Performance prompts and the Daily Questions to guide Behavior
What are you excited about today?
When seeking clarity, it is important to keep asking ourselves questions that evoke thinking before behaving. Who do you want to show up as today? How do you want to treat other people today? How do you want to treat those closest to you today? How do you want to be remembered today? What do you want your legacy to be today? How are you working to build that legacy today?
These questions, repeatedly asked, create clarity in your life. the answers tell you who you desire to be each day. They clarify, cut through, and capture the essence, the spirit you seek to create. Note there are no shortcuts to these questions and there is no phoning it in. We need to be on-point with these queries in order to focus on who we wish to become. These questions act as the beacon, helping guide and direct us to the destination each of us seek. Also, it is important that you ask these questions daily. We need daily queries because we need the help. Just like Marshall Goldsmith has a woman phone him each night to ask him his daily questions so he gets to review his behavior each day and reflect upon it, these act as performance prompts — how are you choosing to show up? How did you show up? These act as the guide to desired behavior. These act as the reminders for who we wish to become.
What else helps when seeking clarity? Writing. Write down what you want right now. There is something magical in putting pen to paper. It helps clarify thinking. If your thinking sucks, write. Keep writing. Even if what you write sucks, keep writing. Writing when seeking clarity should be treated like working out muscles at the gym. Writing is exercise for the mind. What you want changes. Our desires are rather dynamic. You know, like us, like we are. We’re constantly changing and evolving, so it makes sense that what we want changes. The only difference is that it can take us awhile to notice the change in desires. Don’t you find it frustrating when you finally achieve something you’ve worked hard for and you find it unfulfilling? A part of that is your desire has changed. What was once important now is less so. The thing didn’t change — you changed. Your desire changed. And you’re confused and frustrated you feel this way. The best way out of this mess is asking yourself questions and writing down the answers. You got what you thought you wanted, but it doesn’t feel as good as you thought. Why? What now? What’s next? Ask. Reflect. Write. Set new goals. Move on.
Clarity doesn’t just show up one day. We all fantasize about a single moment of clarity when it will all make sense — only we wait forever for that day. Instead of waiting for that day, let’s create that day today. Let’s make it happen today. Let us sit down (or stand up) and write today. Let’s answer some questions today. Let’s blaze a new trail today. Let’s find out what the hell we want today even though it may change tomorrow.
Self-reflection and performance prompts take a degree of courage. By definition, you’re putting yourself on the spot, essentially coaching yourself. It’s not easy. Just like writing, it’s hard mental work. But it is some of the most important work you can do. Top Performers do regular self check-ins and self-reflection. They take the time to do it weekly. Brendon recommends that you have a weekly Sunday review for how you showed up the previous week and how you plan to show up for the coming week. Who were you? How did you act toward those closest to you? To your colleagues? Was it where you want to be? Were you off course? Score yourself. This is measuring what matters. And what we measure improves, almost by the very act itself. You’re paying attention now. You’re keeping score. You’re recording it. And you have it in writing how you’re doing. You can look back and see how well or crappy you’ve been doing. You can see where you’re deficient. You can see where you’re kicking ass. Look at where you’re weak. It doesn’t feel very good, does it? You desire to improve these areas. You can’t help yourself. It is just who you are. Of course, you can do better. So, next week, you decide to focus on improving one area where you’ve historically been week. All this because you shined the light on your weaknesses.