“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I see a lot of people using ChatGPT and looking for the perfect prompt or lists of prompts or how to build a better prompt.
The irony is that it’s far better to prompt yourself first.
For example, I start my day with “How do you want to change the world today?”
Better questions, better results.
When you ask yourself better question, you bring out your resourcefulness. You shift your focus.
You prime your mind.
What is Priming?
Priming your mind is like warming it up. It primes your mind to think a certain way. Technically, priming is defined like this:
Priming is the psychological phenomenon where exposure to a stimulus or information influences a person’s subsequent thoughts, perceptions, or behaviors, often without conscious awareness.
It happens unconsciously, but you can do it consciously.
Starting your day with the right prompts or questions can help you prime your mind for inspiration and creativity.
Here’s my example of prompts I use to warm up, get my brain in gear, and bring out a better, deeper part of me.
How Do You Want to Change the World Today?
This is one of the best prompts I use to kickstart my day. At first, I thought it was just playful, but then I realized it activated deeper parts of me and summoned my inner strength.
Here are some of the answers I responded with:
- I want to change how the world wakes up!
- I want to change how the world innovates!
- I want to change how the world does productivity!
- I want to change the world of high performance!
- I want to change the future of work!
- I want to change how solopreneurs can change the world!
These are just examples. What surprised me is the kind of work and the kind of breakthroughs these simple startup prompts have
3 Prompts I Use to Prime My Mind
These 3 prompts help me prime my mind for inspiration and creativity as I create content for “I help leaders change the world.”
Here are my 3 prompts:
- “What Unique Insights Can I Share Today?”
- This question encourages me to reflect on my experiences at Microsoft and the valuable lessons learned. It helps me consider what unique insights, stories, or anecdotes I can draw from my personal journey to inspire and inform my audience of people with a passion for more from work and life. It encourages me to share practical wisdom or examples of how certain skills, like creative vision, have made a difference in my career or in the world of leadership.
- “How Can I Spark Creative Thinking?”
- Fostering creative thinking is crucial for generating innovative content. I start your day by asking how I can encourage my audience to think creatively and differently about innovation and leadership challenges. It inspires me to explore thought-provoking concepts, share creative problem-solving strategies, or challenge conventional wisdom in my writing.
- “What Stories of Impact Can I Share?”
- Leaders are often motivated by stories of real impact and change. Here I consider which impactful stories, whether from my experiences or others, can illustrate the potential for leadership to make a difference. These stories can serve as powerful examples to inspire your audience and reinforce the message that leaders can indeed change the world.
By starting my day with these prompts, I set a positive and creative tone for my content creation process. They help me tap into my wealth of experiences, insights, and creative abilities to craft content that resonates with and inspires leaders on their journey to change the world.
What Question is Your Actions Answering Today?
This is a prompt I learned from one of Microsoft’s best executive coaches. It’s something I end using every day to check myself.
This question highlights the concept that your actions are driven by underlying motivations, beliefs, and questions, often operating beneath your conscious awareness.
By reflecting on this question, you can become more self-aware and intentional about the forces that shape your behavior, ultimately allowing you to consciously choose your guiding principles and motivations.
In essence, it encourages you to examine the deeper reasons behind your actions and make deliberate choices in alignment with your goals and values.
Who Do You Want to Become and What Experiences Do You Want to Create?
This is one of the prompts I shared when I teach Agile Results. It’s one of my more profound prompts and incredibly life changing. I simply ask:
“Who do you want to become and what experiences do you want to create?”
I used this early on at Microsoft to transform from crazy and chaotic to calm, cool, and collected in the halls of building 5 of the Redmond campus.
All it took was this prompt to realize, I wanted to embody more James Bond in the high-pressure scenarios.
It was instantly transformational. It was more profound than I expected.
And the beauty of a question like this is that it’s a North Star for a lifelong journey.
How Do You Want to Feel When You’re Doing This?
This is another game changer. It’s so simple, and yet so deep:
“How do you want to feel when you’re doing this?”
I use this whenever I’m switching into tasks or catch myself tense or anxious, or anything other than calm, cool, and collected.
It gives me a quick moment to take a deep breath, get mindful, and make things meaningful.
It started as a simple trigger. And now it’s a habit. It’s helped me anchor and entirely new feeling to several activities and tasks and situations throughout my day.
I think of it as the key behind my Transition Rejuvenation Moments. It’s one of my best, most pragmatic and productive habits.
For more on changing how you feel, see How Do You Want to Feel When You’re Doing This?
Go Prompt Yourself Better!
The power of prompting yourself to inspire your day, shift your focus, and tap into your best self is a simple yet transformative practice available to everyone.
While refining prompts for ChatGPT is valuable, remember that investing in yourself as the ultimate source of intelligence is where true empowerment lies.
So, as you journey forward, ask yourself:
“What prompts will I choose today to unlock my fullest potential and create a brighter future?”
It’s a question worth answering, as it leads to a more intentional, inspired, and fulfilled life.
Self-directed questioning unlocks your creativity, insight, and potential to transform and thrive in your personal and professional life.
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