I’m a paranormal romance author, so the phrase, “What if?” buzzes around in my head like a bunch of bees swarming a hive. For me, it’s a comforting expression. One that opens all kinds of perspectives and creative angles for a whole backlog of story ideas.
But the power of “What if?” isn’t limited to creative types like me.
Think about those times when your life falls into a rut. Or when you’re faced with indecision and can’t quite figure out a path to take. Now add in, “What if?”
- What if I take a different route to work today?
- What if I spend an hour this weekend updating my resume and sending it off to my dream company?
- What if I sit down and rest my feet for a minute and color with my kiddo just for the hell of it.
Do you see the potential power in this expression? All by it’s lonesome, the “What if?” could trigger:
- Driving by some small business that offers a solution to some unique problem you’ve been trying to solve for a long time. Not only does it solve your problem, it’s the critical “sale” the business needed to keep from closing up shop for the last time.
- Nabbing that dream job you’d always hoped you’d have.
- Building a memory your child will remember years after you’ve turned to dust.
It’s a pretty astounding phrase once you really start to wrap your head around it. If the above examples don’t convince you to give it a try, then think about this.
The next time life applies a heavy weight on your shoulders, ask, “What if?” Then call to mind the picture above. Talk about a cattle prod to perspective! (And thanks to my fellow paranormal romance writer, Traci Douglass for the picture via Facebook.)
Don’t get me wrong, I know we all have our crosses to bear, both large and small. But, I keep thinking about a lesson someone taught me a long time ago related to those times when I get wrapped up in self-pity. “Get outside yourself. Do something good for someone else and before you know it, you’ll feel better.” The expression, “What if?” does that for me instantly, lifting me out of my cloudy, spiritual mire where I can find peace.
What about you? Have you exercised the great, “What if?” recently? What was the outcome? Is there a part of your life you could change with those two words? Or a grand idea that might take flight? Whether it’s in the form of new stories for my writer pals or a simple moment of gratitude, I hope it ignites something special for you.