Starting a sentence with “what if” is my absolute favorite play words and one of the most powerful ways to ask yourself and others potent and stimulating questions. It opens a world of possibilities that can quiet often lead to even more exciting ideas. It can be used in so many ways to stimulate your thinking.
Here’s some examples of how I’ve used “what if…” recently:
“What if… I spend the entire day looking for opportunities in every situation that happens?”
For example, somebody, dangerously, cuts me off in traffic and instead of getting mad I see it as an opportunity to learn patience and appreciate we weren’t in an accident. A prospects behaves rudely, I see it as an opportunity to accept that other people have different values to me. I get a very large electricity bill, well that’s an opportunity to help the planet and use less.
A person is running 15 minutes late to our meeting, that’s an opportunity to to catch up on reading or clear my inbox or sit and think more about that challenge I’m currently experiencing. Oh and that “challenge” I’m currently experiencing, what if the solution has a multimillion dollar idea behind it? Now I’m getting excited.
“What if…we tripled revenue this year but decreased our delivery time? In what ways could we make that happen?”
“What if…we could build this business with a maximum of ten staff and operate nationally with a $25 million turnover? In what ways can we make it happen?”
“What if…I was paid $25,000 for a days work? Who do I have to be? What do I need to know?…”
I only use “what if” in the positive as it can be dangerous thinking tool if used in the negative. For example, I never use it to think “what if, all our clients leave tomorrow? What if this project fails?” if you’re purposely thinking “what is the worse case scenario?” then that’s fine, but never use a negative “what if” as a play tool.
What if you took on this fun mental play tool, just for fun, to try something new, to help you expand your thinking, or change your mindset around a challenge? What is your “what if…” that you can play with today?