What problem could you welcome to start your day on an awesome new path? A trek toward unusual possibilities. What trigger might lead you to drive a solution into new directions for your day? Are you aware that problems we encounter can spring our brains into gear for solutions that tend to elude less curious minds? How so?
Simply start where you stand by asking:
If I could lead one solution without limits today, what would I choose first?
A few days ago, a problem slid me onto a path where I could have collided with fear, for instance. No big deal for some maybe, but I’d golfed several times a week for more than 20 years with Robyn, my best friend and senior VP here at the brain center. Then Robyn passed suddenly and without warning, and I began my new work week without the beloved breaks golf gave us both. Never having golfed alone before, and still missing my amazing golf buddy, I feared golf likely had just ended for me…
After losing to fear’s grip for a few days, I simply sharp-shot into a solution and a new choice with the following question:
How can I overcome the fear of golfing alone?
What likely seems easy enough to you, nevertheless looked like a dragon to me. So I’m amazed at how this game-changer question led me to a deliberate choice that shattered fear. Surprisingly freedom hid itself behind fear which we now know literally shuts us down mentally.
What choice would help me to take a critical first step in the direction of golf?
Scary as it was – I added the word GOLF into my to do list for the next day. I tossed my clubs into the trunk to ensure I’d be more ready to golf and less willing to run from the fear of hitting the links alone.
How specifically can others benefit from our choices?
We can often leap past personal limitations by asking how others might benefit from choices we make. Since I’ve been the subject of my own brain based research on grief lately, I felt others may be encouraged to make healthy choices too, if I could face my fear with a deliberate choice.
I could not believe the sheer delight that followed my simple choice to golf alone. One step away from fear led me to a whole new vista of wonder – that hides behind fears that bully us to choose poorly or run and hide.
Could a choice lead us to innovations that become legacy?
It gets better! Before the day ended a very good friend invited me to join his team for an upcoming golf tournament that will give its entire earnings to support a local food bank. The result?
Without fear, I now plan to slip out onto the course to try and get ready for the honor of playing a golf tournament in a few days. Add to this newfound joy – every swing now adds cherished memories of Robyn. It makes sense that she helped to guide this choice since she loved golf, she always helped to guide and support my choices, and she welcomed every chance to help those who are down on their luck in every way she could.
It’s impossible not to feel Robyn’s smile over the way this simple choice led to unexpected melodies beyond belief.
How could your choice today lead to legacy-building solutions tomorrow?
I’m forever grateful for family, friends and faith that helped me survive grief that hit me like a mack truck strikes out of nowhere you can spot ahead. But I’m learning grief survival also welcomes personal choices. My choice to golf alone taught me that I needed to plan this action ahead, make it easy to execute the trip to the links by adding it to my schedule and packing the car ahead, and stay the course until I followed through on the choice I made. One simple choice proved that fear gets forced off any path when we step in a more courageous direction. Count me in!
How would more traditional thinkers react to your solution?
Rather than resent folks who mean well, but may advise you poorly, why not choose what you’d like to see happen in a perfect world. Good news is that with every action the brain’s plasticity changes itself for more of the same! Simply start where you stand at the moment, step ahead to where you’d like to be, and you’ve already leaped in the direction of courage to act in a new way.
My challenge continues …
Identify a real problem that holds back your progress today, and you’ve already added the tool kit for innovation at that spot.
Ready to stoke your next mind-bender and help others to do the same? Ready to become that person you’d like others to see in you today?