The power of “What If?”

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Question: Do you have a favorite word?

We all have favorite colors, food, seasons, sports, numbers, etc… Why not have a favorite word?

Out of all the words you know what is your favorite? (Wait. Don’t say it yet)

Say it out loud on the count of 3…




Whimsy! Intentional!! DUTY!!! (Okay, I have 3 favorites)

Did mine match yours? I doubt it.

I am sure you could easily tell everyone why you chose the word as your favorite. Maybe it was from a favorite song, book, or person and it has special meaning in your life. Or you just feel special because you could spell it from a very young age (Paleontologist? Mississippi?).

When I was in high school I had a friend who would always ask the craziest questions and they always began with “What If…” I am convinced they were his two favorite words even if he didn’t realize it. He would always hit me with crazy questions like these:

  • What if our hands were feet and our feet were hands?
  • What if a 10 foot grizzly bear jumped out of the closest and ate Tim right now?
  • What if the moon was made of bbq spare ribs, would you eat it?

Crazy or not, these questions would make me stop and think about different scenarios. These two simple words had the ability to shape my thoughts. He would ask these questions and then wait for a response with a goofy half smile that screamed “Can you imagine?!”

To this day I am being shaped by these two simple words: What. If.

These two words force us to acknowledge things are a certain way right now while wondering how they could be different. 

I am out of shape. What if I started working out more often?

I make $9 an hour. What if I made $20?

I watch 3 hours of TV a day. What if I watched 0?

When we ask these questions we are able to imagine the possibility of change, good or bad. We are able to see the areas we need drastic change and we are able to see the areas we need small adjustments. Either way, asking what if keeps us from becoming stagnant.

I have 2 type of “What If..?” questions that I try to ask myself often:

  1. What if I do…
  2. What if I don’t…
  • What if I commit to living in community? What if I don’t?
  • What if I volunteer for Younglife? What if I don’t?
  • What if I graduate from college? What if I don’t?
  • What if I choose a career I love? What if I don’t?

Are you asking any “What If” questions?


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