post written by: Marc Chernoff

8 Good Morning Questions that Create Happiness

8 Good Morning Questions that Create Happiness

The morning is extremely important.  It is the foundation from which the day is built.  How you choose to spend your morning can be used to predict what kind of day you’re going to have.

Do you need help focusing on what matters most?

If you think happiness and success means making lots of money and buying lots of stuff, the answer to this question is yes.

Dirty, wrinkled sketches of dead presidents have never made anyone happy in the long run.  And how can you expect to be successful if you’re not happy?  Money helps along the way, but only you can make yourself happy and successful from the inside out.  There isn’t any amount of money that can buy that.

Real happiness and success comes from the quality of your attitude, your relationships, and the emotions you experience each day.  That’s where the questions below come in.  Ask yourself these questions every morning and I absolutely guarantee that your days will get happier and more prolific over time:

1.  What is the most important thing I can do today for my own well-being?

If you don’t take good care of yourself, then you can’t take good care of others either; which is why taking care of yourself is the best selfish thing you can do.

Every new day is a chance to change your life.  Work on making life all that you want it to be.  Work hard for what you believe, and keep your dreams big and your worries small.  Figure out how you can best serve yourself today.

Remember, you never need to carry more than you can hold, just take one small step at a time.  And while you’re out there today making decisions instead of excuses, learning new things, and getting closer and closer to your goals, know that there are others out there, like me, who admire your efforts and are striving for greatness too.

2.  How can I show my love to those I love?

You don’t need to be perfect to be a perfect friend or lover, but the commitment to your relationship is a precious responsibility.  Relationships last a lifetime only when two people make a deliberate choice to keep it, fight for it, and work for it.  These acts of love don’t need to be extravagant either; they just need to be true.  And true love is always shown in deeds, not just words.

Also, remember that it’s not so much about what you do for your loved ones as it is about the love you put into what you do for them.  Learn what matters most to them and make a habit of it.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3.  How can I encourage myself and others today?

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.”  Zig Ziglar said that, and nothing could be closer to the truth.

To accomplish great things, you must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.  Be a dreamer, a believer, and a courageous and cheerful thinker.  Be a positive motivator, a productive doer, and a go-getter who keeps her head in the clouds and her feet on the ground.  Let the spirit of passion and possibility ignite a fire within you to do something worthwhile today, and don’t forget to spread your enthusiasm to those around you.

4.  What can I do to make a positive difference in the lives around me?

Being a genuinely good person, helping others, and leaving the world better than you found it is what a truly rich life is.  Knowing deep down that you counted – that someone else’s life would not have been as well off without you in it – that’s priceless.  That’s something worth working for.

There are many small, simple actions you can make to profoundly impact your family, your community, and the world.   So do your best to leave everything you touch today a little better than you found it.

5.  How will I sincerely honor my own truth today?

You have your own way.  For you, this way of living is the absolute right way.  Honor it.

One of the most influential sources of peace is simply being comfortable with who you really are.  Not trading your reality for a role, or your truth for an act.  Not giving up your freedom of thought.  Not putting on a mask.

There cannot be peace in your external life until you are at peace within yourself, being yourself.  It won’t always be easy, but no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning your inner spirit.  (Read The Untethered Soul.)

6.  What is my intuition telling me about my current path?

Is it telling you to go against the grain?  Is it urging you to do something differently?  It’s okay to listen to the advice of others, but don’t forget to check in with your own intuition.  If it leads you off the well worn path today, so be it.

Don’t apologize for what you feel and what you don’t feel; that’s a betrayal of your truth.  No matter how much advice people give you, sometimes you have to feel things out for yourself, make decisions on your own, experience things firsthand, and build your own conclusions from the ground up the old fashion way.

7.  What do I appreciate about my life right now?

As Socrates once said, “Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.”

Do not waste all your happiness by overlooking everything you have for everything you wish you had.  If you do, you will never have enough.  Instead, appreciate the goodness that is already yours, and you will instantly find a lot more to smile about.

