Three questions to start your day

There are days I wake up confused. Can you relate? Like me, you may have so many things on your plate, you don’t know where to begin.

Three questions to start your day

I like to start here, by asking myself these three questions:

  1. What’s the most important problem or challenge I need to lean into today? This question reminds me of three important truths. First, it reminds me that life is not challenge-free and I’m never to shy away from them. Each day is an opportunity to either engage or hide; to be responsible for a solution, or play the role of victim. Second, it reminds me that focusing on the important is vital, lest the daily flurry of other good, but less important things, distract me. And third, that I can take steps, however small, toward doing that which challenges me most.
  2. Who needs my attention most today? I cannot truly know the answer to this question because I cannot survey everyone I know. But asking it anyway starts me thinking about other’s needs and where I can help. It gets me off my preoccupation with my agenda and helps me be more sensitive to those who may need something from me. These needs are often less readily apparent. The people most important to me tend to be the most tolerant and the least vocal. They’re more forgiving when I’m neglectful and so, even more deserving of my daily consideration.
  3. What would reinvigorate me today? I always have more on my list to do than I can ever possibly hope to get done. Sometimes this leads me to resent my many to-dos. Time for self-care is one of the hardest things for me to schedule. But I need it. We all do. Fatigue sets in when I don’t take time for a walk, a bike ride, or a trip to the bookstore just to browse. Knowing it’s needed daily, why not plan for it and use the anticipation of it to fuel motivation?

Often, these questions can be answered rather quickly. For instance, today I knew my most important thing to do was the thing I’m resisting most. It usually is.

What questions do you use to start your day?

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8 thoughts on “Three questions to start your day

    • Isn’t that the truth, Patty? Resistance is so revealing. Thanks for commenting. I find that the urgent things often blind me to the important. Sometimes they are both urgent and important. That’s when resistance seems to be at it’s greatest.

  1. I sometimes start my day on the wrong treadmill saying “what can I get out of today?”
    My second question tends to be “Why did I say yes to that?”
    Third question “I wonder if the fish are biting?”
    My wife can still be sleeping early morning and mumble “nothing, do it anyway, and no they are’t biting”.
    Your questions are much better.

      • One must be subtle about certain priorities and feign an interest in other things to appear balanced. The first two questions are probably “decoy” questions to make others feel better about myself.
        I am just back from Boundary waters where I meditated on the meaning of life and how I could fish more. You got me!

  2. What was it Scott Peck said in his book, The Road Less Travelled? Something like this: Mental health is a commitment to reality at all costs.

    When I face the reality of what I must accomplish in any given day, I feel better about myself, because I experience personal growth for having done what I must, whether it’s personal or professional.

    • Hi Jean. That’s good. I think it was Brennan Manning who said something similar, “I’d rather be naked in reality than clothed in fantasy.” Perhaps, like Adam, we’re mostly ashamed of being naked in reality and so often avoid it.

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