What is the core of your personal mindfulness strategy for a happy, empowered and effective life?. In this weeks article I share my own, and invite you to think about what yours might be.
Yours in the spirit of the right questions,
We all know the saying if you can find the right question, the answer will come. One of the keys to the effectiveness of my own mindfulness practice I have found is to find the right questions that will direct my mind and consciousness toward the place that I want it to go. Here are the three questions that are currently pasted to my fridge on a piece of paper. I have found them particularly effective for optimizing my happiness, self-empowerment and effectiveness each day:
- What is good about my life?
- What am I willing to do to make it better?
- What do I need to focus upon now?
What is good about my life?
As I’m sure you will know, when we are busy and stressed it is all to easy to start reacting to all the things around us and within us that seem to be not going so well or outside of our control. Particularly when I can feel a downer coming on in my mind, I just pop this question in there and focus on it for a little while. Answers start coming naturally from focusing on the question, resilience from unhappiness does not need to be super effortful; sometimes it is just a matter of asking the right question and following where it takes you.
What am I willing to do to make it better?
Whatever the situation we always have some volitional control over what is going on and how we choose to experience it. This question reminds me that I always have choice, and that it is always a matter of how much responsibility I am willing to take. It helps me to focus on what I (or we if in a group) can actually do to make circumstances and experiences better, rather than casting around for something or someone to blame and then acting like a victim of circumstance.
What do I need to focus on now?
Our awareness is like a torchlight, it is always shining somewhere (as long as we are awake). For me the problem is that often my mind is not focusing my awareness where it needs to be in order to be most effective in the moment. So, this third question just prompts me to be mindful of where my attention is, and direct it toward where it needs to be to tackle the issue at hand most effectively.
I find this question to be particularly effective because it is all too easy in challenging situations for my focus to go AWOL not because I am tired or incapable, but because the emotional charge around the challenge makes me uncomfortable. So it is all too easy to ‘zone out’ or stick my head in the sand as an avoidance tactic. As an effectiveness tactic however this is a disaster! Hence the importance of ‘What do I need to focus on now’ as an mindful effectiveness tool to help me pay attention when I really need to!
So there you go; three questions that you can use if you like. I think of them as my ‘street mindfulness’ practice as I ask them when I am going about my daily activities, they don’t require a special sitting meditation session, or indeed a belief system, you just need to be willing to pose the questions and follow their consequences.
What might be the key mindfulness questions for you in your life?
Related article: Fridge magnet spiritual happiness
© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com
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