One Great Question to Transform Your Day
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash
This week I read a question that stuck in my heart.
“Six months from now, what will you wish you had spent time on today?”
It was such a simple question from the newsletter of one of my favorite authors, James Clear. Up until that point, the day was an ordinary rainy Tuesday. I was feeling pretty unmotivated by all the tasks stretching out for the day ahead. But when I asked myself that question, it reframed my day. Without hesitation, and luckily before I had time to even think about it, I blurted out, “a fiction novel.”
What was surprising is how easily I could name the thing my heart longed to breathe to life. I didn’t even really know how much it was part of me until the really good question dared it to come out. After my novel idea came up, my logical head kicked in with accusatory style. “That’s a nice idea but you don’t even know where to start. A fiction novel, get real. It’s ridiculous to even think about it. Seriously, you have so much to do today already.”
Still, the question hung there, "Six months from now, what will you wish you spent time on today?"
And the answer remained the same – a fiction novel.
So I did what people do when you have no idea how to start. You Google it of course. Asking “how do I write a fiction novel?” is the perfect place to begin.
Before I could think about it too much, I brainstormed some ideas and typed out as many thoughts as I could dream up in about 30 minutes. It was a giant brain dump of a start. It was messy and terrible and I had no idea what I was doing. But taking the time to fan the flame of a long-forgotten dream in my heart was exhilarating and a total blast. It completely changed the fabric of my day.
The rainy Tuesday with little motivation and a long to-do list was transformed. It invited me to view this one day differently. Not the same gray day in a long line of ordinary gray days. It was a day that had bits of a dream in it. A day that I worked on something that my heart longed to come to life. A day that I dared to work on a fiction novel.
Did I spend the whole day working on a novel? Nope. I spent 30 solid minutes dreaming and brainstorming and playing with some fun ideas. It was about the same time I would normally spend on email or social media. Even though I may not have come up with the next bestseller idea, it was a start. The time spent on my dream was a speck of time, yet it changed the tone of an ordinary Tuesday.
After hanging out in the presence of our sacred dreams, it changes us. We can't help but carry that forward in all we do for the rest of our day. You may have no desire to write a fiction novel or maybe you don’t know what it is your heart longs to do today. But you owe it to your heart and the mama who birthed you to find out.
My encouragement is to start your day with a good question and let your heart speak an answer – however ridiculous it might be. Today is the perfect day to try out that idea. Even if it's only for five minutes. Invite your heart to live a bit of the life you have always longed to live. Go ahead, ask that question and see where it leads.