Do you have lots of great ideas for business and life in general? Do you get enthusiastic and pour loads of energy into them, but nothing seems to happen? Then to top it off, someone ELSE comes out with the same idea a bit later and it's a hit! Does that get you down? What if you were just too quick for the rest of the world? What if you were having ideas that are perfect for 1, 5 or even 10 years in the future? So when you get a great idea, ask “Now or in the future?” Then notice what feels light, now or in the future. Remember, if it's light, it's right for you. If it's in the future, write your idea down in a Special Ideas Notebook and re-visit it from time to time. This is a great way to nurture and contribute energy to your godzillion ideas when the time is right.
How often do you limit your choices – before you even consider them – by concluding that other people won't approve? “My husband/wife wouldn't agree,” “My parents wouldn't like it” or even “No one else does that, so what would everyone think?” Worrying about what other people think is one of the main reasons you will give for not doing something. What if you took other people out of the equation so you could see what you'd really like to choose? Ask “If other people's points of view weren't real – if everything were just an interesting point of view – what would I choose?” How many of the world's science, social, cultural and business innovation and even new lands (you know, the world is no longer fat), were created by people doing what they loved, no matter what other people thought was real, true, or possible. What could be possible for you if you listened more to you?
Do you ever think yourself into a knotty ball of confusion? Listing all the pros and cons, collecting reams of background info which you analyze to death from all angles, trying to figure out what to do? To get it Right. Whether it's which subject to study, job to take, car to buy, or who is The One? Do you enjoy this process? Is it as fast and easy as you'd like? And how does it usually work out? If you don't enjoy it and would prefer a faster, easier – and dare I say it more reliable for you – approach, next time you find yourself embarking on a thought journey into the abyss ask “If I didn't think about this, what would I know?” You know those moments when you just know something? It feels right and light to you (even though others think you're crazy)? Only you can know what's right for you. Are you willing to trust you more? Life might become a whole lot easier.
Are you often ill or exhausted? Do you have aches and pains that baffle the doctors? Baffle you? Before you start on a carousel of drug-taking to see if you can alleviate the symptoms, ask “What am I sick and tired of?” Maybe it's the drudgery of housework? The tedium of the office? Having people always ask you to do things for them? Whatever that is for you, whenever you think of that something and it makes you groan and slump, ask “What else is possible?” and “How can I change this?” Perhaps you could hire a housekeeper? Change jobs? Say “no”? If you have trouble saying no, practice this, with a smile, in the mirror every morning “I'm sorry, that doesn't work for me right now.” What if spending money on a housekeeper, changing jobs, or upsetting someone by politely saying no, saved you money in trips to the doctors...and even your life?
Suffering? In pain? Frustrated? Someone doing you wrong? Rather than going into the no good, wrong, trauma and drama default, ask “What's funny about this I'm not getting?” For example, have you ever tried to do a pull up? Even with an elastic support band it's pretty tough going. Did you feel weak and pathetic? Were you in pain? What if you laughed at yourself hanging there about as useful as a rubber chicken? What's funny? Um rubber chicken. What about a relationship that's on a wash cycle of wring-your-heart-dry? What's funny about that? Gotta be something. Even if it's to laugh at yourself for pushing the same old wring-me-out-now button and expecting a different result. Cute, Not Bright. What's great about laughing? It boosts your oxygen and feel good body bits and kicks you out of the self pity spiral. Are you willing to see more of life's funny side?
Do you sometimes do things that, well, just don't work out? In fact, you create complete rubbish? When you do this, do you default to how bad, wrong, terrible and awful you are? Yes, you're a failure, just like they always said you were. How does that feel? Does it help you at all? Probably not. So what if instead, you acknowledged that you can be an awesome creator of rubbish. Say “Gee, I'm cute, but not bright!” Then laugh and ask “What's right about this I'm not getting?” and “What else is possible?” If you can create magnificent rubbish, you can undoubtedly create magnificent magnifcence too. You just have to ask and take notice. What's the value of making yourself wrong anyway? It's much more fun to be Cute Not Bright.
Is something in your life stuck and you can't seem to shift it? For you to be unable to change something, you have to have decided or concluded something about it. For example, what have you decided in your life is perfect or the answer? A relationship? A job? A business? When you can see your decisions – and are willing to let them go – all change becomes possible. So when you're stuck, ask “What decisions, conclusions and answers have I made about this?” This does not mean you have to end the relationship, or job, or business. You can transform it into something else, something better than you could have ever imagined. How? Ask another question.
Are you addicted to organisation, to designing the perfect system, to keeping the perfect house? Some people are. And they are REALLY good at it. Trouble is, they also get irritated – downright cranky – when the ducks don't line up and the kittens don't herd. If you know that feeling and you'd like to be free from it's control, then consider nature. The most highly functional and efficient systems exist in apparent chaos. Do flowers grow (naturally) in neat rows? No. And yet the bees find them, pollinate them, and contribute elegantly to sustaining life on the planet. What if you were like a bee? What if, regardless of the apparent chaos, you could find the flowers, and contribute awesomely to your life? So ask “What if I created my life from chaos?” This is not to suggest you create random, artificial chaos. Simply that even if things appear messy, you need not be at their mercy if you can see where to collect the pollen.
Do you find yourself behaving in way that is, well, not quite you? Like getting really cranky, crying like a madwoman, throwing a foor-fist-banging tantrum, picking a fight, or otherwise doing something you know is crazy and not you, but you can't seem to help it? What if it wasn't you? To find out, ask “Who am I being now?” We pick up all sorts of stuff from those around us, from our parents, teachers, friends and pretty much everyone. This question reminds you that maybe it really isn't you. Then you can ask “If I were me, who would I be?” If you're a parent, try it with your kids. Are they mad as hell or being drama queens? Ask them gently without heat “Who are you being now?” (Don't be surprised if they reply “YOU!!”) Then ask “If you were you, who would you be?” and listen. At the very least it might crinkle their universe and stop the drama spiral for a second or two. At best, their whole life might change.
Are you frustrated or upset by anyone in your life? Is someone driving you crazy? Are they too loud, too bossy, too flaky, too up-down-turn-around, too [fill in your pet peeve here___________________________]. Would you like more ease in your life when you're around them (assuming you have to, or would like to be around them)? If so, ask “What am I grateful to them for?” and acknowledge them for that. There will always be at least one thing, if not more. Parents who drive you nuts, and are always there to help you with your kids. A friend who is predictably unpredictable, and has shown you people function differently. A lover who picks insane fights, and is great at....um....other things. When you acknowledge someone for who they are, and are grateful for their great bits, you are free and empowered to make the most of the great bits, without being at the effect of the rest.
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