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Not long ago, I wrote about how asking “What if” was a hoax.  I believe it is a fallacy to think you can outguess life.

But I’ve come to see it from another way, now.  The question of “what if” is as essential to writing as it is to dreaming.

What if a person like this came together with a person like that?  Science fiction is based on what if questions.  What if that happens is the genesis of most fiction.  What happens next are the stepping stones.  You can’t write much without asking “What if.”

This kind of “what if” can spawn more questions to ponder.  What if I could reach out to millions of people at once with my words?  What would I want to say to say to them?  What would I wish the result to be?  What if I could help them see things in a different way, a different perspective?  That’s some important information to have.

“What if” questions open the way for unlimited dreaming.  What if you could be a success?  What if this situation was exactly as you’d like it to be? What if you got everything you wanted for Christmas?  What if you could have the things you want?

Invention is birthed in it ~ What if I could understand how this works better?  What if I could make it more able to serve?

Service is born from it ~ What if I could help others expand their options, help them to lift their burdens?  What if everyone I knew who longs to be of service was given the opportunity to use their gifts for others?

These are powerful questions about what is possible.  And the answers, while not able to offer any guarantees, can certainly map the way for some wonderful things to happen.  It’s all a matter of perspective.

This week in my newsletter from Cheryl Richardson, she was talking about her new book, “You Can Create an Exceptional Life,” written with Louise Hay and due out on September 20, 2011. It came out of a year long discussion with Louise Hay. (Some people have such blessings!) Cheryl shared some of the book with us.  I think these habits are excellent and wanted to pass them along.

1.  Optimism — That’s taking the Positive slant, which works for me.  I’m coming to believe what I keep hearing: that life is what you think it is. The more you fill your head with optimistic thoughts, the happier you are. It’s not denying what is, but putting a positive slant on it, to keep yourself centered and smiling.

2.  Simplicity — I don’t think anyone would say that complicated is better than simple.  It’s SARK’s notion of Micromovements, chunking it down, baby steps.  We are creatures that don’t do well (most of us) when there’s too much going on.  Be on the lookout for multi-tasking.  Wherever you can simplify your life you feel better.  I believe it was Cheryl Richardson who said that improving your life is usually not about adding something to it, but getting rid of things you don’t need.

3.  Trust — This one speaks of having a view of life that all is well. That there is perfection in everything that happens, that there is a reason. With this kind of attitude you’re more able to bounce back and move through whatever comes your way.

4. Service — Nothing makes for an evolved life quite like being of service.  It adds dimension to everything you do.  And raises the level of vibration.  It is an amazing cure for many mental stresses.  Give of yourself and watch how much comes back.  When you’re trying to do something, if you add the aspect of service you infuse everything with an energy and power that can’t be equaled by anything else.

5.  Action — Without action, nothing gets done.  I’m a dreamer myself and have often gotten lost in the imaginations of my mind.  But without action, whatever you dream of remains on the border between metaphysical and physical realities that Maria Nemeth speaks about.

6.  Faith — Behind all action is the willingness, the faith, to move forward even though you don’t really know what’s ahead. I think of it as a form of courage. Faith is the driving force that gets us all up every day.  Whether it’s faith in God or money, that things will get better, or something wonderful will happen.  None of which we know for sure.

7.  Magnetism — This is an interesting one to include.  It’s the knowledge that like attracts like. It’s knowing that our feelings dictate what are lives are about.  Cheryl and Louise talk about it coming from “putting (and keeping) ourselves in the right state of mind.”  And, they say, there’s much about that in the book. 

I would suggest keeping an eye out for “You Can Create an Exceptional Life.”  I’m sure it will be available everywhere.

Keep on evolving!

There are so many good causes these days. Wolves being killed, oceans and newspapers dying, our planet being destroyed, children starving, prisoners being tortured, millions without healthcare, African refugees, Tibetans being mistreated . . . It’s hard to know who to support. They all seem like worthy causes.

I’m working on a chapter for my book about defining your values. Here is a good place to figure out what’s most important to you. Even Bill Gates can’t spread himself over all the needy charities these days. It’s important to know what you believe and value. All our guiding principles of life should be aired out from time-to-time.

I am of the belief that it’s healthy to move every couple of years. It forces you to go through things and get rid of (or move) what you don’t really want. Finding new places for everything you own helps to separate what is useful from what no longer serves. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to control and maintain. The process that needs to happen is a ritualistic cleansing or going through of what I believe, what my values are. I can’t really give well to any of these causes if I can’t refine what I’m about.

How am I going to do this?

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are many different ways to serve a cause. It would pay, I think, to take a few minutes to think about what is important for you to support, but also, how do you wish to support it – in general and/or in particular. I could give of something I can do to one cause. I can dedicate my work to another cause or two, or give money to support another. I can give time (to write, paint, teach, dole out food, whatever) to yet another.

And, like the 31 flavors of ice cream, or the 10 foot shelves of cereal to choose from, it doesn’t much matter which ones I pick. I can easily turn around and support someone else next week.

Yes, there are a lot of worthy causes. It’s impossible to support each and every one of them, but if we all do a little bit here, a little bit there, maybe, like drops in a bucket, we will eventually fill our world with enough love to settle things down.

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