“The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” --Albert Einstein
Life has a way of putting obstacles right in our way. It happens frequently. We finally decide that we are ready to take action and go for what we want, when an unexpected expense or event pops up that stops us. Many people take that as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be, so they turn around and shrink back into their old life. What if that block in our way was just a test to see if we really wanted what was on the other side?
When I work with clients, one of the first things I ask clients is what they want. Solution-Focused Therapy refers to this as the ‘Miracle Question.’ It is a question that asks clients to imagine that they went to bed tonight and a miracle happened, which removed all of their problems. When they woke up tomorrow, what would be different? What would indicate that all of their problems were resolved? Asking this question is a great way to help people clarify what they want in life. What is important to them? If they didn’t have the limits and confines of their current life, what would they want for their life? How would their relationships be different, how would their jobs be different, how would the way they see the world be different?
When clients are clear on what they want, the question then focuses on what is blocking them from getting what they want. This is trickier than it sounds. Most people are not aware of what the blocks are because we become oblivious to them. They become such an everyday part of our life, that we are blind to what is blocking us and unaware of our power to remove it. The beauty of the ‘Miracle Question’ is that it puts people in the mindset that the miracle has already occurred, so they are able to imagine life on the other side of the block. I often imagine the obstacles to be like a one-way valve that stops us when we are trying to get to our dreams from our current perspective. But, if we start on the other side, where the dream is and imagine ourselves coming from the dream, the valve opens right up and we are able to put on our dream and bring it to us. When we start imagining our self as already having what we say we want, new ideas and possibilities open up that bring what we want to us.
So, the next time that obstacle is in the way, think about what life would be like on the other side. How would I think, how would I talk, how would I act if I had what I say I want? Come from that place and see what new ideas come to you.