Pure Genius: My Morning Question

When you’re half awake, head still on your pillow, contemplating the move out of bed, what’s the one thought you hold? What’s that one voice in your head?

“Is coffee ready?”
“Do I really have to go to work today?”

We all open our day with a leading thought….by definition.

How might it influence or improve your day, by asking a key question that opened possibilities by design, and closed others, also by design?

Well, it’s called “My Morning Question,” and it can change your mornings, to be sure, and probably your entire day. String together enough great days, and it could even transform your life!

Why a Question? Why Not a Statement?

Ever say to yourself, “Oh wow, great question!”

Sure you have—either by watching a in-depth interview, or by speaking with your team or family. about something big and exciting. When a penetrating question gets asked, it opens possibilities that had previously not been available or accessible.

You simply could not have fathomed them previously. The question made them possible for your brain to conceive, for your eyes to now see, and for your ears to now hear.

How the Brain Deals With a Great Question

When we converse, we use questions all the time. It’s part of the structure and syntax of language in our culture.

Most questions do not throw us off much. “How do I get to this location?” “How much does it cost?” “Can I substitute a green salad for fries?”

We handle these quite nicely, as they are well within our frame of reference.

When your brain is dealt a question, it simply seeks out an experience or a scenario already played out, in order to answer. We do this seamlessly with simply questions, and even when a question presents a scenario we have not fully considered, we rely upon previous experiences for an answer. It sounds something like this:

“Well, what if we structured the Seattle deal similar to the way we did the Phoenix deal?”

Often, we float a possibility, and it can take the form of another question, or a declaration, such as:

“Let’s structure the Seattle deal like we did the Phoenix deal.”

The challenge comes when we are posed a question for which we have no experience, or paradigm to consider. That’s usually when we blurt out, “Oh wow, great question!”

We actually have to create, design, guess, or pass on an answer, as our brain has to invent a possibility out of limited or non-existent set of experiences or scenarios. Our brains are designed to work well in this way.

What also occurs simultaneously, is that our eyes (run by our brain) and our ears (also a feedback mechanism for our brain) now go on “high alert” for experiences or episodes that give us (new) data points. You’ve seen this when you consider buying a new car, or a specific brand of car. Where you previously paid no attention to the other cars on the road, all of the sudden you notice how many Teslas or Hondas are roaming the streets, as you consider this as a possibility for your next purchase.

In short, your eyes can now see, and your ears can now hear, that which your brain can now conceive as a possibility.

Tesla it is!

Why My Morning Question?

Just like you open the possibility of purchasing a Tesla simply by asking the question, so can you open any possibility—positive or negative—when you ask yourself a specific question first thing in the morning.

The trick here, if you are designing the life you want, or living your highest values, or wanting to make a big contribution, is to ask the right question that will open up possibilities that push you in the direction you would like your life to move.

Pretty simple, huh? Most transformation works that way.

Consider the idea that you—and you alone—would design the direction of your day, simply by asking a simple question, one that you designed in advance? In this way, you could reasonably predict what might be possible (or no longer possible) for that day!

Questions open possibilities. Questions also close possibilities. That’s why they contain so much power, especially when posed well.

Consider the possibilities opened and closed by some simple, powerful questions:

QuestionPossibility Opened?Possibilities Closed
Will you remarry?A new life partnerDating other people
A new family from your partnerLonliness
What college will you attend?Picking a great place for 4 yearsGoing to multiple schools
How can you contribute?Choosing ways to make differencePretending you do not matter

You get the idea. A simple question posed opens and closes possibilities for each of us.

If questions can hold that kind of power, and we have full design over ONE question we might ask ourselves each morning, what might that question be? Consider what possibilities might be opened and closed by asking some of these questions while your head is still on the pillow:

  • Whom could I help today?
  • When will I work out?
  • How can I get better at work?
  • What if…..with almost any creative possibility you insert….?
  • How will I make the team better today (or have more fun)?
  • Is the coffee ready?
  • Why do I have to go to work today?

Pick any of the choices above and notice how simply engaging in the question almost immediately affects your mood. A question that opens positive possibilities makes you more ready and willing to start your day. A less positive choice moves you more in the direction of staying in bed a bit longer.

Biology works that way in your brain.

Your Morning Question Should Really Be….Well, YOUR Morning Question

If you take the notion that a great question opens and closes possibilities, why would you ask lousy questions? Ask a question that opens up chances for you to live your highest values, serve others, contribute, learn, grow, or simply have more fun, and your brain will look for chances to create those possibilities and make them realities.

Biology works that way in your brain, and when your brain is in charge of what you decide, life starts to shift in the direction you design….all because your eyes and ears start to see and hear, that which you have conceived!

So here’s your question: What would you ask of yourself tomorrow morning when you awake…like first thing?

It’s your question, so make it a good one.

Would you continue to ask the same question over a period of several days, or would you have an inventory of different questions to choose from?

Your assignment is to make a list of questions that appeal to you. Comment below and offer one of your favorites. Chances are, someone else will love the question you posed, and they will change their life. You’re already making a difference, which is the whole idea!

Extra For Experts!

Remember that section from grade school, “Extra for Experts” where once you learned a concept, you were given a much more challenging question to test your new skills. Well, here you go….the difference between kids and adults = height, so we’ll take you back to 5th grade.

Once you ask your question of yourself, first thing as you awake, designed in advance to reflect your highest values and sense of contribution, now consider this: pray or meditate on the possibility created.

It might go something like this:

My Morning Question: Whose life might I improve today?

If you pray, you simply ask God to have you trip on opportunities to improve a life today. It’s that simple!

Will it be your spouse or teenager? Maybe. Will it be someone you have never met? Could be. Will it be someone in great need, or a team member you have not paid much attention to? Who knows.

When you pray about it, you ask for a partner, and you dramatically increase awareness surrounding your morning question.

Meditation will work much the same way. You can “dial in” themed meditations that cover a variety of subjects (most likely yours), and once again, your awareness and commitment to your question increases and improves for having done so.

If you’re like me, it’s also a great chance to finally get the “Extra For Experts” section right, and earn those extra credit points.

Let me know the questions that you choose, and comment below.

All the best!

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