One question to guide your actions every day

Photo by Tina Floersch on Unsplash

There’s these days you are more cynical, get easily irritated or are just stuck in your tiredness. And that’s very human, don’t get me wrong. The question is though: how do you snap out of it (if you want to)? 

Recently, I had one of these days: the little one crashes our sleep, I wake up particularly tired, she whines as she doesn’t want to go to daycare and makes a huge mess while having breakfast, outside someone comes too close walking by, a car driver honks at us for no apparent reason, the kid throws herself into the mud… I try to take a few deep breaths once in a while. But the muddy kid on the floor in front of me makes me lose the last straw. I raise my voice and tell her off. The moment it happens I regret it immediately. I’m thinking, even though all of these things were piling up and getting harder to handle for my stretched nerves… honestly, none of it was really that bad. And I wonder: is this really how I want to spend my time? Why do I let not truly meaningful things take over and get more and more annoyed until I literally spill over? The answer is clear: this is not what I want!

The same is true for almost anyone or anything that captures time in a negative, non-productive or passive way: 

Do I want to spend my time…

  • … with bad news?
  • … gossiping?
  • … angry about something or someone?
  • … with this energy sucker?

If the answer is a conscious yes, good. This isn’t about not feeling what needs to be felt or never giving into “low cravings”.

The rest of the time though, when I feel something is creeping up on me and tries to take over, I ask myself:

Is this how I want to spend my time?

It’s a relatively simple question — however, it helps me a lot to get away from the emotional immediate response to what’s happening. Instead, my logical brain gets into the drivers seat and steers me toward the life I want to live. 

This question can be used to find small every day as well as big life-changing answers. It can help you snap out of your typical learned way of dealing with things and it can guide you along the way towards incremental change.

Try it out for yourself and let me know how it goes at carolin @

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