Active Questions Shape Your Life

“When we are happy—when our mindset and mood are positive—we are smarter, more motivated, and thus more successful. Happiness is the center, and success revolves around it. But, when our brains get stuck in a pattern that focuses on stress, negativity, and failure, we set ourselves up to fail.”

Research from Harvard University proves that happiness leads to success and not the other way around. If your mind is on your side and you feel happy, you will be in an optimal state to succeed in life, achieve your goals and live your dreams.

Active Questions are a way to nudge your brain into happiness. They can retrain your mind and allow you to take control of your thought processes and reprogram your negative self-talk to become supportive and constructive towards you and your aspirations. They remind you of the direction you want to take in life and the goals you want to reach.

Professor Marshall Goldsmith, in conjunction with Duke University, conducted research into the effectiveness of Active Questions. Over 4,500 Participants asked themselves the following Active Questions every day for 14 days:

  • Did I do my best to be happy?
  • Did I do my best to find meaning?
  • Did I do my best to be fully engaged?
  • Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
  • Did I do my best to set clear goals?
  • Did I do my best to make progress toward goal achievement?

After just two weeks, the results showed that:

  • 34% of people said they improved in all six areas
  • 67% said they improved in four out of the six areas
  • 91% said they got better in at least one area
  • Nobody said they got worse.

Answering these 6 questions doesn’t just “kind of” work or “maybe work” for some people. It works.

The 6 Active Questions listed above are a great start, but you can increase the frequency of how often you answer them to reach your desired outcome much quicker. In this case, you would change the structure of the question.

Here are some examples:

  • Did I do my best to be kind to people since the last time I scored myself?
  • Did I do my best to listen to my work colleagues since the last time I scored myself?

It’s important to distinguish the difference between Active Questions and the typical questions we ask ourselves when trying to measure our success, which are passive questions. Changing the passive “Did I…” to the active “Did I do my best to…” makes you more responsible for the outcome of the process or goal.

You can also use Active Questions to:

  • Create any habit you desire in life
  • Change unwanted personality traits and characteristics
  • Reprogram recurring negative thought patterns

You may wonder how answering the Professor Goldsmith’s 6 simple questions could possibly have such a positive effect on how you feel, especially your happiness. You might wonder why you have not heard about something like before, especially if they can help you find more meaning in life. Unfortunately, although the results are excellent, like many of the other techniques you will be introduced to in this book, companies can’t patent the technology, therefore there are little to no funds available to spread the knowledge and people just don’t get to hear about it.

Active Questions Questionnaire

The instructions below describe how to set up a free Google Form where you can add your questions and answer them. Google Forms offer storage of your scores and the option, like with Microsoft Excel, to present the data in useful graphs.

Once you create the form, you can share it to your other devices and set it up like an app on your phone that you can access with just one click. Set a couple of alarms throughout the day to remind you to answer them. Remember to be wary of becoming used to the sound of the alarms after a few weeks. Change the alarm sound frequently and the time of day you answer your questions to keep on track.

You can add other types of questions to the form as well, like simple yes/no questions, such as:

  • Did I go to the gym today?
  • Did I make 50 sales calls today?
  • Did I tell my wife I love here today?

You can even use it to write shopping lists and memos and as a diary or personal journal.

Active Questions App Instructions

You need to open a Google account and create a Google Form. It’s like a survey form, except you use it to answer your daily Active Questions.

Access the Active Questions App written instructions here.

Alternatively, watch the instructional video below.

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  • Find more meaning in your life
  • Feel happier and more joyful
  • Build better relationships with people
  • Engage in life more
  • Set clearer goals on a daily basis
  • Make better progress towards your goals