Chapter 59

What Would Really Happen?

Today's Empowering Quote

"Every choice moves us closer to or farther away from something.  Where are your choices taking your life?  What do your behaviors demonstrate that you are saying yes or no to in life?"
- Eric Allenbaugh

Today's Empowering Question

"The thing I'm doing right now... is it bringing me closer or farther away from my goal?"

Today's Fast Session

What would happen if...?

Now THAT is a great question.

It's one that can lead you in creative directions when asked constantly.

It can also be used strategically to keep you on the right path - away from bad decisions.

This question is asked constantly in the design of software, buildings, automobiles... in fact it's probably the most asked question in the world.

What would happen if...?

But in our personal lives, in our every day decisions concerning our health, our career, our relationships, this question is often shelved, locked away, hidden from.

Most people are terrified of it.

Because when we ask it, if we're honest, we usually get the truth.

We get the "consequences" that we can't ignore.

That's why it's avoided like the plague.

More promising ideas have died quick, horrible deaths by avoiding this question than maybe any other reason.

What would happen if I ate that piece of chocolate cake?

What would happen if I cheated on my husband?

What would happen if we tested the new software for only two weeks instead of the usual four weeks?

What would happen if I tried to remember all my appointments this week without writing them down?

You see, if we don't ask, we can't fully consider the consequences. And when we don't think about what would happen as a result of our thoughts and actions, we can't be smart.

We lose opportunities by the boatload.

In the sports world, it's known as putting yourself in a position to win.  Great managers know that if you can stay close, you have a chance.

Because if an unlucky bounce occurs, you've killed your chances to win if you'd made a bunch of dumb errors, unwise decisions or if a referee's call goes against you.

Achieving great victories, or simply getting any long-term project done on time, on budget and done correctly doesn't usually happen because of one great decision or one spectacular action.

It's done by making a lot of good decisions, which, added up, can be a great, great outcome.

People like "home runs," but success at anything isn't about having a great 30 seconds a week ago.

When a person loses 30 - 50 - 80 po'unds or more, for example, it isn't because they said no to the cheesecake at the Christmas party.

It was literally thousands of individual decisions made each day guided by an overriding purpose, and great questions asked constantly.

When someone builds a company to a million, then tens of millions and hundreds of millions in sales, it's not only because they're so "smart" - many big companies have been built by people with less than average intelligence, average memory, less than average grades in school, no people skills.

But the ability to ask...

"Is this the best use of my time and resources?"
"What would happen if we changed this feature?"
"What would happen if we changed directions completely?"
"Is this product still going to be needed in the next
year, two, twenty?" the one of the single most critical abilities you can develop in yourself and in your team.

What could happen if I have one more drink? Could I get pulled over - get into an accident? What would happen then? How much would that cost in insurance, fines, attorneys and lost wages? What else could I lose? Do I want to risk all that?

Companies in the vinyl record pressing industry that didn't ask, "What is the next opportunity?" missed out on CDs and were gone almost overnight.

People who never consider all the consequences of eating "just one" brownie will always be looking for the "diet that works," hiding from the questions.

Asking forces you to see what you may not want to face.

But wouldn't it be better to have the answers?

Wouldn't it make it easier to reach your goals? More fun?  Would success come faster?

Wouldn't you be happier -after weighing the negative consequences with the positive ones- making the decisions that will send you in the right directions? Wouldn't you find it easier to say no to the "tempting" but bad decisions if you focused on the ultimate consequences instead of turning away from them?

You know the answer!!
Don't you?

Man, I hope you feel more empowered now. You should...

Because the habit of asking empowering "what if" questions is one shared by successful people in all areas of life.

Make this a part of your every waking moment, and the opinion you hold of yourself will grow by multiples, due to your better decisions and better outcomes.

You'll probably gain one or two more productive hours every single day.

And you'll be less scared of life... able to smile even during the many important and impactful decisions you must make every hour of every day.

So, what else could happen if this became an "always on" unconscious habit?

Today's Winning Beliefs

-- I have the courage to ask myself tough questions
-- I ask questions because I can live with the answers
-- I make good decisions because I get the facts I need
-- Opportunities are all around me and I am finding them
-- My decisions are getting better and better every day
-- I consider all factors when I make important decisions

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