All religious and spiritual practices ultimately serve one purpose; to reflect on who you are as a human being by discovering the true nature of your personality. The method I present to you here allows us to discover who we truly are rather than who we think we are. With the discovery of the truth of our character, we automatically achieve a higher level of self development and become able to achieve our goals and desires.
This practice takes only a few minutes each night to perform, practiced with sincerity, even on its own without any other meditations or practices, can significantly alter your life, giving you the power to overcome long standing mental, emotional and spiritual obstacles.
Ask yourself these 5 questions each night before going to sleep. Reflect on your actions of the day without regret or self-indulgence. Merely reflect about your actions objectively.
- What did I do well today?
- What did I do that I should not have done?
- What didn’t I do that I should have done?
- What did I do that I could have done better?
- What do I want to do tomorrow?
The exercise is simple, it really starts with the last question; what I want to do tomorrow.
The answer to that question is found in your flaws, character defects, qualities you want to acquire, things you want to change about yourself or, if you have a material goal, it could be the goal and what you have to do to achieve it on a daily basis in real concrete action. There is no right or wrong answer, it is totally up to you and can be anything at all.
The first four questions can be answered as you feel, such as:
- What did I do well today? I went out of my way to help the old lady carry her shopping home. I did (what I wanted to do today, put in what you did answering the last question)
- What did I do that I should not have done? I yelled at a waitress, coworker, my kid because I was angry at my boss. I made a promise to have lunch with someone tomorrow even though I knew I was probably going to be too busy and didn’t really want to. I slept in past my alarm.
- What didn’t I do that I should have done? I did not do my daily exercises. I told someone I would meet for dinner but I made an excuse and let them down by canceling because I wanted to go for a walk.
- What did I do that I could have done better? I went shopping with my girlfriend but spent the whole time playing games on my phone instead of paying attention to her. I cleaned the house but did not bother to vacuum under the bed.
However, most importantly you must also reflect on the questions in relation to what you want to do tomorrow and answer honestly with as precise detail as possible. If you are vague, then the value of the exercise is also watered down.
Any goal or change in character that is of value will take time to achieve, and so the question of what you want to do tomorrow may remain the same for a long period of time.
The value of giving the exercise enough time, some months, or even the rest of your life, is that it will reach your deepest levels of consciousness, the source of person you are.
By asking the questions to yourself before you sleep, your subconscious is called up to answer for its actions of the day. The nature of the subconscious is in a way immature, in that it can get away with doing what it wants, tricking you into all sorts of imaginations and actions, because it never pays the price. Your conscious mind feels the guilt and confusion of your self-destructive actions. This is how the subconscious remains in control of your life.
In order to make a significant change on the subconscious level, we must show it that it will be held accountable every day for its actions. By asking the questions before you sleep, they become the thoughts that enter your dreams and the subconscious has to deal with them overnight.
Eventually, the subconscious learns that it cannot get away without being called up on what it is doing to you, and so it begins to behave itself by altering the way it controls your conscious thoughts in the day. Basically, the child will play havoc in the house if no one is watching, but when the parent is in the room or it is held accountable, the devil becomes an angel.
When I was a kid I had a pet dog. There were 3 rooms in the house that had very plush carpets, so my mother made me train the dog never to go in those rooms, just in case an ‘accident’ happened. After many years of a perfect record of never going in those rooms, one day when we returned home, I found the dog playing with her favorite toy. The problem was that I was certain I left the toy in one of those forbidden rooms.
I took the toy, went onto the carpet and called the dog to come and play with me. She cried at the edge of the carpet as if it would burn her paws like acid if she entered the room. There was no way to get her into the room. The next time we went out, leaving the dog alone in the house, we all played a part in the test so there would not be any question, and deliberately left the toy in the middle of the room.
Sure enough, when we got home, the toy was back in the dog’s mouth, in safe territory. She was smart enough not to be tricked when I called her into the room, but not smart enough to know that we could catch her with a little trick. Just imagine the innocent eyes if I could speak to her in plain english and ask how she got her toy out of the room.
Your subconscious is exactly the same. It is smart enough to trick you while you are not looking, but you can be smarter and trick it when you are asleep and it thinks you are not watching.
By asking these questions every night, you are ending the day with what you want to do or be tomorrow, and then reviewing how you did each day to check your progress. If you have not done well towards your desired achievements, your subconscious will eventually realize that it cannot get away with its undercover actions and will eventually start to guide your conscious thoughts towards actions in the direction you have demanded.
The most important part of this exercise is persistence and patience. It took a long time to form you into who you are, and so it will take time to alter that. This exercise works best if you try to alter only one or a couple of things, or focus on one or two goals at a time. Because you do not try to change your entire being at once, total reform is possible by small steps. But still, time and consistent daily practice is necessary.
Without knowing who or what you really are, you cannot find a path to change. This is the key to successful self-development.