"Within limits, the question 'What if?' can radically change our story and our lives." – Donald Miller

I’m intrigued lately by a little buzz going on in the blogosphere, ignited by Don Miller’s challenge to come up with 5 “What if…?” questions for your life. He calls it The Single Most Powerful Question You Can Ask.

As long-time readers know, I have an aversion to “If only” living, but…… “What if…?” is not the same as “If only….”. The questions are empowering (as opposed to supporting a victim’s mindset the way “if only” does). Think about it.

  • What if I stopped responding in the same old way?
  • What if for once I went with my gut feeling?
  • What if I stopped thinking forgiveness was impossible?
  • What if I acknowledge the validity of his point and stop trying to press mine?
  • What if stop defining myself by that thing?

(examples only – I’ve not made a list yet)

Some empowering possibilities there.
If you care to read where others are going with this, check out Melissa and Cassandra.

* * *

In a semi-related item, for the HCB book club I just finished reading Julia Cameron’s thoughts on the MYTH of “If I had a year off, I’d…..”. She suggests this myth lets us off the hook. We don’t have to listen NOW. We don’t have to take responsibility to be available for what’s bubbling up NOW.

I run the risk of overgeneralizing, I know. Still, I am picking up from so many of the people I care about a great need to BREAK OUT in some way. It’s not just a “Spring” thing. It’s more.

Lost footing.
Lost vision.
Processing that’s been sidelined.
A recipe for collapse.

Listening practice.
I hope this weekend, you fight to discover or rediscover these.
Something inside craves it.

ESCAPE FROM is a poor substitute for STEPPING INTO.
What if……?

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in busy schedules, letting go, Listening Practice, peace, someday. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to If

  1. Melissa says:

    Now I’m intrigued to know what your list would be, because your examples are great! Thanks for the link love. 🙂
    – Melissa


  2. annie says:

    I always enjoy your posts Marilyn. There is always something to chew on! Thank you.


  3. Marilyn says:

    I’m glad, Annie. I hope your thoughts end up going good places.

    Melissa: One or two of those examples might be on my list, come to think of it. I’m thinking about what else might be.


  4. Really compelling thoughts here, Marilyn. I, too, am reading “The Right to Write” — that section on waiting for a year off to take action and start writing really hit home for me. It’s all about writing in stolen moments here and there — in the car waiting to pick my kids up from school…at the office, jotting a couple thoughts into a notebook. It’s what’s available right now, so I have to grab it!


  5. Thank you for morning inspiration Marilyn. I too, loved your sample “what ifs.” I love this idea and will now read the linked posts by other writers.

    Michelle at Graceful–yes, I too, relate. I think, “When I retire!” But I also know that “Writers write!” no matter what, as you said, in moments here and there. It is less something we do, than something we are.


  6. L.L. Barkat says:

    What if you just wrote… yes, what if. 🙂


  7. My dad once told me to “fish or cut bait.” In other words, stop thinking about it and do something.

    I ended up accepting my husband’s marriage proposal.

    So often we just want to wonder but never really do it. And Cameron is right, it lets us off the hook. I can’t be responsible for what I did not do, right?

    Glad to be reading along with you over at HCB.


  8. Pingback: Bad Writing and Croissants « A Different Story

  9. “ESCAPE FROM is a poor substitute for STEPPING INTO.” Think I have walked too long in the escape from – what if I were to just step into the things I am trying to escape from. I think I will be pondering this for a while. Thanks!


  10. elk says:

    exactly …i feel this way often..in my hands and heart hold alot of “stepping into”


  11. laura says:

    I love Donald Miller’s ideas about making our lives a beautiful story. They do go hand-in-hand with some of the things Cameron is telling us about writing, no? If writing is a metaphor for life, as Don says, then…shouldn’t we be out there living it? No waiting for the perfect time, no excuses…

    I love where this is going. Did you know that Bonnie at Faith Barista is hosting a What If? project? I may a little late, she may have already ended it, but I’ll try to check and return with the address.


  12. Pingback: Quiltwork

  13. Marilyn says:

    FaithBarista Bonnie’s “Going Off Script” short film can still be voted for ….until April 30th. Check it out here: http://wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/22529/voteable_entries/4105292m


  14. views from different angles
    i like seeing the views from all the different angles this week.
    interesting how the two ideas blended together.


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