command to their mind to find something wrong, you engaged their mind and brain to answer your question. For all you know they may not have been upset, but with that question, they may be that much more likely to be.
As another example, let’s say you want to help someone feel better. You could say “remember that time we….” And remind them of a funny, or happy time you had with them. You could say, “did anything cool happen to you today?” and their mind is going to start answering your question.
You can also use questions to elicit certain thinking patterns
When I’m coaching the people I work with, I will use this a lot. When you see someone grappling with an issue, and beginning to dwell on the problem, a very simple “What do you think we need to do to solve this?” will instantly flip the switch on the direction their mind is going. You can even be very specific: “What would it take for you to feel completely happy about this right now?” Not only is the mind going to start imagining being completely happy, but it’s also going to prompt that person to tell you exactly what you need to do to get to a win/win situation.
I’d encourage you to try this, first on yourself, and then on others. And you can start with the question I’m about to share with you. I’ve been using this for two weeks, and am now starting to ask people I’m close to as well, because I know that it has a powerful way of shifting perspective in a positive way.
The question is, very simply: “What is the best thing that happened to you today?”
I learned very quickly from this that what made me happy was a little different than what I would have expected to make me happy. When I ask myself this question, often times it’s those little moments, the ones that can so easily slip by and be forgotten about, that come to mind.
The other day I told someone that I thought they were doing a really good job at what they did as they were helping me out with some work. They just looked at me and said “Thank you.” It was a small moment, but I could see in their face that what I’d said meant something to them. It made me feel really good. I made some money that day. I was complimented by someone, I was really productive at work, but for some reason, THAT was what really made my day.
You’ll also notice when you do this daily that there is always something good that happened to you, no matter how the day went. It’s a powerful tool for programming a successful and positive mindstate. And the fact that it’s a question enables it to slip past the radar of your negative mind.
So what was the best thing that happened to you today?
Feel free to share in the comments below!