The Power of What If
Somewhere on the edge of our reality is a place where we maintain a larger, more flexible context for our lives. Properly managed it enriches our lives and our future. It happens when we explore possibilities. The nice thing about possibilities is that we can seize them or dismiss them. Asking ”what if” is not a commitment but an exploration.
Choosing an Audience
Exploring within our own mind is perilous in one sense because our audience is of one and we may not get good guidance from ourselves. And so we may choose an audience. Certainly you’ve met people who are utterly uninterested in exploring and then there are others who may be so unfocused that they explore eternally and never make a choice.
And so we have to select an audience. That may actually be the fun part. As we test the waters and explore we meet new opportunities. The art is in knowing when to change the subject or move on.
Children love to explore, Well, at least most do. It is important because their future is open and the exploration helps them assess their strengths and weaknesses. Not to mention that they find out what is out there. Up to a point things had to be substantive and then we seek departures.
We see this process on the larger stage. You know about gravity don’t you? It holds you to the earth. End of story. Well not quite. How does it actually do that? You see the balloon tethered to the ground but exactly how are you tethered to the ground. The answer is “by gravity”. That actually explains nothing. I’d really like to see gravity and know how it works. We are looking into it.
I might have pursued the study of nuclear physics except for a terrible math professor. I see the same thing there as with gravity. There is so much we don’t understand. In the end I chose something else which offered “what if”. Psychology actually has a scientific side and the clinical side had the opportunity to explore that I wanted.
The trick in life is to maintain openings we may choose from time to time. Choosing too many openings is perilous but the art is to define our means and places to explore the what if or what might be. It is in that place that we have to “kid ourselves” because only then do we open a larger and often mystical world.
Isn’t that larger world what it is all about. It involves risk and uncertainty which we often deny we are seeking. But this process of “kidding ourselves” has led us to open a technological world, for example, and we can only speculate about where it is going to take us.
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