As leaders, we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking we need to have all of the answers. In reality, true leadership is in asking the right questions. This great leadership practice starts with the questions we are asking ourselves. Intentional daily questions have the ability to help anchor yourself in meaningful, impactful work while giving you motivation to move forward on your path to greatness.
What am I grateful for? Building in a daily routine that supports a mindset of gratitude is a necessity. Start out your morning by listing at least three things you are grateful for or end your day by logging those in a gratitude journal. However you do it, spend some time each day by intentionally focusing on what you appreciate in your life.
What am I proud of? If you have lofty, inspiring goals (and you should!) and are an achiever, it is easy to be consumed by all that is lying ahead of you, everything you feel compelled to accomplish and do. To stay motivated, spend time reflecting on what you are currently doing that makes you proud. Maybe you went on a run yesterday rather than plopping down on the couch because you’re training for your first half marathon. Or perhaps you spent time listening to a staff member in order to coach them through a challenge, therefore strengthening a relationship. Make sure you are reflecting on even small steps toward your vision…
What lessons did I learn from the mistakes I made yesterday? …because there will be plenty of things you do that make you feel like you took two steps back. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything great has failed and learned lessons along the way. Celebrate those mistakes by identifying them and documenting your growth as a result. Thanks to your reflections on your mistakes, you will be a better leader.
What are the most important things I need to do today? Many things are going to hit you in the face once the day gets rolling. For most leaders, those seemingly urgent tasks start rolling in long before our shadows grace the doorway of our school. How will you make sure your time and energy is focused on what is going to be impactful? Listing out the actions you need to take to create meaningful ripples will help you ride the crazy waves of a school day in a way that helps increase the likelihood of you surfing the waves rather than them sucking you under.
What can I do today that will make me uncomfortable? Growth only comes from outside of our comfort zone. While comfort feels safe and cozy, it also yields mediocrity and a perpetuation of the status quo. Spend some time intentionally planning your courage (it doesn’t usually happen by chance) and you’ll find yourself fighting off those forces of mediocrity like a ninja (or in my case, like an awkward nerd, but fighting nonetheless.)
How can I use my genius today to live in my purpose? What is your unique ability that you offer like no else can? Reflect on this and not only will you be affirmed in your very own superpower, but you’ll see how it supports your personal why. When you embrace your genius and start with your why, you create a magical place that is worth a daily investment.
How can I be generous today? Spend some time thinking of who you can affirm and empower today through your words or actions and not only will you find yourself happier and more productive, you’ll see an impact that is both motivating and humbling. Be bountiful and selfless with your encouragement and share from a mindset of abundance rather than limits.
Einstein famously said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask.” If our self-talk has incredible influence over our abilities (and it does), then the questions we ask ourselves can have an exponential effect on what we are able to accomplish.
What questions do you ask yourself on a regular basis? How can you amplify your impact through self-questioning?