Appreciate the good people and things around you, and you’ll soon find many more of them around you.  Truly appreciate your life, and you’ll find that you have more of it to live.  (Read Learned Optimism.)

8.  What would I like to remember about today?

Do something worth remembering.  Try something new.  Express your love.  Live your truth.  Share your enthusiasm.  Take action towards meaningful goals.  Walk your talk.  Embrace your gifts.  Bounce to the beat of your own drum.

Do whatever it takes to make today a good memory.


Remember, asking the right questions is the answer, because the questions you ask yourself on a daily basis determine your focus, and your focus determines your end results.  So ask yourself the questions above every morning and watch as the rest of your day falls into place.

The floor is yours…

I would love to hear your perspective on the final question:

What would YOU like to remember about today?

Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.

Photo by: Ray Christy

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  • Today, I would like to remember that I did my best, and that I spent my time wisely and lovingly, on projects and with people I care about.

    Great post.

  • A great article. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Today I want to remember the smiles on my wife’s and children’s faces that I helped create.

  • Nice article and please keep it up. I will remember how I put a smile on the faces of everyone around me.

  • This is really a great article. Such thought provoking morning questions. Thanks again for the morning inspiration.

  • Great post! Really inspiring. Today looks like just another day, but what makes it special is to be looking after my wife and my child - that makes me happy all the time.

  • #1 & #8 - spot on.

    What I want to remember today is that it would of been my 38th wedding anniversary, but he passed in 2011. Was my high school sweetheart.

    Thank you for this special “just for me” post on this special day. Just what I needed.

  • I am constantly working on awareness and so every morning I read my “Awareness” mantra:

    Watch your thoughts, they become words.
    Watch your words, they become actions.
    Watch your actions, they become habits.
    Watch your habits, they become behavior.
    Watch your behavior, it becomes your character.
    Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

    I love mornings.

  • Questions like this keep me going… And how fitting is this blog today in particular? Just what I’ve been thinking about lately.

    Today I want to remember that I tried my best and I enjoyed the process of getting important things in my life done.

  • I would like to remember that I slowed down, took a break from work and chores, and had a meaningful conversation with my daughters.

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  • I love reading your posts. They confirm my values and beliefs. I live and teach the following daily thought: “Will your actions today take you toward or away from your values, beliefs and goals!”

  • Today I will take a leap and put a plan in orbit.

  • What do I believe ? Do I wear a mask? What will I do to safeguard the relationships I have, and create stronger bonds with those I encounter? Do I take time to have a great relationship with my own self? Patterns established in routines do not necessitate change until an article like this says something to your spirit. Better than a cup of coffee to wake me up today!

    There are circumstances that create unsettled waters of distrust in ones own understanding of self. Oftentimes, work, bills, responsibility, marionette like movements seem to take over and drown out the voice inside. Who’s in charge here? More often, the checklist of how the day went has been the focus, versus the intent of how I will live my day. I love being lifted to a different vantage point through these articles…paradigm shift indeed. Thanks.

  • Today we jump into orbit!

  • I like point tip number 7. I appreciate my health, my pets and my children’s unconditional love. Makes me feel happy every time I think of these things.

  • What it seems to all come down to is feeling good. Whatever makes you feel good, do more of it!

  • I think that I make a difference in the lives of others by showing them love and paying attention to them. I will remember today by being grateful for all that I have been given–I am so rich.

  • Thank you. I needed to read this today! Wise words.

  • I would like to remember that I was “there” when my sister, brother-in-law and three daughters needed me to listen to their pain when dealing with family illness.

  • Hi Marc and Angel-

    Your articles are good and would be even better if they were a little shorter. I think your message(s) is (are) great, and it (they) is difficult to truly digest when there are so many things to remember. Instead of 8 questions, how about 2? or 4? Or divide it up over a couple of days? For me, 8 questions is too much to remember and think about consciously.

    Just my opinion and a thought. Other than that I love what you’re doing. Thanks.

  • Thank you so much. I so needed to read this today.

  • Great information as usual, thank you! Dr Kevin Elko, another great speaker I listen to, said to be “necessary” to someone. I think that says it best. Learn, listen to what is important to those who are special in your life and become necessary to them. Whether that be a client, friend, lover, etc.

