If you've been reading what I write for any stretch of time, you know what a huge fan I am of questions. I think the question mark is the single most important piece of punctuation on the planet.
A couple days ago I wrote a post about using negative thoughts to launch a positive perspective. In it, I mentioned the idea of asking questions to help you find the positive. I want to take a deeper look at that idea.
Questions are inherently about opening doors. As tools to help you build a positive perspective, they can shift your focus and open your eyes to things you may not have been paying attention to.
Here are some questions to help you shine a light on the positive in your life.
- What's good in my life right now?
- What do I appreciate?
- Whom do I appreciate?
- Who appreciates me?
- What small thing am I thankful for?
- What big thing am I thankful for?
- How am I fortunate?
- What has happened today/this week/this month that's good?
- What brought me pleasure today?
- What do I like about myself?
- What do I like about the people around me?
- Where is the beauty around me right now?
- What one thing in my immediate surroundings can I admire and/or appreciate?
- What sense can I enjoy right now? (Do you hear birds? Smell something good? See something aesthetically pleasing? Feel something soft?)
- What memory brings a smile to my face?
- What am I proud of?
- What positive thing would people say about me?
- What is giving me energy today? What could be giving me energy if I let it?
- Where is the smile waiting to happen in my day?
Sometimes the positive perspective comes from shifting the meaning you attach to the negative experience. Here are some questions to help you find positive meaning in challenging circumstances.
- What can I learn from this?
- Where is the gift here?
- What message does this have for me?
- What does this help me see that needs changing?
- If I had to find a positive way to look at this, what could it be?
- What is this forcing me to do that I've been avoiding?
- What insight is this giving me that will enable me to be more _____ in the future? (Fill in the blank with the relevant characteristic)
- Who can I help as a result of having had this experience?
It's not all just about sitting and noodling about positive things in your head. You can also take specific steps to help bring a more positive perspective into view.
- Who can I reach out to for a positive connection?
- Who can I tell that I appreciate them?
- Who can I ask for positive feedback?
- Who can I help? How?
- What can I do right now that I enjoy?
- What can I plan that I enjoy?
- Where can I spend time today that makes me feel good (e.g., the park, your favorite coffee shop, etc.)?
I would love to hear your take on this. What questions would you suggest to help create a positive perspective?
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by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst