Always ask, “What’s next?” ~ never “Why me?”
A few days ago I was driving south on I5 when I noticed the license plate on the car in front of me. It read “WAT NOW.” I enjoy trying to figure out what these personalized plates mean. I had to wonder why, where that came from, how long that message had been on their car, and the story behind its’ special meaning for them. I wanted to pull the car over and ask the middle aged woman driver the source and meaning of her special plates. I thought a minute about following her home or wherever she was going so I could ask.
I guess I’ll never know her special reason for this message to the world. This question “WAT NOW” could be a good one for us to ask when things aren’t going our way. Instead of asking the victim question, “Why me?”, which is unknowable and unanswerable. “Why me?” is looking backward. To be victors instead of victims, we must ask, “What now?” or better yet, “What next?” “Why me?” is the question of a victim who somehow feels put upon, feels out of control and disempowered. “What next?” is the question of an empowered person who is looking forward, and though not happy with some aspect of their life or current circumstance, knows that by taking the appropriate next action, they can once again direct their life and affairs.
We create, promote or allow everything that exists in our lives. The way to allow a condition we are not happy with to continue to remain part of our life is to ask, “Why me?” The way to change your world it is to ask, “What next?” So the next time you feel yourself on a road filled with potholes or ruts, ask the magic question, “What now?” / “What next.”
Acting on what Alfredo Pareto called the “vital few,” we become victorious winners. One of our chief challenges in life is sorting out the trivial many that clamber for our attention to find the vital few. Knowing the true vital few things to give our limited time and attention is in itself empowering.
We can’t always control what is going on around us; we can always control our response to it. You can ask, “What now? What next?” Unfortunately, many, perhaps most, live in a reactive state, which means every bump in the road jars them. We can’t always determine the quality of the road we are on, how smooth, rough or rutted it is. We have absolute control over the way we respond to our circumstances. So look beyond the challenges of the moment, the mistakes of the past; look forward and ask, “What now? What’s next?” You will be the empowered person you were created to be.
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