    I will work hard to listen better, probe and be necessary so I can be all I can be in life!

  • Thanks Marc on a reminder of focusing on what really matters in our lives.

    Today, I’d like to remember all the things in my life I’m grateful for; work, family, health and friends. I’m also grateful for #5 being able to honor my truth today.

    For parts of my life, I wasn’t living my truth and living up to cultural expectations and the needs of others. Today, I’ve changed my lifestyle around to live a more authentic lifestyle for myself. It’s not approved by a lot of people but I am so grateful for it.

    So many good tips and suggestions here to make each day great!

  • I would like to remember that I need to slow down (could use a mini vacation) and release the stress that I’ve been holding onto.

    Today, I woke up at 5 am today so I could be ready for an 8 am meeting. I drove to the meeting place, pulled into the parking lot, and couldn’t believe no one was there. I got in my car and called the organizer. As I began to leave my message, I glanced at the top of my print out. What did I see? I saw that the meeting isn’t until September 20. Talk about being early!

    It’s time for me to slow down, regroup, and breathe. The sun is shining. It’s a nice day for a walk. :)

  • Number 1 really touched me. I train hard every day and workout really hard with that hope that just mayyyybe I’ll get a shot at my dreams one day. It feels good to know there are others like me.

  • Great reminder of living your life to the fullest and appreciating the life we have TODAY. Thanks.

  • I’ll remember that today I sent postcards and birthday cards to my family from the other side of the ocean. It’ll make ‘em smile, I do believe.

  • Wonderful writing.
    I want to remember that this is the day that I breathed in love and then shared it with others.

  • Today I will appreciate that I keep trying and have not given up.

  • I sat in a philosophy class today. The prof didn’t show but it gave us the perfect opportunity to begin talking with each other. It was amazing. I found that people has similar interests and also insight that I want to explore. No prof…but who cares! It was an amazing learning experience on its own!

  • Today I did not bounce to my usual habit of expressing pain… rather making all effort to be and show happiness… I’ll remember this day so that i practice this every time..:)

  • The first one really resonated with me today. I loved the bit about making decisions instead of excuses. It also reminds me of my favorite words to live by. “I thought my life was a tragedy until I realized I had a choice.” I choose to experience my life with gratitude no matter what experiences I am having at any given moment and realize that I have made choices to be where I am now and that I could always choose something else. That is empowering for me.

  • Numbers 5, 6 and 7 are resonating with me lately.

    I’ve been working on getting back to being absolutely true to myself, something that got away from me for a while. Seriously, it was like the more honest I was, the more hostile and suspicious other people were, until it felt like I was walking on eggshells worrying about everything I said. Not a situation I plan on being in again.

    My intuition has been telling me that all isn’t what it seems for a while now. The more my gut told me this, the more urgent it became for me to walk away, which I finally did. The grief and pain of it was hard, but every instinct I have tells me it was the right thing to do. Now I’m working on really following my heart and my instincts again, the approach that put me on this path in the first place and, up until six months ago, moved me forward towards my goals. I’m hoping it isn’t too late for a course correction and I’ll find that passion and inspiration again, maybe in an unexpected, much different way, but again.

    I’ll be moving soon from this place I love so much, so every morning at dawn I get up and watch the day break from my windows. And every night I watch the sunset. Almost every day, I sit on a bench on the waterfront and watch the sailboats, and one day I watched a sea lion hang out near the rocky shore. Every morning I sit in the shade and read a little from a book as I people watch. I’ve made a point every single day to spend just a few minutes being grateful for the reprieve, because I have no idea what’s coming next. It’s helped a lot in coping with the changes.

    #4 is a hard one for me. I don’t feel like I’ve made an impact at all, and frequently fight against thoughts like “If I never write again, nobody would notice or care.” As much as I try to be true to myself and write first and foremost for myself (and those have definitely been the happiest and most inspiring creative moments I’ve experienced) it’s a constant struggle being okay with nobody else reading or appreciating it. So I’m working on not letting it matter if my life and my work has no impact on anybody else, and hopefully at some point, it won’t matter to me at all and I can fully appreciate the joy in the creation, simply for myself.

