I just enjoyed the most incredible week off. I traveled the UP and listened to great podcasts, hiked, took some photos and curated an incredible piece of artwork. I also played the what if game. I tend to do this a couple times per year – once in the spring and once in the fall. It is an opportunity to reflect on what’s going well and not so well in my life.
For many moons, the what if game tended to lean negative. It was often reflecting on my past and contemplating if I had made the right decisions. In many ways, a game of regrets and being disappointed that I hadn’t accomplished more in life. Rarely, did I flip the switch and say what if this is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now to get to the next thing. What if I’m setting myself up for success by being here in this moment thanks to the hard choices I’ve made in life. What if accomplishing more in life looked different for me because I’m actually really happy with the life I’m living – even if others might think rural Midwest living is lame. (PS They’re wrong).
Two things happened this week that steered the what if game in a different direction. First, I had pre-ordered Mel Robbins High Five Habits. It arrived just in time for vacation and my vacation happened to coincide with her high five challenge. At some point, I need to write a post about some of the game changing books I’ve read that have inspired me to ask some tough questions and make minor tweaks in my life that have made a real impact… but until then, I’ll just say buy the book. Or, check it out at the library. Or, watch the videos about it. It is some super simple hacks to help you understand why you think the way you do and to help motivate you out of bed. Very similar to her other book that is also was a game changer for me.
Then, my amazing friend Tracy launched a business called Stoneweaver. I ordered one of her custom pieces that comes with a question. The question associated with mine is: if it’s not about winning, then what is it about for you?
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, as I gear up for a race tomorrow morning. The race itself isn’t that exciting. I really just want to enjoy the fall colors and it helped motivate me off the couch this summer. But, it is sort of symbolic in that ten years ago, this was my first half-marathon (or any race) for that matter. (Quick plug, you can read all about this adventure in my book!) And, I realized I’m capable of so much more than I ever dreamed, if I only reframed my narrative from I can’t to I can… if I really want to. More importantly, my definition of winning in these races is finishing. For some, that is not enough. But, that’s what is so great about asking yourself what matters. You get to decide. And that’s pretty awesome.
And ultimately that’s the real question for me. This week I spent a lot of time dreaming. Trying to determine my next what if. What if I’m meant to tell more stories. What if I lost the weight. What if I went back to school or opened the business. Or, what if, I spent the next year being curious. Trying new things and seeing what other narratives I can challenge because I think my greatest passion in life is learning.
I’m ending the week with more questions than answers. A sign that I’m on the right path. Curious minds never stop questioning. I challenge you to do the same. Ask yourself what if and dream of what’s possible.