I’m learning a lot of new questions at the moment. Here I’m sharing some of my favourites: the ones when I need a gentle reminder that it’s probably not as bad or as daunting as I first think. The ones when I catch myself feeling overwhelmed. The ones that help me see it from a different angle. The ones I find myself revisiting in times of everyday-crisis and those moments where I temporarily lose the plot…
1. What is the most valuable thing I can do right now?
When there’s a mess of to-dos and competing priorities, I ask myself: ‘What is the most valuable thing I can do right now?’
I like this question because of its subjectiveness. We get to decide what is valuable to us, right here and now. What is the most valuable thing we can do for ourselves in this moment? What is the most valuable thing we can offer the person in front of us? What is the most valuable thing I can do to move my business forward, with the resources I have here and now?
More often than not, I find the answer comes in the form of a pause and stepping back. To consider and look more carefully at what we have - and what we really want. More often than not, I find that the most supportive thing I can do for myself is to take a breath, and grant myself time to think. Taking a moment to remind myself that I am in charge and I get to choose what I do next. Maybe that’s what most valuable.
2. What is your truth right now?
Especially useful when I’m not sure how to present myself. What is your truth right now? certainly feels less daunting than make sure you cover everything this person might need to know about you’ Also a gentle reminder that whatever we’re feeling right now, we’re feeling it for a reason - and it’s valid. It’s a-okay to not feel so great, or even downright angry and pissed off. That’s your truth right now. Own it.
You are allowed your damn feelings.
You don’t need to attempt everything in one go.
You don’t need to try encapsulate everything about you in your writing, even though you’re worried about being inaccurate, or giving the wrong impression.
You’re allowed to be weird. You’re allowed contradictions. You’re allowed to change your mind.
3. Will this matter in five years’ time?
I practise this question as a prompt to myself: this thing that you’re worrying and stressing over, is it worth it? Spoiler alert: almost always, the answer is 'no'.
But there are also quiet times. Times when it’s not stressful. Where I find myself asking this question again. And I am grateful for this question because it brings me back to what matters. I am reminded not only what’s not worth worrying over, but also what’s truly worth my focus and attention.
Sometimes when I ask myself this question, it feels like I’m getting some special insight into the future, and where it could lead if I take the time to nurture the things that are close and important to me.
When our acts of love and care, however small, have a ripple effect - I want to know where I’m placing my attention. I want to remind myself which ripples I really care about.
What about you? What are some of your favourite questions for gaining perspective on things?