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happy african industrial worker with arms folded“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Sitting across from a client last week, he shared:

“I have so much to do at work that when I am home, I’m thinking about what I should have done at work and need to do for tomorrow.

But when I get to the office the following day, I think about all the things I missed at home because I was thinking about work. I feel disconnected from my family at work – and stressed about work while at home.”

Friend, do you ever feel this way?

Do you ever feel that the stress of managing your work, relationships, family, obligations and life are depriving you from being fully alive and on fire for the moment?

Because of technology, the obvious walls between work and home are ever vanishing. But this week I want to share three questions you can ask yourself to ensure that you are flourishing, engaged and lit up for what you’re doing, when you are doing it, whatever it is you are doing. [Click to tweet.]

1. Will I remember this?

The way to ensure we make the most of each experience is to switch out of autopilot. An autopilot is a device that automatically steers a ship, aircraft, or spacecraft in place of an actual person.

Too frequently it is also the “device” we use to get through life. We unconsciously dress in the morning, prepare for the day, drive carpool, get to work, crank through tasks, endure the day, unwind at night, and fall into bed. Wash and repeat.

We don’t need to be experiencing monumental moments to relish the great gift of the moment, of this task, of this day. But we do need to realize this moment is all we have…and it’s worth remembering.

2. Am I fully with this person right now?

No, not just in the same room, the same car, the same house, even the same bed, but am I fully present and available to the person I’m with?

For several years the worst part of my work was traveling. And specifically, the worst part of traveling was security lines and grumpy TSA officers.

I’ve discovered, though, that when I am totally available and present – greeting them with a smile, joy, love and making the experience less about what they are taking from me and more about what I can pour into them – every experience with others becomes an absolute gift.

This may seem ridiculous, but seeing the TSA officers is no longer my least favorite part of the day. Instead, it has become one of my favorites, a chance to catch up (I’ve learned many of their names!) and learn a bit more about them and their families.

3. Is there nothing else I’d rather be doing?

With the challenge of trying to fit more and more into the same 24 hours we can lose the identity of who we are and what really matters. It can be easy to confuse busy with productive; mistake success for significance; choose dreaming for a different tomorrow instead of passionately living for the joy of now.

If you are a street sweeper, sweep like an artist paints. If you are a programmer, type code zealously. If you’re selling insurance, do so as if the lives of those you sell into hang in the balance.

In deciding that there is nothing you’d rather be doing you’ll soon discover it’s not the benefit, the payment, the response from others about the tasks that brings rewards, but the work itself.

My friend, everything we do, every person we meet, and every moment we have is a gift. [Click to tweet.]

Today, let these three questions wake you up to that truth in your life. In kindling that, it will inspire not only the way you live your days and navigate your life, but will also inspire those lucky enough to know, live and work with you.

Do you have other questions you ask yourself to make sure you are fully present and enjoying the moment you are in? Please share with me and the Rising Above community in the comments below.

0 replies on “3 Questions to Ignite Your Day”

It’s not so much a question, but a short little prayer that I say each morning right before I get out of bed– ” Lord, help me to be a blessing and to serve others this day!”. It’s amazing what I can set myself up for some days by uttering this short little prayer, but it makes me feel “present” to enjoy each moment throughout the day.

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