PPI #60: 1 Question To Reach The Next Level

Oct 02, 2020



  • In this episode, I'll give you the one simple technique that will help you zero in on what matters most to you and one effective way to continuously  improve that important thing in your life, no matter what it is.
  • The first thing that you should do is ask yourself, out of all the things that occupy your time and all the things you want to improve about yourself, what is the one thing that you think will have a ricochet effect on everything else? What’s the lead domino that will knock the rest over?
  • When you’ve identified the most important change you need, turn that change into an active question. As best-selling author and leadership coach, Marshall Goldsmith says, we can turn these things into daily active questions starting with “Did I do my best to…”. Did I do my best to exercise today? Did I do my best to listen to my family today?
  • After identifying the thing that matters most and turning it into a daily active question, create a spreadsheet that will help you track your progress and change your mindset by turning your daily active question into a game. Every day, rate how you answered your active question from 1 to 10, 10 being that you did your absolute best.
  • Over time, you'll see how you're scoring and will want to keep hitting 10s and win the game you’re playing. If you see yourself answering your daily question every time with a 10, that’s when you’ll know that you have improved. After that, you can choose another point or area in your life that you want to change. 


If you're like most people, you have a ton of things that you want to improve about yourself, but you don't know where to start. Today, I'm going to give you a very, very simple technique to zero in on what matters most for you and a very, very simple technique that you can use to improve whatever that area is.

Hi, I'm Eric Partaker and I help entrepreneurs and leaders scale up not just their companies, but also themselves so that they can reach their full potential in all the things that matter most to them. And today, I want to talk about the whole area of self-improvement, and specifically how you can zero in on whatever matters most for you. And then a simple technique that you can use to improve whatever that area is. So, first thing I'd like you to do is think about, out of all the things that you could improve about yourself, what's the one thing right now, the one area, the one thing that you can either start doing, or perhaps stop doing? Where change would have the most positive impact on your life.

Think of it in another way. If everything else were to stay the same and you chose just one thing to improve right now, which would have a positive ricochet effect into your entire life and in your business, what is that one thing? It may, for example, be something on the health front. You might say that, "I need to start eating better, or get a more regular exercise habit." It may be on the work front. You may say that, "I need to become better at finishing tasks or a lot more reliable for those who depend on me." It could be something on the home front, and you might say, "I need to get better at expressing gratitude at home, or perhaps not losing my cool." Whatever it is, zero in on that one thing.

And then the next thing I want you to do is to turn this... And this is the technique part. I want you to turn this into something called an active question. Now, this is something that I actually learned after having a conversation with Marshall Goldsmith, who's a famous best-selling author, also a leadership coach. And Marshall advocates using a concept called daily active questions, as a way to improve whatever it is that we're trying to get better at.

So, as an example, let's go back to the work front, which we talked about earlier. And let's say that you said you wanted to become better at finishing something. So all you're going to do is whatever the improvement is, you're going to add this chunk to the front of it. Did I do my best to? So in this example, it's did I do my best to finish my task today? That's the daily question you're going to ask yourself. The other example we gave on the work front was reliability. So you could say, for example, did I do my best to do the things that I said I was going to do today? Or one more quick example on the health front with exercise, did I do my best to exercise today? Pick the one question which would have the most powerful impact on your life.

You're going to ask yourself this question on a daily basis, and you can put this in a spreadsheet. I like Google sheets because I can access them from anywhere. And you simply have your question in the far left column, and then every column after that represents a day. But here's the thing. You're not going to answer the question with just a simple yes or no. You're actually going to score yourself on a one to 10 basis, with a 10 being that you absolutely did the very best that you could to improve or do whatever it was that the question relates to. So for example, did I do my best to finish my task today? 10 is you've done your absolute best. You couldn't have done any... Basically you finished absolutely everything that you wanted to finish for the day. And then anything less than that, of course is not hitting that ideal.

And the point here is that you've just turned what is an improvement area that's important for you in your life or in your business, into a game. And you're scoring it now on a daily basis. And then that taps into our psyche, because suddenly that creates this competitive drive. We want to win. And we want to see that score increasing over time. And that's what will happen. That's what you'll see over time, if you ask yourself this question on a daily basis. And it will take you to the next level in whatever it is that you want to improve. And after you've improved in that area, pick another area, pick the next question, the next thing that can have the most positive impact on your life. Add the 'did I do my best to’, ask yourself at the end of every day that question, score yourself one to 10 and get closer and closer to 10 over time.