I woke up one day, ready to work, and found out I was fired by the only client I had. I was devastated. I started turning things over in my head, and I was consumed by it. The volume got turned down on everything else. The world was still there, but it didn’t get through to me. I tried reading a book, but my mind was fixed on having no income I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading.

All I could do at that time was to wait for it to pass. Then, one day, I was thrilled to discover a quick way out of these kinds of all-consuming depressions. I found it while reading Awaken the Giant Within. In the book, the author describes a devastated literary attorney:

But on that day, he had suffered what he perceived as a devastating blow — his partner had left the firm, leaving him with tremendous overhead and not many ideas as to how to turn it around.

The author asked the attorney some questions and in several minutes:

he resolved to set up a new office in Connecticut not five minutes from his home, bring his son into the business… He got so excited, he decided to immediately go and look for a new office.

I used the book’s questions for a while, and I found the 3 I’m offering here work best for lifting my mood.

1. What am I happy about in my life now?


I’m happy about ointment healing my skin. And it’s happening only because I chose to solve the problem instead of just suffering.

What good can come out of asking this

It’s a chance to feel good about recent past. I could focus on the bad (skin problems), and I’d feel bad. But I focus on the good (skin healing progress), and I feel good as a result.

2. What am I excited about in my life now?


I’m excited about learning how to write fantasy and Sci-fi.. I love fantasy and improving my writing skills.

What good can come out of asking this

This question gives me something to look forward to in my day. I can be excited about improving my writing skills or reading another great book.

3. What am I proud about in my life now?


I’m proud that my diet choices (eating an avocado and some chicken every day) and daily exercise led me to feeling so healthy.

What good can come out of asking this

I look at what’s happened in the recent past, but using a slightly different angle from Q1. I focus on what I’ve done to improve my life.

How these questions work

Whatever question you ask yourself, you’ll always get an answer. If you ask “Why am I a failure?”, you’ll find an answer. If you ask “Why am I successful?”, you’ll find an answer too.

My questions focus on positive things in your past, present and future to make you feel happier.

If you want to be more successful (for example), being depressed about your current situation doesn’t help. Working on it helps. If you’re in a good mood, your mind won’t be distracted thinking about bad things and you’ll get more work done.

Where to get more uplifting stuff

These questions come from Tony Robbins’ book Awaken the Giant Within. I highly recommend the book, it’s full of empowering content.