Resilience: Asking the other question….

The Other QuestionThis is a time when we are thinking about what lies ahead. Our focus starts to shift more significantly from now to next when looking at strategies and plans.

A productive practice will be to ensure that for every question we ask, we also ask what I call the other question.

What we are considering is the fundamental need to move beyond positive thinking to possibility thinking. We must be able to look at every side of our choices. In my work as a strategist over the years this has proven to be what has made the difference between goals and objectives that are reached with greater ease and those that create struggles, or even get lost along the way. There is always another question to consider. The other question is also what quite often delivers us the greater return.

A simple example of this might be reducing the clutter in our life. We ask ourselves what we need to eliminate. This can be physical within our environment or more resource centric around our money, energy and time.

It can seem counterintuitive to say that in our review and self-discussion we also must ask ourselves what we need to add into our life.

Endings and beginnings are important to see together.

While it may seem not to matter which we ask first, it can be helpful to start with the start! What is it time to begin? To add? Given the resources needed for that, what is it time to release? To make available?

We essentially move into an exchange. That can be significant in how we perceive and handle the practice of letting go. In this case, what we thought was the primary question in truth is secondary although vital.

Questions that drive insight are the ones that move us forward. Here are three areas of questions to consider for developing a possibilitarian point of view that leads to resilience:

What is the real change I want to achieve? Know your true objective. Keep asking until you find it. You cannot stay on track if you don’t know where you really want to go. There are several schools of thought on this in terms of how many layers of questions to go through. In essence, once you get to an emotion, you’re probably there. The more you practice this, the faster you will get to your core value. When we keep our core value at the forefront, resilience is a natural result because we are not looking at a circumstance without context. We are examining everything against how it can serve what we value.

What options am I avoiding? This is crucial because quite often what we refuse to consider is our best choice. We all have non-negotiable positions. That’s not what this is about. This is about what we might be afraid to try or think isn’t a possibility for us. It’s about removing limitations, not compromising boundaries.  When we are practicing a resilient life style, how we perceive things will change and what we never considered before can move front and center. This is just not about avoiding something because we may not want to do it although that is part of it. It is also about avoiding something because it doesn’t seem big enough or it’s failed in the past. Any number of reasons can come into play. What is important is that we exhaust every possibility without initially limiting ourselves to probabilities.

What am I missing? What is going to trip us up? Where are the blind spots? What aren’t we considering that needs to be addressed? What are the risks? If you know them, you can mitigate them from the start or at a minimum, have a plan in place to address them should they happen.  If you do not know the risks, you have not fully defined what you want.  If this is a challenging area for you start with your assumptions. Your risks will be in your assumptions. What are you assuming to be true? What if it is not? What are you assuming is not true? What if it is?

One of the many gifts I received from my iPEC family where I studied for my certification as an Executive Life Coach was a very special stone. I’ve had it for a number of years and it stays with me as a kind of talisman when I’m thinking through something challenging.

On one side, the word problem has been engraved. It literally covers the entire surface. On the other side, you find the word solution. The solution resides within the problem itself. We have to examine it from all sides to find it but it is there. The other question is what will take us there.

Live (question) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (question) well.

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