Updated: Apr 27, 2019
Why is it that humans (sure, me included at times) are seduced by the connections that exist around misery and angst? Why do we love spinning and going down the drain? Or why do some people want to “one up" you when it comes to being in a rut?
I choose not to play this game. Posted on LinkedIn today was an update that inspired me to think about this dilemma in human connection. I’m not a scientist, yet I’ve been around the water cooler. I’ve attended company happy hours and the same holds true for many of the organizations I worked in, or stories I hear now from friends. Misery truly does love company. Why?
Figuring out the answer to this question isn't going to serve me much. So, I want to change the question, how can we connect around the Power of Possibility? When you find yourself in the repetitive mind-tape of misery, angst and overwhelm, press the pause button and try on these questions.
3 Question to tap into the Power of Possibility:
1. What if you knew? Many times I run into conversations where the other person feels stuck and doesn’t seem like they have an inkling to even an idea of what to do. I don’t buy it. I think what keeps us stuck is the idea that we have to be right, or certain with our plan or ideas. Well, certainty has its place at times – yet it also stifles creativity and movement. The question of “what if you knew” was one that was thrown at me during my coach training. I thought this was the most absurd question one could choose to use. I vowed to never use it. Using this question is more about being comfortable detaching oneself from the certainty – and allowing for even the absurd to show up and offer a solution. This now becomes my go-to question when “stuck” presents itself.
2. What do you want to do? This one stops people cold in their tracks. This is a no BS question – which means, I don’t want to be part of the BS drama being created by just talking endlessly about something you aren’t willing to change. What do you want to do? invites movement towards action. It’s about 100% accountability for taking control over what YOU can do. This involves no one else. The answer does not involve other people. This is a YOU-focused question. (And if you don’t want to do anything, let’s acknowledge that; stop the venting and move onto something more productive. It’s up to you – what do you want to do?)
3. What do you want more of? This is a question that is rooted in strengths, positive-psychology, and appreciative inquiry. All three being the fertile ground to plant the seeds of possibility. Language is about creating something. So, let’s use language as the tool to talk about what we want to create more of which allows us to overcome the hurdle or obstacle that keeps us in the constant comfort of complacency.
Use one of all of these to move from misery to possibility. What other questions do you use to transform the way in which we can connect on a human level? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.