Two Questions to Ask Yourself

“Effective time- and self-managers are asking themselves two questions, moment by moment. Those Two Questions are “Am I having fun right now?” and “Is this what I’ve set out to do”? If I’m doing what I’m here to do, experiencing what is mine to experience, I’ll be motivated and focused and engaged. And everybody around me will benefit from that, too.”

So says Dr. David D. Nowell. You can read the full article here where he discusses the various combinations of responses to the two questions. I put together the following chart based on the article:Two Questions Matrix

Some observations:

Procrastination comes from asking only the first question.

When you answer Yes/No, stop and refocus. You’re enjoying what you’re doing, but you won’t enjoy the price you pay for staying here too long.

Living in the Yes/No quadrant will eventually land you in the No/No quadrant. At some point the pain of avoiding life will become great enough that previously enjoyable activities will lose their fun as you face the consequences of your choices.

A lot of pain is avoided by accepting that the No/Yes quadrant is a part life in a fallen world. There’s just stuff that needs to be done that you may never enjoy. The key here, as Dr. Nowell points out, is focusing on the reward. You may hate doing your taxes, but you can look forward to fulfilling your duty as a citizen, not landing in jail, and celebrating once the taxes are finished for another year.

Pay attention to the Yes/Yes quadrant. This is where long term motivation comes much easier. If you can get paid to do things in your Yes/Yes quadrant, you’ll find a lot of satisfaction in work.

You may be surprised to learn that your Yes/Yes activities are someone else’s No/Yes activities. We’re different, which is good, since the world wouldn’t work so well if we all loved the same activities.

 

 

Praying to Myself

Talking to Self

I talk to myself, a lot. Sometimes out loud, which entertains those around me, but most often silently, within the confines of my own mind.

My internal monologue runs pretty constant and ranges from the mundane – “Should I run by the store now or will it be less crowded later?” to the more challenging – “What do I need to do to resolve a conflict with a coworker?” After consulting with myself, I’ll decide on a course of action, or I’ll put the problem on the bottom of a mental stack and deal with it when it pops up again.

In some ways it’s the most natural thing in the world to do – to ruminate on your problems, to  contemplate what you’re going to do. I suspect most of us do this without even trying. At least that’s what I said to myself.

But then my internal monologue was interrupted by these words:

You seem like you do a really good job carrying on a monologue in your head. The great privilege for every believer and my hope for you is that your life becomes a constant dialogue with your Father in heaven.

This wisdom came via a mentor of my friend Neil Tomba, which he shared in a recent sermon on prayer. You can get the whole message here: “The Parable of the Midnight Friend”.

I’m afraid too often I think of prayer as something we do together in church. Or if you’re really serious about your faith, prayer is a set time in the schedule for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication™. Viewing prayer only this way tends to make prayer an activity, a task to be completed before we get on with other stuff.

In the sermon Neil points out that when Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He taught them to begin with, “Our Father …” – a highly relational approach to prayer that encourages us to pray like young children who freely pour out their requests to their mom or dad throughout the day. Seen this way, prayer isn’t just a scheduled activity, but an ongoing conversation with our Father in heaven who gives good gifts to us every day.

Something to think about … and something to talk to the Father about.

5 Questions to Ask Everyday

Most families live life at a pace that makes reflection near impossible. Just getting through the day without a major logistical failure counts as success.

But without reflection, we fail to notice drifts in direction. Drifts in direction, if uncorrected, will leave us in places we never intended to go – places where relationships are strained, busyness takes the place of significance, and choices are made out of exhaustion.

I find almost any tool that gets me to pause is helpful. Here’s one (you can read more at http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/5-important-questions-to-ask-yourself-every-day.html):

1. What was the best thing that happened to me today?

2. What could I have done better today?

3. What is the most important thing I must accomplish tomorrow?

4. What new thing can I try tomorrow?

5. Who are the most important people in my life and what am I doing for them?