What fixed points of view do you have about who and what you have to be/ do/ have/ think in life?
For example, I have to get married because my mother expects it. I can't take a year off school to travel because my father wouldn't like it. I have to get into that organisation because otherwise I'll be a failure. I have to cook dinner every night otherwise I'll be a bad parent. I can't be nice because the tough kids will make fun of me. I can't speak my mind because people will call me a 'Karen.' I have to believe everything other people tell me or I'll have no friends.
Do you spend all your energy, time and money on this hamster wheel? Is it fun? Does it create the happiness you'd like?
If not, ask "What could be possible if I changed my point of view?"
What if every 'I have to' and 'I can't' were just points of view that you could change? What point of view would you start with?
How many people do you have in your life you want to kill, or at least complain about endlessly? One or two? Or too many to count? When you think about these people do you smile, or frown?
When you see other people frowning, how do you feel? Do you feel happy and energetic, or not so much? What about when people smile at you? How do you feel?
Have you ever heard this children's song?
When someone smiles at me,
I feel like smiling too,
When I see someone who is happy,
I feel happy too.
Does this work? If you'd like to find out, ask "Who can I smile at today?" and start with one person. Then try another, and another, until you smile at everyone.
Yes, some of them may think you're insane. And do you really care what they think if you end up happier?
Are you happy with life? It's okay to say you are. But you probably can't, or won't admit it, right?
What is that? When did you decide that you couldn't be happy and had to be dissatisfied and complain about life?
Would you like to have more happiness in life? Will moaning and groaning create it? Or will choosing to be happy create it?
If you'd like to find out, ask "What can I smile about today?" and then SMILE and smile some more.
You may only find one thing to start with. A really great cup of coffee. A break in the traffic. A clear blue sky. So SMILE.
You can also smile at the not-so-great stuff. Illogically restrictive regulations. SMILE. Waterfalls of fear around you. SMILE. Unable to see family or friends. SMILE. Lost your job. SMILE. Feeling depressed. SMILE.
After a while, like magic, your sense of happiness will expand and you'll see more and more great stuff in life. Previously unthought of possibilities emerging like new grown weeds from a scorched earth.
You may even infect others with your choice to choose happiness, and would that be something to smile about?
Got something going on? Feeling a little down? Do you turn to your family, friends, or insignificant other for comfort, kindness, and a listening ear? Or maybe you share your soul on The Socials?
What do they offer you? Do they tell you what you're doing wrong and how, if you lived you're life like them, everything would be great? Or do they sympathise and help you reinforce your victim status?
How is that for you? Does it make you feel better?
Are you really looking for answers? Or are you seeking something else? Maybe a hug, a smile, a space to be you?
Are you willing to create this for yourself, if no one else will? If so, ask "What will nurture me?" and be/ do/ have that. It could be anything. Blowing off the afternoon to do the thing you love to do to relax and makes you smile.
And remember, next time someone comes to YOU like this, ask them "What can I do for you?" then listen, smile, create space, ask more questions, and shut up.
Have you ever given your best doing something, checking it a hundred times, only to find that as soon as it "goes live" there is a glaring error? Like writing a daily blog post only to find a super obvious typo the next day when it's sent out? Just as a random example.
What is that for you?
What do you do when this happens? Freak out? Blush with embarrassment? Make yourself wrong? Find someone to blame?
Or do you laugh and say to yourself Cute, Not Bright and ask "What's right about that this I'm not getting?"
What could be right? For example, when people tell you about the typo you can see that they are actually READING what you wrote. How wonderful! What an honour. Or perhaps you could invite your readers to make it into a 'typo game' and promise to belly laugh out loud when they catch you out again? Laughing is good, yes?
So next time something 'goes wrong' ask yourself "What's right about that this I'm not getting?" and keep asking it over and over, even if you don't believe it or feel it at first.
What if there was ALWAYS something right about a 'bad' situation? What if you simple had to ask to see?
This is one of my favourite Qs, which I will repost from time to time.
How do you shop for clothes? Are you a bargain hunter? Do you rely on a friend, shop assistant, or internet influencer to tell you what to buy?
Do you consider what other people will approve? For example, it's the latest fashion that your friends will admire, or its safe-conservative that your workplace will accept?
Do you ever ask your body?
How does your approach work for you? Is your wardrobe full of clothes you absolutely adore? Are your clothes a joy to wear and make you feel happy all over? Do they make you smile and strut your stuff?
Or do you shuffle through life feeling slightly uncomfortable and dressed not quite right?
For fun, next time you go shopping or open your wardrobe, ask "Body, what would you like to wear?"Notice what draws your hand or eyes. Touch it. Notice how your skin feels.
You'll know when your body wants to wear something. And if nothing draws you, keep on moving until you find something that does...even if it's your birthday suit...
