The Possibility Game (#678)

Are you a dream killer or a possibility person?

I had always assumed I was a possibility person, and in many ways I am – after all, I’ve coached and taught tens of thousands of people how to make their dreams come true.

But yesterday, I was thinking about some of my own dreams and realizing that with myself, I was acting the part of the dream killer, developing my expertise in seeing excuses as obstacles and practicing my story of why I couldn’t have what I want, at least not now, not in this economy, and not given everything else that’s going on in my life.  Instead of coming from a place of possibility, I was making choices based on what I thought could happen. I had fallen into the trap of being reasonable, forgetting that, as George Bernard Shaw told us, “all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.”

So I decided to immediately stop doing what I was doing (always a good idea when you realize you’ve been metaphorically hitting yourself in the face with a shovel), and to do something else.

Instead of continuing to relegate my desires into the ‘one day/someday’ pile, I began going through them one by one and coaching myself in the practice of possibility.

Had you been eavesdropping on the conversation in my head, it would have gone a little something like this…

Coach Michael (CM): What’s something that you would love to create in your life?Michael the Client (MC): Great question – I guess I’d love to create a new home, but it just doesn’t feel sensible right now.

CM: Let’s save sensible for later.  What would need to happen in order for you to create a new home in the next 90 days?

MC: The next 90 days?  That’s way too soon!  And besides, maybe now isn’t the time to be spending extra money.  Have you seen the news lately?

CM: Actually, I haven’t, but I did hear the football season is about to kick off.  And in any case, you didn’t answer my question – What would need to happen in order for you to create a new home in the next 90 days?

MC: Look, we don’t actually need to move – the house we live in now is fine, and it feels greedy to want more.

CM: Got it.  So… what would need to happen in order for you to create a new home in the next 90 days?

MC: Boy, you must really annoy your clients with questions like that… (grumble, grumble)… OK, what would need to happen is that I would I would need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we had the money and we wouldn’t be creating any new debt, make a clear decision about buying vs. renting and what to do with our existing home, take into account the kid’s schools (since we’d be moving mid-year), find a great place, put in an offer, have it accepted, and sort out the details of the actual move.

CM: Excellent.  Now, what would you need to do in order for all that to happen?

MC: I don’t have time to do that – I’m busy enough as it is!

CM: Boy, you must really annoy your coaches with answers like that… (grumble, grumble)… the question wasn’t ‘do you have time?’, ‘is it possible?’, or even ‘do you really want to?’  The question is simply this:  What would you need to do in order to have everything happen that would allow you to create a new home in the next 90 days?

MC: OK, so in terms of actions, I would need to go through the books for the past year and the projections for the next two years.  I’d also want to build in a backup plan in case the projections are off.  Then assuming the numbers all work it would be as simple as calling a real estate agent and beginning to look at properties.

CM: Last question, for now – are you willing to do that?

MC: Actually, yes – that doesn’t sound anywhere near as hard as I thought it was going to be!

I was so excited by this conversation that I immediately went through the books and projections and realized that within the next 90 days I’ll be able to write these tips from a brand new home – and that I’d only just scratched the surface of what was possible.

So with that in mind, I’d like to invite you to join me in a brand new game for the next 90 days…

1. Each day from now until the 14th of December, choose at least one thing you don’t think can happen in your life or in the world, but it would be really great if it could.

2. Ask yourself the possibility questions:

  • “What would have to happen in order for _______?”
  • “What would I have to do in order for _______?”
  • “Am I willing to do that?  If not, what am I willing to do?”

3. Do it!  (Or don’t – see guidelines below…)

Here are some additional guidelines I’ll be using as I play:

  • Don’t worry about whether what you want but think you can’t have is large or small.  I used the example of buying a new home but I also played the game yesterday with getting a cup of English breakfast tea in the Phoenix suburb I was visiting (successfully, I might add! 🙂
  • Don’t worry about whether or not you should have it, deserve it, or even if you really want it. This is a game about practicing possibility – and just because something’s possible doesn’t mean you have to do anything about it. This is a game designed for creating greater freedom in your life, not more obligations or busy-ness.
  • Feel free to play with others – ask your friends, colleagues and family these questions and really listen to their answers.  Are they actually answering the possibility questions or are they telling you all the reasons that they can’t answer them?
  • Post some of your favorite insights and experiences to the forums.  I’ve created a special section called “The Possibility Game” where you can share your experiences and results as you go – I’ll be checking in a couple of times a week and sharing some of my own!

Have fun, learn heaps, and may your fondest dreams come true…

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