By: Bruce Nault II    Published: January 25, 2023

It can be such a terrible feeling when something goes wrong.

In the past, a problem, mishap, or conflict could quickly derail my day if I let it.

Today, whenever something is not going well, I immediately ask myself these five questions that help me get back on track fast:

• Question #1: What is good about this situation?

It is so easy to default to focusing on what is terrible about a negative situation. However, I start to feel much better every time I shift my focus away from what is awful and toward any unexpected benefits or silver linings that may exist.

• Question #2: What is within my control?

Worrying or trying to change something entirely outside my control is not a productive behavior. By shifting my focus onto the aspects of the situation that are within control, it becomes much easier to see a solution.

• Question #3: How can I be kinder to myself right now?

Beating myself up for my role in a bad situation is not a productive behavior. It’s hard to make any meaningful progress when I feel terrible about myself. Being kinder to myself makes finding a solution easier.

• Question #4: What is the simplest solution?

It can be very easy to overcomplicate things, especially in a negative situation. The best answer is usually very simple. Brainstorming very simple possible solutions often quickly leads to the answer.

• Question #5: What is the next right thing to do?

The journey to any finish line begins with the very first step. Getting started is the hardest part. Taking a tiny step in the right direction towards fixing the problem feels great and builds momentum towards finding a solution.

Asking myself these 5 questions whenever something goes wrong has improved my life dramatically. I hope asking yourself these questions is as helpful for you as it has been for me!

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