    Thanks for the great post. I’m going to work on starting out each day with some or all of these questions.

  • Love ‘em! I’m always recommending you guys to others! I’m so glad someone shared one of your blogs one day with me :)

    Judene Wright, if there are too many, you can do what I am going to do… Write them down on note cards and pick a few to focus on each day. Some days certain questions will be more poniengt to you. I think what is going in in your life would help you decide. Somedays or even for a week, your time frame, you may need to give your attention to just one. They do provoke a lot of thought, giving the attention they deserve will surely serve you well.

  • Hi Marc and Angel!

    Thank you for reminder and your suggestions to live life in positive way and appreciating people around me. God bless you.

  • I love your words so much and look forward to reading your articles every week..

    Thanks Marc and Angel.

  • Thank you for this great article!

    Today I will remember not to take anything for granted and be thankful for every little thing I have. Yesterday morning I fell from my racing bike and broke my arm. I can’t wait to heal and go back on track.

    I promise to always remember my good fortune.
    All the best to all!

  • I want to remember this day by being proactive. I can’t talk because I’m sick, but I can still do the things I love with a fiery passion.

  • Today I would like to remember….. That I am very grateful for all I have, no matter how grand or small. I have no money till I get paid next week…… Though I may on the surface feel it is horrible….. I have all I need. I want to remember that I told those that are close to me… I love them. I want to remember that I did my best today to have a productive day.

    Thank you both for helping me have a grateful & happy life. (love your book & extras I got)

  • Morning gratitude is the best. I love #7 most of all.

  • Nice, heartfelt post. An important corollary to these tenets is: if you’re in an unhealthy, dysfunctional situation that you can’t control or change, try to get out as soon as possible before you look back on those wasted years with regret. I think its only when you’re in a healthy, stable environment that’s nurturing of the principles outlined in your article that it’s possible for them to take root and grow.

  • I will remember with gratitude the magnificence that resides all around me. I will remember the power I possess to share all that I Am.

  • Wow! All your comments are so uplifting. Seriously…

    Thank you. :)

    You all just made my night.

  • I will remember the look on my 9th grade daughter’s face when she and her team made a great play in one of their matches today. She was delighted and the picture of the joy on her face is embedded in my memory.

  • One of my favorite posts here so far - those questions are really spot on!

    Today I will remember having a good call with a new client who wants me to do a workshop on living a passionate life. I’m grateful he found me, that he wants to help others to live their best lives, & that he believes I’m the right trainer/speaker to do that with my passion expertise. I’ll remember how I felt during this conversation with this new client, being grateful that I’m able to build my business doing what I love :)

  • I’d like to remember about today , how I could finalize today’s issue in a good way without losing too much .. wish me luck

    Cheers :)

  • What do you do about people who constantly bring poison, negativity, manipulation, false accusations and blame into your life and the lives of those you truly care about and show zero respect for your wishes? What I would like to do is not have this person in my life, but unfortunately this person is forever connected to the family I care about through a child and constantly uses the child to manipulate, make demands and is known to withhold access on a whim.

    What do you do?

  • Christiana innocent
    September 16th, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I would like to remember today that I did not ignore myself, my family my job, and my loved ones. I will always love myself and appreciate them dearly.

  • Talk about timing! I just started a personal challenge to change my attitude to a more positive way of thinking. I will use these questions to help me stay focused on my goal!

    Now “What would I like to remember about today?”

    1. That: Personal growth makes me and the people around me happier!
    2. That: I spent quality time with my love ones!

  • Today I will remember how great it felt to push myself that extra half mile on the treadmill this morning and then having a deep feeling of accomplishment and contentment the remainder of the day.

  • Today I would like to remember that I did my best.

  • Today I need to remember that I am a worthwhile person….loved…strong…God’s child…worthy of good things happening in my life and moving forward.

  • Every day is my best day. Thank you.

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