While going through a difficult period in my life recently I spent a lot of time reading and thinking about Anthony Robbins’ book Awaken the Giant Within. The whole book is about how anyone can bring about change in their life.
It’s extremely practical and extremely dense in the sense that I’d read a page and then spend 20 minutes thinking about what I just read. Normally I smash books out. I’m actually still going on this one months later.
One of the key points Robbins makes is that all we really want is to change how we feel. The reason why you want that job, that wealth, to have that person love you, to have a family, to go on that holiday, to start a business, to be “successful”, to…whatever, is because of how you think it will make you feel. That’s it.
The interesting point is that there are so many ways to access any particular feeling. A more interesting point is that it’s extremely risky to rely on needing something outside ourselves, something out there in the big complex world, to happen first before we will then allow ourselves to feel a certain way.
James Altucher says to live by themes because goals will break your heart. This is an interesting message because if you decide you’re only going to be happy under extremely specific circumstances then you might be waiting a long time, the rest of your life even. And that would have been your choice. How many times have you said…”I’ll be happy when”?
So how do we take control of how we feel given how challenging life truly is on a regular basis? One technique Robbins suggests is to ask better questions.
It’s the questions we ask ourselves that determine our focus and what we focus on determines how we feel. How we feel drives what actions we take. It’s the actions we take produce the results we get.
If I’ve learned one thing about like it is that life is a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Quality questions are things like…
How can I transform this painful challenge into the springboard that gets me where I want to go?
What am I grateful for right now?
What 10 ideas can I come up with for solving this problem?
If I do x will it take me further in the direction I want to go or will it send me in the other direction?
What am I happy about right now?
What memories do I truly treasure?
What sort of person do I have to become to live the sort of life I want to live?