The “WHAT IF” Question


“WHAT IF… you could be guaranteed success in any area of your life, what would you would it be?”


I was asked this by a friend years ago. Maybe you have been asked the same question! It is definitely thought provoking, and causes me to step back and consider the possibilities...even today! There are lots of things that I am interested in and love to do!


As I began to share my thoughts, I asked him if this “guarantee for success” was only in one area of life, and he answered , “Yes.”

Well that certainly changes things - doesn’t it?” I muttered to myself! And then comes the thought process that I am prone to! (I like to envision it as a BIG thought bubble only visible to me and God!)


At this point, the list of interests began to fade away, and the reality of who and what matters most to me moved front and center! I did a quick inventory of all of the different roles in my life and the impact they could have on others (remember we are talking possibilities here ;-)).


I jokingly spouted off an answer and he stayed right on track with me asking, “Why is that important to you?” And, “Tell me more about that.


WOW! I have never been asked that question - back to my thought bubble! He is serious about getting me to see the possibilities and potential for my own life. Ok. I can do this!


I soon began to realize that this is where dreaming begins! Dreams are the possibilities that can guide our decisions, help us to set our goals, affect our work ethic and relationships, and give us hope to reach untapped potential within ourselves to make a difference in some way. The realization of a dream doesn't come without 1-sacrifice and 2-investment. Because of those two things, the “guarantee” of success is NOT measured by a ONE SIZE FITS ALL mindset! The truth is, success and its definition varies from person to person.


I took a moment to consider my friend who was asking me these questions. He was very successful by the world’s standards as a respected businessman. He was very smart, personable, well-connected in his field of expertise, had a wonderful wife, two sweet sons, a lovely home, and nice cars. He had a soft spot for the down and out, and was very generous in giving to many different charities and individuals. He had absolutely everything that looked successful to anyone watching his life. BUT, inside he was struggling.


As I recalled some of the difficult things that I had seen him go through. I remembered having prayed for him, his wife and family many different times. It was then that I realized,


- That he was “living the dream” with HIS success defined by someone other than him.

- These were the questions that he himself had not answered and that is why he began asking them of others.

- That in his own searching, he wanted to help me to know how I define success, and how to measure it for my life.


Success for my friend by someone else’s measure, nearly cost him everything that mattered to him, including his own health. All of the money, popularity, possessions, power, and influence that he had dreamed about AND secured were by no means in line with his own personal definition of success.


What about you and me? It is appropriate to consider this “WHAT IF” question at the beginning of this new year! Take the time to write out these questions and answer them!


1 - WHAT IF you could be guaranteed success in the most important areas of your life?

2 - WHY is that important to you?


3 - Can you tell more about that?


4 - How do you define and measure success in these areas?


5 - What goals and action steps will you put in place to get you on the path to achieve that success?


I pray that at the end of 2021 you can look back at the progress you have made in answering these questions and the WHAT IF leads to WHAT IS!!!

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