- Do you ever ask yourself, “What if I won the lottery?”
- Do you sometimes think, “What if I just went for it?”
- Have you ever wondered, “What if this is all there is?”
It’s said that we’re only truly happy when what we’re thinking, feeling and doing are all aligned. But, how many of us live a life that’s out of alignment? How many of us crave a different way of working? Or crave making a difference?
I asked myself the, “What if I won the lottery?” question many years ago and the answer came through loud and clear: go to drama school. So, knowing that the point of the exercise was to do the thing, even though I hadn’t won the lottery, that’s what I did. I gave up my job, blew my savings on a year’s tuition and threw myself into student life. It changed my life for the better. It was hard (very hard), but it opened doors and its effects continue to reveal themselves today.
Over a decade later, I’m writing this from a hospital clinic with a doom-laden name. The chances of my having something scary are very slim, but what if…?
Sometimes, the darker question of, “What if I only have a year to live?” prompts a very different answer.
Many people who’ve been through life-threatening illness claim it changed them for the good. They claim it forced them to reassess and reprioritise and now their lives are better.
This is tough stuff, but isn’t it worth asking tough questions and going somewhere dark if it might help us find the strength to change? Isn’t it worth it if we end up with a fuller, more self-expressed life?
The clinic sent me home with nothing to worry about (phew!), but it made me realise we could all benefit from asking ourselves these questions regularly. It’s so easy to fall into a rut and stay comfortable, but is this really the life we’d lead if the chips were down?
Take some time off during August and ask yourself some ‘what if’ questions:
- What if I won the lottery?
- What if I couldn’t fail?
- What if no one would judge me?
- What if I only had 5 years to live? Or 3? Or 1? Or only 6 months?
As always, I invite you to honour your preferred style: write a list / draw a mind map / record yourself talking / create a collage… Capture your answers to these questions in whatever way works for you. Play. Have fun. You’re not committing to anything for now; you’re just free-thinking.
It’s amazing how whatever’s been holding us back (work, being polite, convention, fear of judgement…) just doesn’t seem important when we approach things from this perspective.
When there’s this sense of nothing to lose, what comes up? What do you notice? How do you feel? With your answers in mind, which seem most appealing? Which might you get help with? Which might you action? Which might you start right now, today?
Please let me know how you get on.