Have you ever noticed the startling tendency most people have to blow disappointments, confrontations, or mistakes way out of proportion? Suppose that in a given day, forty different major events occurred. Of those forty events, thirty-nine ranged from good to great. But one of those forty events in the day was a bummer — a rejection, an unpleasant confrontation, a mistake, frustration, or disappointment. What would you say that most people hold onto and focus on as the day comes to a close? The bummer! Do you think it might affect their sleep and even their dreams? Could it have an impact on their energy and vitality, and spirit when they get up the next morning?
Somehow this pattern becomes conditioned in us starting as children as a sort of defense mechanism. On the surface it might appear to protect us from getting our hopes up “too high.” Unfortunately expecting the worst can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we hold onto our setbacks and disappointments, we subconsciously carry that doubt and negative energy into our next endeavors and, voila! The exact results we feared become reality.
Break that pattern through the power of QUESTIONS! Enabling questions are magnificent momentum builders for your children’s spirits. Here are some simple momentum-building enabling questions to ask your children each evening before they go to sleep. (Incidentally, these same questions are equally as valuable to ask yourself or any teammate you want to help build unstoppable positive anticipation about tomorrow!). I call these the Upward Spiral Questions!
- What did you do today that you felt great about?
- What did you learn today that you’re excited about?
- What did you GIVE today that made someone else happy?
- What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
When you ask this simple set of questions consistently over time, watch your children begin to look ahead with positive expectancy and enthusiasm.
The Upward Spiral Questions reverse the disempowering tendency to focus ourselves, our associates, and our children on what we don’t want. By asking these simple questions, you help your children look forward to the opportunity inherent in tomorrow rather than the potential for failure, embarrassment, or rejection. You assist them to believe that great things are possible when they come from a place of enthusiasm and energy. In my own experience as a coach, teacher, and business executive, I have seen the phenomenal results of consistently building this upward spiral within myself and others through enabling questions. It actually toughens the spirit because a reserve of positive expectation is ingrained that helps children rapidly transform setbacks to “bounce-backs!”