Here’s a simple truth I’ve learned: Asking yourself the right question can be life-changing.
In the hundreds of speeches and trainings I’ve given and facilitated all across the world, there’s one question I ask that consistently stops people in their tracks. It gives them pause and pushes them to evaluate their life and choices, past or present.
This is a question that doesn’t care about culture, language, borders, or faith.
It’s a straightforward question and it pulls no punches.
It’s a question that gets to the core of what it means to be the best version of yourself – and sometimes, the answer hurts.
Here’s the question framed in three different ways:
Really think about your last 30 days on the job. Your last 30 days as a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Your last 30 days as a parent.
Based on those last 30 days, would you get a firm vote of confidence and commitment from the people in your life that matter most? Could you say, without hesitation, that you’d given them that same confidence and commitment?
When I ask this question during my talks and trainings, the typically room goes silent. A concerned look comes over people’s faces. I hear uncomfortable laughter. People who previously were making eye contact with me stare at the floor.
I’m sure this is because like all of us, these people have a sinking feeling that based on their last 30 days, they hadn’t really been putting their best foot forward at work.
They realize that based on their last 30 days, they’ve been taking their relationship for granted, putting that energy and commitment into other things.
And they acknowledge that based on their last 30 days of parenting, they haven’t always been as present or patient as they’d like to be.
The great thing about this question is that it isn’t a judgment about your past. It’s an opportunity to hit the ‘reset’ button for the present and future – to reevaluate our behavior and how we choose to show up for those people we’ve committed our time and lives to.
I emphasize ‘choose’ here because it’s important to recognize that yes, there will be days where you aren’t the best version of yourself. But you do have a choice. It’s a choice to show up for the people and things we say matter most to us, rather than paying lip service to them or putting them on hold for “later.”
My hope is that 30 days from now, if someone were to ask you these questions, you’d be able to answer:
Absolutely, my company would hire me again.
Absolutely, my partner would be more committed than ever.
Absolutely, my kids couldn’t imagine life with another parent.
Thank you for reading. And share with someone you love.
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