Have you ever had something go majorly wrong in life --a disaster? Like frying your $12,000 car engine and having to scrap it for $100? Like failing an interview or exam that was going to make or break your life? Or twisting your ankle in the final of your own Olympic equivalent? What was your disaster? Looking back, was it the disaster you thought it was? Or did it create space for something you had never imagined possible? In fact, what is a disaster? Is it what happens? Or is it how you receive it? So next time something goes wrong, after you catch your breath, smile and ask "What if is better than I can imagine?" Then with no expectation, keep smiling and breathing. At the very least, you'll avoid the stress and frown lines.
You're smart, you work hard, you got good grades at school, you help your family nicely, you've got a great job, everyone says your partner is perfect, you've got enough money, a nice place to live, a sexy car, a few safe investments, and enviable mini breaks and maxi get-aways a few times a year. Your life is perfect. And even if you can only claim one or two of these things, you're doing pretty well, right? So what do you do if you have all these things and yet somehow feel it's not enough? There is nothing wrong with these things. They can certainly be fun! So if you have all of these -- or more -- and you're not having fun, perhaps you've made them mean something they're not? If so, ask “What have I misidentified as living?” What if you could enjoy these things as well as create your life the way you'd like? How? Ask another question.
How's business? Do you consider it a serious matter? That you should focus your furrowed brow on developing detailed, complicated and very important strategic plans? When you think about it, do you smile or frown? Do you think that's how it's supposed to be? That it's wrong to show you enjoy business, or that doing things elegantly – getting best result for the least effort – is somehow being flippant, cheating, or not serious enough? Would you like to enjoy business more and get better results more easily? If so, start by giving up all the fixed points of view about it and ask “What if happiness were good for business?” Are you willing to enjoy every moment of your business AND get great results? It's possible you know. People create huge income from doing things they enjoy all the time. How? They choose to do things they enjoy. Happiness is just a choice, and a smile is very good for business.
Have you ever seen an empty block of land, that's just been cleared for building? When there are no trees, no plants, no apparent life at all? What happens after a few days? Do weeds start to appear? And after a few weeks, do you need another clearing? What about a few months or years? Will the whole place be completely covered again? Te nature of the planet is strong and, like this, tells you that no matter what you do IT WILL SURVIVE with or without you. What is an earthquake? A tsunami? A bushfire? A mudslide? A food? A drought? A plague? A famine? Climate change? What is the planet telling you, that you're not hearing? Would you like to enjoy the planet a little longer? If so, ask “What does the planet require of me?” Take notice of what comes to mind and contribute that, no matter how tiny or insignificant it might seem.
What applies to you today? Pick any and all of these. It's my birthday; I had the most amazing cup of coffee; the sky is clear, blue and has fluffy clouds; I'm feeling fit and healthy; I hung out with fun, fabulous people; someone helped me out of a tight spot; I got what I wanted done at work; I got my study assignment done on time; the traffic opened up like the Red Sea and I got there on time; I had a delicious sleep; I got a mani/pedi/ back rub; my favourite shop was having a sale; I helped someone and they smiled; I saw a rerun of my favourite show; my team scored surprising points; the steak was cooked just right; I had a house full of screaming kids; I didn't have a house full of screaming kids; I laughed; I cried; I felt alive. None of these apply to you? Then ask “What can I celebrate today” and think of ONE fabulous thing that you saw/ did/ experienced today and CELEBRATE your life.
What do you think you can't do? Speak publicly? Learn another language? Speak publicly in another language? Get a job you enjoy? Run a business? Lead a team? Whip up a feast for 20? Do you tell yourself you are afraid of something? Making a mistake? People laughing at you? Failure? Ruining your life forever and dying alone and poor? Is any of that true? Or are they all just interesting points of view you bought from someone, somewhere, sometime? It doesn't matter where your points of view came from, how well do they serve you? Do they help you create the life you'd really like? If not, ask “What's the value of saying I can't do it?” If there's no value, you are hanging on to that point of view for what reason? What if instead you asked another question, like “What will it take for me to do this with ease?"
What sort of people do you see everyday? Family? Friends? Coworkers? Students? Clients? Shop assistants? How many of them are fun? Do they make you smile and feel great about your day? How many do you let drag you down by listening to their tales of woe? Would you like more fun, light people in your life? If so, just ask “What will it take for more fun people to come and play?” When you ask, what comes to mind? Do you think you need to go somewhere else to meet new people? What if you all you needed was for YOU to be the difference? What if it were as easy as smiling, listening and offering a kind word and a giggle here and there? Just because someone was not fun 10 seconds ago, doesn't mean they can't choose it now. Are you willing to show them how easy it can be?
Do you have someone sick and suffering in your life? Are you surrounded by well meaning family and friends, and highly trained medical professionals all telling you how it's going to get worse and worse? What happens to plants when you direct negative thoughts, words and actions at them? Science shows us they whither and die. Are people any different? What if rather than contributing like this to someone's deterioration by adding your voice to the throng, you asked the person suffering "What contribution I could be to you?" Then listen and honour the person by being that, even if it’s just to hold their hand and smile. You are not expecting a miracle recovery, even if it's possible and could occur. You are honouring the person and offering them energy, space, allowance, and possibility. What difference could you be by contributing that?
Are you in a relationship? How's it going? Not so well? Are you sufering things you'd rather not because you think it will help the relationship work out the way you'd like it to? Will that help? Maybe. Maybe not. Is it fun to sufer? Or would you rather enjoy life with other fun people? Are you committed to making the relationship work no matter what, because YOU CAN DO IT and to do otherwise would be to fail? Have you decided he/she is Te One and your rose-coloured glasses don't allow you to see things as they really are? If you'd like to see you, the other person, and your relationship more clearly ask “What am I pretending not to know?” You already know what will be the greatest contribution to your life, you just pretend you don't.
What fixed points of view do you have about who and what you have to be/do/have in life? For example, I have to get married because my mother expects it. I can't take a year off school to travel because my father wouldn't like it. I have to get into that company because otherwise I'll be a failure. I can't be nice because the tough kids will make fun of me. I have to cook dinner every night otherwise I'll be a bad mother. Do you spend all your energy, time and money on this hamster wheel? Is it fun? Does it create the happiness you'd like? If not, ask “What could be possible if I changed my point of view?” What if all your “I have to”s and “I can't”s were just points of view that you could change? What point of view would you start with?