Finding the If


We live in a time where we are faced with a seemingly insurmountable number of challenges and it is quite easy for one to become overly pessimistic about one’s ability to accomplish things that are vitally important to us and that would contribute exponentially to a more authentic and fulfilling life.

Several years ago while reading, my husband happened upon a phrase that really resonated with him.  He shared it with me and it resonated with me as well and it has helped me measurably in my ability to accomplish more of the things that are really important to me, “think yes I could if, instead of no I can’t because”. I have since come to refer to this as “finding the if”.

I am not just speaking of wishful or positive thinking or about how to improve productivity but rather accepting what I have come to observe as a “natural law” of sorts, that understanding what you believe about yourself is often what happens to you.  I have heard it said many times and I have come to accept that “attitude is highly underrated”.  Over time, I have come to believe that I cannot do everything but I can do virtually anything and given this belief, I have discovered a way to improve my success in accomplishing the most important things in my life, by trying to find the if.

Years ago as I began to experiment with my newfound practice of finding the if, I reflected on how often in the past, and even now occasionally, I witness myself and others putting considerably more effort into justifying why we did not or could not accomplish something (no I can’t/could not because…) than we did trying to determine how we might accomplish it (finding the if).  How about you?  Have you ever noticed how much more inclined we are to readily provide a plethora of reasons, excuses, etc. for not doing something than we are to devote time to thinking of what actions/activities might improve our probability of success?

To better illustrate the principle of finding the “if”, I offer the follow examples:

“I really need to exercise but I cannot consistently motivate myself to do it alone, but if I could find a partner we could both motivate each other”, “I am behind in my monthly bills and cannot work full time because we have a new child, but if I could work part time from home, I could possibly make enough money to catch up on our bills”, “I really desire to live a more fulfilling and authentic life and I don’t know how but If I could find a good life coach, I could learn”.  I’m sure many of you can think of a multitude of other examples where one could benefit tremendously from finding the “if”.

If you really desire to live a more fulfilling an authentic life, I want to encourage and inspire you to really consider what actions/activities are truly important to you that you have not been able to consistently accomplish and consider not just accepting the way things are, but to challenge them and consider the unlimited possibilities that exist in almost every circumstance if you think “yes, I could if.”

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