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What Determines How You Feel and Act?


It’s not the events that shape my life that determine how I feel and act but, rather, it’s the way I interpret and evaluate my life experiences.  The meaning I attach to an event will determine the decisions I make, the actions I take, and therefore my ultimate destiny.     

-Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within

Courtesy of Christopher Brown – Flickr

Can You Answer these Questions:

What color is your house?

What did you have for dinner last night?

What color is the American Flag?

Is there anything about your life you’d like to change?

What was the last thing you helped someone with just because they needed help?

What do all these questions have in common?

That’s right, the questions determined your FOCUS.  For each question you had to stop and focus on the answer.

Courtesy of Archie Campbell – Flickr

You focused on what the outside of your house looked like, your meal, the flag (which at least mentally flashed before your eyes).  You focused on areas of your life you are dissatisfied with, a selfless act and finally you focused on what the first 5 questions were to try and determine what they had in common.

Questions control our internal focus in life. 

-Now let’s change our focus for a moment-

We all have a superpower in us.  Can you guess what that superpower is?  That’s right it’s THE POWER OF CHOICE.  Whether or not we think we do, the power to choose is always ours.  And remember, “With Great Power, comes Great Responsibility”, to loosely quote a Spiderman scene.

Tell me something you have done that you did not choose to do.


Go ahead… I’m waiting.

Seriously, what have you ever done that you DID NOT choose to do?  Grudgingly perhaps but you chose to do it.

Go to work?  Help somebody do something you didn’t really want to?  Pay taxes?  Write a “required” paper? 

You really don’t have to do anything?  Or, conversely, you can do whichever choice you choose in any given situation.  BUT of course, the prison system is full of people who made a choice that you or I may not think was the best choice…unless the goal was to go to prison. 

So most people make the choice to do what we don’t really want to and tell themselves, “What other choice did I have?  I had to do it.”  And that becomes their reality.  (But remember, we are here to shape our reality.)

Short Recap:

So we have determined that everything we do is really what we chose to do, no one made us do it but ourselves.  We also determined that the questions we ask ourselves determine what we focus on.

Quality questions create a quality life.”     -Anthony Robbins, ATGW

So here’s a question:  What questions do you ask yourself on a regular basis?  Follow up question:  Do they help or hinder you?

A Quick Exercise:

You’ll need to grab a pencil and paper for this. 

  1. Relax; take a couple of deep breaths.
  2. Remember a time when things did not go so well for you. Maybe a project at work, something that lead to an argument at home, or a challenge you had with a particular hobby….
  3. Now jot down what questions you asked yourself:
    1. Leading up to the moment,
    2. During the moment,
    3. Just after the moment and
    4. When you recalled the incident later.
  4. Now recall a time when something went really well. You were unstoppable. You were a force to be reckoned with.
  5. Jot down what questions you asked yourself:
    1. Leading up to the moment,
    2. During the moment,
    3. Just after the moment and
    4. When you recalled the incident later.

Note:  If you can’t recall what questions you actually asked yourself – imagine what they were.  What questions would you guess you asked yourself?

Did you find you asked yourself the most helpful questions when things went well and least helpful questions when things were not going well?

Let’s Circle Back:

So we determined everything we do is what we chose to do.  The questions we regularly ask ourselves determine what we focus on.  And in any given situation there are helpful questions we can ask ourselves and unhelpful questions.

Let’s add to this that you can ask yourself the “right” questions the “wrong” way.


You ask yourself, “What now?”

You can ask it like, “oh my gosh, I am so screwed, what now?”

Or you can ask it like, “WHAT NOW, BRING IT ON ‘CAUSE I’M GONNA CRUSH IT!”

They will have very different meanings to you and very different out comes.

The Key:

Courtesy of Micky Zlimen – Flickr

The key then is to train ourselves to ask questions that will help us get what we want, need and desire out of life.  (Of course it’s easier said    than done)”

As it was once put – “Ask and you shall receive.”

This is true of the mind.  When you ask it a question it will find an answer and it may not be the answer you were looking for.  This makes it incredibly important to ask the best questions so you get the best answers.

Action Items:

  1. As you go through your day pay attention to what questions you are asking yourself.
  2. Journal them. Write those questions down.
  3. Become conscious of what questions we are asking ourselves and to look for patterns – positive and negative.

            -To eliminate the ones that hinder.

            -To reinforce the ones that create the life we desire.

  1. Leave a comment about what you discovered.

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