How often do you get stuck in life? A lot, a little or not at all? Do you ever get into a cranky pants rage or spiral into a frenzy of anxiety? Is that fun for you?
If not, and you'd prefer to have total freedom to see and walk around such roadblocks — to be able to change anything that's not working for you in life — start by asking one of these questions.
1. What if I had infinite, free choice?
2. What if everything were just an interesting point of view?
3. If I had 10 second to choose the rest of my life, what would I choose?
4. What question could I ask?
5. What if form and structure had no significance?
6. Am I in judgement?
7. What does this add to my life?
8. What's the value of competition?
9. What if I didn't buy the story?
10. What am I excluding here?
The reality is, you always have choice.
Is your life full of ease, joy and abundance?
Not so much? No surprise given how many people seem to enjoy telling you that life must be hard, no fun, and a knock-down-drag-out fight to the death for scarce and dwindling resources. Not to mention the Fear and Terror of The Plague.
What if that were not true? If you'd like to find out what else is possible, add this daily mantra to your wake-up routine.
"All of life comes to me with ease and joy and glory."
Saying this will remind you that how you function in life is your choice. And, if you choose, you can function from ease and joy and glory (exuberant expression and abundance) no matter what is going on.
Even when 'things go wrong' you can experience them with ease and create any change you desire.
It's ALL of life: the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. Everything is included and nothing as to be a difficulty.
The reality is, you always have a choice.
Do you get how amazing you are?
Do you think you're at best, just not good enough, and at worst, a hopeless, lost, good-for-nothing pile of rubbish?
Is that your point of view or someone else's?
If you're not clear, ask "When did I buy the point of view that I was no good?"
Then return that point of view to sender -- to your mum? your dad? a teacher? the school bully? a friend? -- with consciousness.
When if there were nothing wrong with you? What's right about you that you're not getting?
What if you were just different and amazing in ways that other people simply don't yet get?
Did you grow up with 'the best' always kept in the cupboard? Were you made to justify why you should be allowed to wear your 'best clothes,' eat from the 'special dinner set,' or sit in the 'good room'? Did you live in terror that if you in fact used 'the best,' something bad might happen?
What happened when you grew up and bought something special for yourself?
This is what I* did. Some years ago, I ordered a high quality hand-made penny whistle. It cost me $350; it had great tone and was a pleasure to play. But, for the nine years after I bought my special whistle, I never used it. Whenever I played with music groups, I usually took my $15 whistle. On special occasions I took my $40 whistle.
I never took my 'good whistle.' It stayed in its case in the cupboard. I was afraid that if I took it to play at a concert or dance, something might happen to it. Sound familiar?
Then last year — 2020 — I started playing Scottish and Irish airs on my neighbourhood street corners in the evening. I took a folding chair, walked from block to block, stopped to play a couple of tunes, and then moved on to the next corner.
It was nothing special. I was playing for whomever wanted to come outdoors, or stand on the porch and listen. What was different? I simply made the choice to play my best for everyone, and so I brought out my "best whistle" for the first time.
It was then I realised that I had never played my best; I had hidden it away for nine years, afraid something bad would happen. Then I wondered what other great bits of me I had been hiding.
What have you been hiding? If you'd like to find out ask “What am I saving my best for?"
What if you didn't need anyone's permission, or a special occasion? What if you could simply open the cupboard and share your best? What contribution would that be?
*Thanks to John C for this question and anecodote. Do you have a question or a situation? Send them in to share.
Got clutter in your life? Are some things - work tasks, relationships, or actual stuff in the corner - piling up and weighing you down?
How often do you have on to habits, people and things, that you know deep down you'd really rather let go?
How much of your must-hang-onto-this comes from what you think other people will say? Obligations you imagine you have that may not be true?
What if you delegated the task? What if you created space in your life for people who made you smile? What if you reintroduced yourself to the corners of your house? What could you create as your life if you no longer cluing to things that you don't truly desire?
If you'd like to de-clutter and create more space, ask "I am hanging on to this for what reason?"
If it feels light to let it go, thank it and send it off on a new adventure with consciousness.
Not happy? Got problems?
Do you sometimes find problems with your life when everyone else seems to have them? Do you think if you didn't have problems you wouldn't be normal, you wouldn't fit in, and you certainly wouldn't have anything to talk about?
Misery loves company. What about you? Do you love company so much you create misery-filled problems?
Or have you bought the idea that being happy is somehow wrong?
What if being happy were OK? What if it were more than OK? Would you choose it and find new company?
So next time you think you have a problem, ask "Is this my way of fighting happiness?"
Would you be willing to choose how you'd really like to be, even if you have to smile on your own for a while until you infect others?
What does success mean to you? Getting into that school? Getting that job? Or that person? Or that house? Having a cool sports car? Or a millions dollars in the bank? Or a beach view apartment? Or an impressive title?
