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Five Essentials is Owen & Fred's way of communicating the best ways to guide your day. By considering these 5 Steps, Ideas, Instructions, or Questions, you should hopefully have a better view on your surroundings. The purpose is to not tell you how to live but to suggest things you might forget or help shine a light on something you never thought of. 

Today's Five Essentials are five questions you should ask yourself everyday. Of course, there are thousands of questions you can ask yourself, but we found these five to be a great start to keeping your life on a steady track. Of course, all are up for interpretation and available to be reworded for your own understanding. We suggest asking yourself these questions when you wake up as a start to your day, ask again in the late afternoon, and then again at night. 

1. Did You Sleep Well?

Enough people don't ask themselves this question every morning. We think it is essential to the ability of every individual. No one will always have a good night sleep every night of their life. But this first question is one to keep in your mind to help not only think about the way you're sleeping but how you're conducting the rest of your day. If you answer "No," to this question, it should lead to several other questions, first and foremost, "Why Not?" It can be as easy as you're working too hard. Or, on the flip side, you're not working hard enough and not burning any energy. Either way, every man requires a good night of sleep. If you're not sleeping well, we suggest finding out why and changing the answer to "Yes" as often as possible.

I specifically like to ask this question again later in the day. Often, in the morning, it's too hard to decipher how you slept. You're barely awake in the first place. But after a day of hard work you might realize you're more tired than usual and remember you couldn't get comfortable last night.  Adjusting your sleep setting, (temperature, mattress, pajamas,) before bed are good ways to understand what works for you. 

2. How Often Do You Fear Death?

Now this one can be interpreted in a few different ways, so let me explain. This question is trying to help you see the better before the worst. A way to reword this to not sound so morbid would be, "How often are you focused on the inevitable before the interchangeable?" or, "How often are you focused on pessimism rather than optimism?" This question should push you to focus not on the worst of the world but what's good and what will help you throughout the day. If you answer, "I fear death a lot, 10 times a day," then ask yourself why and tell yourself there's much more to think about, productive positive things. Unfortunately, we are all going to die, so live it up while we're still here. Take a vacation and fly a kite. 

3. What's The Last Compliment You Gave Someone?

Now that you've thought about yourself for a second and considered that not everything in the world is as bad as you think it is, look outside of your personal life and think of the people around you. The best way to cheer yourself up is by making another smile. Ask yourself everyday if you've complimented anyone recently. Not only should you have a quick answer to a compliment, you should be overloaded with people you were nice to, good things you did, and the good energy you received because of it. Hold yourself accountable for your interactions with others. Walking around with your head down is not a way to live. Let people know you see them and appreciate them. A compliment goes a very long way. 

4. How Will You Challenge Yourself Today?

Part of being human is our ability to step out of our realm of comfort anytime we want and, more likely than not, be accepted into another. If this be a personal challenge (write a poem, draw a picture, learn how to fix the light switch) or a social challenge (talk to the pretty barista, join a yoga class) you can easily do these things without spending more than a few minutes to an hour on it. Unfortunately, most people want to stay inside their little bubble of comfort. Wake up, work, eat, drink, sleep, do it again. The only way you can develop as a human is by challenging yourself and discovering new things you never knew you could do. It's quite exhilarating. You should try to challenge yourself everyday.

5. What Can You Do To Improve?

While Question 4 is in regards to the present day, I like to think of this question as the one looking further into the future.You should look in the mirror and ask yourself if you're in the best shape, if not, what can happen to make that better. Look at personal goals you've made, how many have you completed in the last week? How many are you even close to? Ask yourself if you've read every book you've ever wanted to read. I doubt you have. Life is a constant struggle to not get caught up in mediocrity. Set goals that last a week, month, and year. Work at completing those goals and ask yourself what can help you along your path. 

Find classes, art openings, library discussions, free workshops, whatever you need to strengthen yourself everyday to becoming the best you can be. Before long, you'll realize it's not about being the perfect human, but to be a continually evolving best representation of yourself. 

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