Happiness isn’t always about having the answers; sometimes you just need to ask the right questions. We asked Bethenny Frankel, Gary Vaynerchuk, and successful advisors in The Oracles what they ask themselves every day to make sure they are living life to its fullest. Here’s what they told us.
1. Why do I do what I do?
Look in the mirror and ask yourself: “What do I want to do every day for the rest of my life?” Then go do it. There’s no excuse for doing something you hate. I don’t care if you’re in debt or have a terrible family life. What are you going to do about it? Stop complaining, start hustling, and change it.
Then constantly remind yourself: Why do you do what you do? If you catch yourself thinking that it’s “just a job,” you need to change your mindset. It’s like the parable of the three bricklayers: When asked what they’re doing, one says, “Laying bricks”; another says, “Building a wall”; and the third says, “Building a cathedral.” If there is anything I could wish upon you, more than my work ethic or energy, it would be mindset and perspective, and the conviction that what you are doing is important.
— Gary Vaynerchuk, founder and CEO of VaynerX; five-time New York Times bestselling author of “Crushing It!”
2. Am I present in the moment?
Ask yourself: “Am I centered? Am I letting myself relax? Am I present in the moment or am I on my phone too much?” Being happy isn’t easy. Happiness doesn’t just happen. You have to choose to be happy. Make the most of every moment. Get excited about every little thing.
Pour your heart into learning how to enjoy what you have, right here, right now. Don’t make life one long, tough haul with a little party at the end. Build celebrations into your everyday life.
— Bethenny Frankel, founder of Skinnygirl, cast member of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” New York Times bestselling author, and Shark on “Shark Tank“; follow Bethenny on Twitter and Instagram
3. What three wins would make the week a success?
I usually ask myself several questions on Sundays to reflect on the past week and look ahead to the new one. First I ask: “What were my three biggest wins and my biggest learnings from the week?” Then I focus on any obstacles in front of me, how I can overcome them, and who do I need help from to do that? That segues into one of the most important questions we can ask as entrepreneurs: “What is one thing I’m doing that someone else should be doing or can do better than me?”
Finally, I ask myself: “What are three wins that would make the week ahead a success?” Whether that’s getting up early, sticking to my schedule, or getting in a few workouts, those things are always tied to bigger goals I’ve set for myself or my company, which helps me focus on my most important projects and tasks.
—Yuri Elkaim, founder and CEO of Healthpreneur, former professional athlete, and New York Times bestselling author; connect with Yuri onFacebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube; read more about Elkaim: How “Healthpreneur” Yuri Elkaim Went From Making $80 a Week to Building Million-Dollar Businesses
4. What are my midterm and long-term goals?
Every day I ask myself what my midterm and long-term goals are. Then I figure out what I need to do in the short term to accomplish those bigger goals. If you focus too much on the minutiae in your day-to-day life, you will feel like a failure. Things will always get in the way of your achievements. So set a goal and do something to move toward it every single day. Don’t let the little things, good or bad, stop you from moving forward.
For example, I want to create an hour-long comedy special using music. I need to get experience on stage, write and record the songs, create supporting videos, and more. It seems like a huge undertaking, but I set the goal, hired a comedian to coach me, and got to work. I’m working on all these little things each day to push the project along. Distractions will get in the way, but I’ll keep going and get it done.
— Craig Handley, co-founder of ListenTrust and author of “Hired to Quit, Inspired to Stay“; read more about Handley: Why These Founders Train Their Employees to Quit
5. What could be the greatest outcome for everyone?
“What would Jesus do?” Originally made popular in the 1990s, this simple question remains my personal motto and daily reminder to set the highest standard, elevate my mindset, and demonstrate love through my words and actions. “WWJD” isn’t meant to be divisive or purely a religious question. It works just as well if you consider what your greatest role model would do in different circumstances.
This question programs my mind to operate at a higher altitude that considers the collective good and big picture. It resets the context from “What’s good for me?” to “What could be the greatest outcome for everyone?” Advancing from basic thoughts to a higher purpose aligns me with my core priorities and encourages me to operate with diligence, boldness, courage, and power. It humbles me to speak the truth, consider others compassionately, and demonstrate sacrificial love. It reminds me that I’m not alone; I’m guided.
— Tom Shieh, CEO of Crimcheck; advisory board member to Defy Ventures; advisor to Tiny Devotions; connect with Tom on Facebook
6. What can I learn from this experience?
Everything that challenges you makes you stronger. When I’m in an uncomfortable situation, I remind myself that it has potential to become a teachable moment. How you respond to life’s curveballs dictates the outcome, so I try not to let emotions cloud my decisions. Instead, I take a moment and get clarity before I execute a plan. I do that by asking myself: “What can I learn from this experience and how can I grow?”
When faced with a crossroads or a business decision, I also ask myself, “Does this support my core values? Is my behavior reflecting those values?” I frequently assess how I can best motivate and focus my team, as well as how I can honor my clients while staying true to my family and myself. This is a delicate balance; but if I manage my stress and challenges effectively, I can be a pillar of strength for others, which I can’t do if I’m bogged down by worry. There is nothing more important than walking your talk and leading by example.
— Holly Parker, founder and CEO of The Holly Parker Team at Douglas Elliman; award-winning broker who has made over $8 billion in sales; connect with Holly on LinkedIn and Instagram
7. Where are my actions taking me?
Cross-examining yourself sets you on a path of exploration and fulfillment, which ultimately leads to a better you. What kind of person are you? How do you see yourself in five or 10 years? How will this experience make you grow? What will you be like if you don’t act? Every action you take today shapes your future self and leads you closer to becoming that person. So where are your actions taking you?
I let my team fail so they gain experience, accelerate their learning curve, and realize that it takes more time and effort to correct a mistake than to do it right the first time. That’s also how you become talented, humble, empathetic, and kind. Every day you work out, every book you read, every article you write, is a building block to who you will become.
—James Daily, founding partner of Daily Law Group, which helps high-profile clients with fiduciary abuse litigation, including fraud, crisis management, and business and family disputes; connect with James on LinkedIn
8. What can I do better tomorrow?
I ask myself five questions every night to hold myself accountable for my growth and achieve my goals. One: “What was the best thing that happened to me today?” Reflecting on this makes me grateful. Secondly, “Did I leave my comfort zone?” I try new things every day, even if it’s just a new restaurant, because doing something different helps you grow and overcome fear.
Then I ask: “Did I discover anything new about myself?” Those discoveries have the potential to change your life. “Did I complete what I was supposed to and work toward my goals?” The discipline we apply to our goals attracts wealth and unlimited opportunities. Finally, “What can I do better tomorrow?” I always find ways to do better. This isn’t about being aware of your shortcomings — it’s about being aware of your true potential.
—Andres Pira, award-winning real estate tycoon, founder and CEO of Blue Horizon Developments, and ForbesBooks author of “Homeless to Billionaire: The 18 Principles of Wealth Attraction and Creating Unlimited Opportunity” (available on Amazon as hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook); download a FREE chapter at AndresPira.com; follow Andres on Facebook and Instagram
This article was originally published on Business Insider.
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