Several years ago, I asked myself, “What can I do today to start my career as a professional writer?”
Before that day, I kept pushing away the idea for many reasons.
That day, I assigned myself the task to write something and publish it. What I did was insignificant, but powerful, a paradox. It brought me to today.
Of course, there’s a lot to work on, but I’m on my way and happy with the results so far.
Here’s the thing:
The reasons I gave myself not to pursue a career as a writer kept me stuck.
I used questions because I was reading an article about this technique by Dain Heer. I tweaked the example he gave, and the keyword was “today.” No tomorrow, no someday, but “today.”
Asking the right questions is powerful. They impulse us to act. Apparently, insignificant actions at first. However, don’t be fooled by this thinking. These baby steps move us in the direction to enhance our productivity and achieve our goals.
Here are 8 simple but powerful questions by different authors to get you started, so you can create your own:
1. “What would this look like if it were easy.”
I use manual pinning as a strategy on Pinterest. However, it was time-consuming and tedious to keep track of everything.
With this question, I got an idea using an App to automate it for free.
So with Asana and a spreadsheet, I’ve made it easy to keep track of the data I want to save, with less effort, and better visual.
I wrote a tutorial on how to use Asana to keep track of your group boards if you are interested.
With this change, I’ve gained several hours a week to better use such as to create content, and have more breaks in my busy schedule. Because programmed breaks improve productivity.
This question is a pragmatic way to practice working smarter not harder.
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2. What’s right about this I’m not getting?
3. How can it get any better than this?
4. What else is possible?
I kept repeating these questions about a particular work I didn’t want to keep doing. This time I used these questions instead of complaining.
I made a mistake with the work I was doing, so it was discouraging to keep repeating these questions. I thought “this is not working.” Anyhow, I kept repeating the same questions here and there to give this technique a chance.
What happened? What I considered a mistake was well received by the client. They asked for the same work without the mistake, and I got paid twice. Happily, it was the last time I worked for them. Win-Win.
5. What can I do today to start ________________?
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These 3 questions are from Janet’s book The Lotus and the Lily. They help to uncover our values, how we want to live. They work as our guidelines and gatekeepers of our goals.
I’ve used her system—an intention mandala—as a vision board to keep me focused on the life I’ve envisioned every day, and keep me strong on my goals when roadblocks show up.
6. What is truly important to me?
7. How do I want to live?
8. How am I living when I feel most fully alive?
What If You Aren’t Getting Your Questions Answered
Sometimes the answers will come in the blink of an eye. However, when the answer eludes you check this passage from Janet’s book Writing Down Your Soul.
“Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday, far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way to the answer.”
Don’t get discouraged. If the answer eludes you change the question, maybe you need a previous step before reaching your goals.
Some questions have taken me a long time to get the answers because I wasn’t prepared to forgive, or I needed to set healthy boundaries.
Be aware, when we neglect personal issues, they derail our productivity and affect our business.
I’ve used all these questions, so I’m sure they work their magic, and I get better results the more I use them.
So, go ahead, and give it a try.
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