Nothing wrong with having a clear idea about what would be fun for you. The question is, did you select these things because they would be fun for you?
Or did you select these things because you decided - or someone else told you - that they would show other people you were successful? And that until you had those things, you must work long and hard, and make sacrifices, including not doing the things you really enjoy?
If you're not enjoying life right now, ask "How have I defined success?" and get clear on what is driving you.
What if you drove yourself and defined success in ways that worked for you? For example, "What will it take for me to bounce out of bed every morning, smiling and inspired by everything I do and everyone I meet?"
You can of course add "...with some fun, cool wheels to get me around, or something greater?"
Do you sometimes feel like you're not being who you really are? That you're being all sorts of things for other people, and nothing for you?
Do any of these roles sound familiar? Super mum/ breadwinner dad/ hardest working employee/ best boss/ A-grades daughter/ sports champion son/ dutiful child/ sacrificial parent/ host-with-the-most/ community hero/ volunteer star/ best friend to all/ any combination of the above/ [fill in your own identities here _____________].
Do they weigh you down?
Do you feel lost under the layers of masks you wear to try and make other people happy, but don't quite feel like you?
Would you like to rediscover who you really are?
If so, ask "If I were me, who would I be?"
What if being you was more than just fine? What if it was wonderful and exactly what your family, home, office, communities, and the world needs?
How often do you feel tired at study, work, or home simply because you're 'tired of it'? You've had enough.
Think of 3 o'clock on Friday afternoon and you're winding down at work. Do you start to feel tired?
What happens then at 5 o'clock when you meet your friends for drinks, dinner, chatting, dancing or watching sport?
Do you still feel tired? Or do you come to life and have boundless energy?
What is that? Is it the fun factor? Could fun be enough to keep you energised?
So when you start to feel tired ask "Am I tired or bored?"
Then ask "What could I add to my study/ work/ business/ relationship/ life that would make it more fun?" and add that.
Is work usually hard for you and not much fun? Do you think that's just the way it has to be? That it's wrong to show that you enjoy your job, or that doing things elegantly – getting the best results for the least effort – is somehow cheating?
When you were young, did your parents frown and complain about their day at work? Do you do that now?
Would you like to enjoy work more and get better results more easily? If so, start by giving up all the fixed points of view you have about work. Then ask "What if work were easy and fun?"
Are you willing to enjoy every moment of your work life, and get the best results, and make money?
It is possible. Many people create good income from doing things they enjoy all the time. How? They choose to do things they enjoy well, rather than suffer and do badly things they don't.
Happiness is just a choice and a smile is very good for business.
How do you function in life? From the give and take, mustn't be selfish, must-be-responsible / do-my-duties / fulfill-my-obligations / do-what-I'm-told standard operating procedure of this reality?
Is that fun? And do you really give it your best? Or do you engage half-heartedly and do the least you can get away with?
Would you prefer to enjoy wholeheartedly every interaction you have with the world?
If so, start here. Ask yourself, are you willing to nurture and care for you? Are you willing to let go of everything you think you have to be or do that other people tell you is real and important?
Are you willing to see your talents and abilities? Are you willing to gift and receive freely, with no expectation of what it means? Are you willing to be the contribution you are by being you?
Then ask “What contribution could I be?”
What if by choosing for you and freeing yourself from the confines of other's must be/ do/ haves, you were able to be and contribute all and more of you.
Is that being selfish?
How well do people understand you? Are you frustrated that no one gets you? Not even - or especially - your friends, family or insignificant other?
How often do people listen to your point of view? Or are they usually focused on their own points of view about what you should be or do, telling you that it's for your own good. (Is it really for your own good, or is it simply because it suits them))?
And how willing are you to tell others what you require or desire? A lot, a little, or not at all?
When did you decide that you couldn't ask for things for you? How many people have told you that choosing for you is selfish (so just do what they tell you, for them)?
Truth, can you contribute to anyone else if you don't first wholly contribute to you?
So ask “What am I unwilling to ask for, that if I did ask for and receive it would be a greater contribution to me and my communities than I could possibly imagine?”
What if you could change the world by choosing for you?
Feeling down? Got a long list of reasons why the world sucks and your life is no good?
Sure, it's easy to get that way. No work. No money. No freedom. Stress levels are high. This is how much of the world is functioning on default to fear and worry.
Would you like to default differently?
Then choose to be happy.
What if it really were that simple?
Ask “What if happiness were just a choice?” and smile.
What can you do when things go 'wrong'? Ask another question like “What's right about this that I'm not getting” or even better "What's funny about this that I'm not getting?" and smile again.
What if your smile alone invited others to a different default?
Suffering? In pain? Frustrated? Someone doing you wrong? Rather than going into the no good, wrong, trauma and drama default, ask “What's funny about this I'm not getting?”
