Contemplating the “What If?”

There was a sinking feeling when I realized my computer was not going to recover. How was I going to get my work done? Did I lose anything I needed? Should I immediately go and buy another computer? These were the frantic thoughts going through my mind when my trusted work companion, my computer, finally died.

No, I did not buy another computer. Instead, I reinvented how I handle all of my computing needs. How does a technology consultant not have a computer? Simple, I access my remote desktop through my iPad. After a few weeks of working out the rough spots, I can now tell you I am happier, more efficient, and more productive than I ever was before. I have my desk back as workspace and not just a computer staging area. This means I can spread my work out on my desk and only have what I’m working on in front of me. However, it took the death of my computer to force me to rethink my environment.

When my computer died I could have immediately run out and bought another computer. I could have setup the computer the exact way I had it. Within a few days I could have been exactly where I was the week earlier. Something stopped me from doing that though. Let’s just call it a momentary pause — a chance to stop, breathe, and rethink my environment.

Instead of immediately trying to restore my status quo, I sat there in my office and just contemplated, “What if I did not own a computer?” After a laugh or two, I started to run scenarios where this would possible. I could have a bluetooth keyboard. I could setup my printer on a static IP so I could print from my remote desktop. I would certainly free up a lot of space in this office. What if? Yes, what if?

When is the last time you asked yourself, “What if?” What if you react differently than you normally react? What if you find a new solution to an old problem? What if you choose to let go of a long-held grudge? What if you simply accepted something you’ve been resisting? What if you were open to new possibilities?

These two little words, what if, can have powerful implications in your life. They shine light where light normally does not shine. They create space where space did not exist. They bring pause to your normal thought patterns. With this pause, with this space, and with this light new possibilities are created.

Without this space our patterns just run round-and-round like an old record playing the same old song. When you encounter a familiar situation, you react the way you always react. When you encounter change, you respond the way you always respond. When your buttons are pushed, you do the same song and dance you have always done. The next time you catch yourself starting to repeat a pattern, catch yourself and ask, “What if?”

By stopping and asking the question you’ll be allowing yourself to deliberately make a conscious choice — you’ll be deciding to bring something better into a situation. What will you discover? You’ll discover you feel more awake, more alive. You’ll discover how big of an impact you make on the people around you. When you show up with love, kindness, and tolerance, the world around you changes. It changes because you had the courage to change — even if just for a moment.

What I have discovered is perhaps the scariest realization I’ve had in my life. I discovered that I impact the people around me. My thoughts, my decisions, and my actions make a very real impact on everybody I serve in my life. What if I continue to help people? What if I can help them discover the same thing I discovered? What if you tried it to? What if the world was waiting on you to discover how big of impact you make? What if? What if?

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