I saw friend-of-a-friend, podcast host, and memory expert Jim Kwik speak this morning. He mentioned a concept related to inner monologue: one’s dominant question.
He talks about it more on his podcast, but briefly, the concept relates to our inner monologue — the voice running nonstop in our heads. I’ve written on inner monologue, including an exercise to help make you aware of yours:
- The Most Effective Self-Awareness Exercise I Know
- A catalog of inner monologue thoughts
- Some “The most helpful self-awareness exercise” comments
- Some self-talk you’ll recognize, to improve your self-awareness
If you haven’t done the exercise, I recommend it. I call it the most effective self-awareness exercise I know for a reason, and I know a lot of them.
You’ll find that your inner monologue repeats itself a lot — on the minute level, hour level, day level, and year level. Jim suggests that much of your inner monologue is driven by answering questions and one most of all — your dominant question.
He gave a couple examples. One woman’s was
“How do I get people to like me?”
You can imagine how she lives her life. He worked with Will Smith, who said his was
“How do I make this moment the most amazing I can?”
or something like that. You can imagine how Will lives his life as a result. Probably more amazing than the woman’s. You might wonder if that drive helped create his career.
Knowing yours can explain a lot. I’ve reflected on it less than a day, so I may change mine, but the thought that came to mind first was
“How do I do this?”
which suggested I often try to figure out how to put things into action and how to figure out how things work. The question has driven my action on leading people to enjoy acting on their environmental values, given the mess we’re in and the limited time to fix it.
I’ll pay attention to my inner monologue, see if other questions seem as prominent, and update.
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