A few years ago, while I was recovering from cancer, and dealing with a whole bunch of other ‘problems‘ that life had decided to bring me, I decided to begin a new habit.
I set a reminder on my phone for the end of each day to ask myself one very simple question:
“What went well today?”
At first my answers might not have seemed that impressive to you. They were things like “walked 50 metres,” “saw a beautiful sunset,” “met up with a friend.” But at the time they were big steps forward for me and remembering them helped me to keep going. And as I have shifted and grown since then so my answers have also shifted and grown.
Now, years later, the reminder is still there on my phone and I still ask myself this question, nearly every single day.
With hindsight, this extraordinarily simple question brings me three very powerful things:
- It reminds me what is going well in my life, as well as all what is going badly. This gives me a more balanced perspective and improves my morale.
- It reminds me of what is important to me. This helps me decide where to focus my energies tomorrow and next week, so I create more of those things in my life. This becomes a virtuous circle, a reinforcing loop.
- It helps me to problem-solve and find new ways forward because it trains me to see past the ‘problems’ in my life face and find what is going well, and what could go even better, and this brings me the key attitude of (self-)leadership.
Over the years, I now realise, this apparently simple daily process has been transformative — an important step towards becoming antifragile.
Is your life perfect at the moment? Do you take the time to remember what is going well, as well as what isn’t? Would it be useful to gain deeper insights into what really matters to you? Would you like to improve your ability to problem-solve? Have you set a reminder on your phone, say for 9:30pm each day?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also have to practice.)