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.
Marianna HeuslerJuly 11, 2013 at 5:01 pm
The what if – inspired my just published middle grade novel –
What if there was a jewel that belonged to Rasputin that gave you the power to live forever?
RhennaJuly 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm
The best part of being a writer! Playing “What if?”!! 🙂
Jackie KingJuly 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm
What a great post! Reading it gave me a new perspective for this evening. Thanks,
RhennaJuly 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm
I’m glad you enjoyed it. It was one of those thoughts I was hesitant to share for feeling everyone would think I was a kook, but that excited me as well.
CJ BurrightJuly 12, 2013 at 10:19 am
I love those moments when I remember to stop to reflect on all the good things in life–the best way to keep things in perspective. What if I’d never joined the FF&P Mud Puddle? I would have missed out on meeting the amazing Rhenna Morgan! 🙂
Suzanne VinceJuly 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm
The picture reminds me that things can always be worse (almost always anyway). I remember once I sat in the bathtub lamenting my life and actually said out loud, “Life just couldn’t get any worse.” Within 3 months I lost my job, my mother died and my father was diagnosed with cancer. Even with my own recent diagnosis and upcoming surgery, I KNOW it could be worse. I find that three things help me when I’m in that dark place: humor, doing something for someone else, and writing. Nice post, Rhenna.
Lynn KelleyJuly 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm
Those two little words always come in handy when plotting out the next scene in my books. And my imagination goes off on its own what if’s, sometimes to the dark side, and I have to reign it in and tell it to knock it off! I love that photo. Super cool!
Kim RichardJuly 15, 2013 at 7:31 pm
What if… I never moved to OK? I would not have met you.
RhennaJuly 15, 2013 at 7:52 pm
And damn it, then you went and moved again! And sold your house before I could sell mine and by yours.
I know you’re happy where you are now though. Still, would’ve been fun to add you to GNO at the Hard Rock. 🙂