What you focus on right now, in the present moment, strongly affects your state. Focus on problems, you start worrying. Focus on a pleasant prospect, you start dreaming.
To manage state by directing focus, you must be intentional about the type of questions you ask to evaluate your experiences in life because whatever questions you ask yourself (and you DO ask yourself evaluating questions all the time, consciously or subconsciously), your brain is constantly coming up with answers for these questions.
The answers can be accurate or not; that doesn’t matter to your brain. It’ll justify and find answers, reasons, and connections for anything you ask… and through those answers, give meaning to anything that happens to you (and interpret it as painful or pleasurable).
How to be intentional about the questions you ask yourself:
- Eliminate limiting, “endless loop questions” that contain self-defeating presuppositions (like “Why does this always happen to me? Why am I always late? Why do I always give up? Why do I always hurt the people around me?). They’re dangerous because they force your mind to come up with answers: fake or real reasons that justify and perpetuate unhealthy behavior.
- Ask yourself empowering questions that challenge your mind to come up with empowering solutions, justifications, reasons:
- Empowering presuppositions: Why do I always arrive in time? Why do I always stick to the goals I set for myself? Why am I always kind to myself and others around me?
- Questions like “How can I be as helpful as possible? How can I make sure this is going to be a fulfilling, amazing day?”
- Questions like “What would the version of me I want to be do or say in this situation?”