For example, have you ever tried to tell someone something SO AMAZING that you had just found out and that had changed your life, and you just wanted to tell everyone because you knew it would change their lives too? Did they call you a looney and laugh at you? Did you try every-which-way to explain, again and again, until you started doubting yourself?
What if instead of making yourself wrong, you laughed at yourself being hung out to dry like a rubber chicken? What's funny? Um rubber chicken...I mean a rubber chicken says nothing and makes people laugh.
Or maybe you're in a relationship that's on a wash cycle of wring-your-heart-dry? What's funny about that? Gotta be something. Even if it's to laugh at yourself for pushing the same old wring-me-out-now button and expecting a different result.
Cute, Not Bright.
What's great about laughing? It boosts your oxygen and feel-good body bits and kicks you out of the self-pity spiral. And did you know that joy and happiness can be *infectious*?
Then when you've done, or while you're still laughing, you get to make another choice. Are you willing to see more of life's funny side and choose for you?
Do you sometimes do things that, well, just don't work out? In fact, you create complete rubbish?
When you do this, do you default to how bad, wrong, terrible and awful you are? Yes, you're a failure, just like they always said you were.
How does that feel? Does it help you at all?
Probably not. So what if instead, you acknowledged that you can be an awesome creator of rubbish?
Say "Gee, I'm cute, but not bright!" Then laugh and ask "What's right about this I'm not getting?" and "What else is possible?"
If you can create magnificent rubbish, you can undoubtedly create magnificent magnificence too. You just have to ask and take notice.
What's the value of making yourself wrong anyway? It's much more fun to be Cute, Not Bright.
Are you frustrated or upset by anyone in your life? Is someone driving you crazy? Are they too loud, too bossy, too flaky, too up-down-turn-around, too...add your pet peeve here.
Would you like more ease in your life when you're around them, assuming you have to, or would like to be around them?
If so, ask “What am I grateful to them for?” and acknowledge them for that.
There will always be at least one thing, if not more. Parents who drive you nuts, and are always there to help you with your kids. A friend who is predictably unpredictable, and has shown you people function differently. A lover who picks insane fights, and is great at....um....other things.
When you acknowledge someone for who they are, and are grateful for their great bits, you are free and empowered to make the most of the great bits, without being at the effect of the rest.
Something not working in your life? Feeling unhappy or stuck? Do you see yourself as a victim and without hope? Do you think you're hard up and done over by someone?
Are these points of view limiting you, preventing you from creating the life you'd really like? Would you like to change that?
People stay in the role of the mournful victim all the time because it has some value for them. For example
On the other hand, some people simply don't realize they have the choice to change.
Was that you? Now you know you can choose, would you like to? If so ask “What's the value of hanging on to this?” If it has no value, you would hang on to it for what reason?
The reality is, you always have choice.
Do you find you other people are always telling you what to do, things that you'd rather not do, and convince you to give up the things you prefer?
Other people will always try to get you to do things, using obligation and guilt to control you. Why? It makes their lives easier, and you usually do what they tell you to, so why not?
Listening to other people's points of view can be useful. You can learn a great deal. And did you know that when you don't feel light and wonderful about a request or demand, you don't have to do it?
Next time someone asks/tells you to do something, first ask yourself "Does this work for me?" If it light light and breezy, then go ahead and do it.
And if not, smile and with a light, joyful energy say “Thank you so much for thinking of me! Great idea! It doesn't work for me right now. What will it take for you to find someone to get it done?
Then smile again and change the subject. You are stating a fact about which no one can argue (it doesn't work for you right now). Don't offer a reason or excuse; these only allow the conversation to continue.
If people push you, smile again and say “I'm sorry, it doesn't work for me. It's an interesting idea and I'm sure other people will be keen." And if that still doesn't work, smile and walk away/hang up/delete/block/ whatever it takes until your lightness returns.
What do you do when things don't fit into the form and structure you've decided your life must have? When things vary or change? Like now, for example. Old normal gone. Enter 'new normal.'
Do you say “Oh that's interesting. It's different! It's something I never thought about! I wonder how much fun we can have? I wonder what new better and beyond normal can I help create?”
Or do you react with upset and say “This is strange/crazy/stupid. If they only did it this way life would be better! OMG how can I put up with this?”
How much stress or unhappiness do you have because you've decided things have to be a particular way?
If you'd like less stress and more happiness in your life, ask "What if form and structure had no significance?" Then
How? Ask more questions. There's a bunch here www.thedailyq.co you can start with.
If you're brand new, then you might also like to start from Q1 here and work your through to now? Or search for the topic of your choice above. What would you like to ask about? A relationship? Money? Work? Body? Health? Or life in general? Enter your keyword below and see what shows up!
Why questions? A question will always empower you to see and create more. An answer will only limit you to what you have decided is right.
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