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“How Could This Be Different?” It May Be The Most Wicked Question Of All

There are times when I’ve lost perspective and fallen into joyless, judgmental and often self-righteous states. I thought the world was [insert expletive] and that I was the only person who saw how [insert expletive] it was. Being human, this still sometimes happens, where I find that my ego is driving the bus - the bus being my metaphor for my consciousness. Anytime I’m feeling righteous or judgmental I know my bus has been hijacked like in a bad version of the movie Speed where Dennis Hopper’s character arms a bus with a bomb that will explode if it slows below 50 miles per hour. And it’s not that I’m unaware of what is happening - I’m often doubly frustrated by how unconscious I know I’m being in the moment. I’ve tried many things over the years to rein in my ego when this happens – meditating more, listening to audio lectures and podcasts by leading teachers in consciousness, and doing heart-centred exercises like HeartMath’s Freeze Frame Technique (which is excellent and in some ways similar to what I’m describing; in fact, if you’re so inclined, add the Freeze Frame steps to make what I’m suggesting even better – links are at the bottom). They all helped but nothing worked as well, or as easily, for me as frequently asking myself one simple question.

The last time my ego hijacked the bus I started asking “how could this be different?” - This being my perception of the situation. None of us ever experiences reality, but rather representations of reality created by unique sets of electrical impulses occurring in our brains based on pathways created by our past experiences. But I digress. I asked “how could this be different?” anytime I experienced energy draining emotions like anger, anxiety, fear, resignation, guilt and melancholy. Anytime I felt myself triggered and feeling something I didn’t like, thinking about something that was not useful, feeling attached to an outcome, stuck, cynical or frustrated, I brought my awareness to the purest part of my heart and asked “how could this be different?” I found this question even better than questions like, “how could this be more efficient, useful or effective?” To me, concepts like efficiency and effectiveness still felt like constructs of my mind which are the same level as the problem. Whereas, the word ’different’ was undefined allowing for a wave, or space of possibility, that could be guided by the intelligence of my heart, Source, or inspiration wherever that sense of infinite intelligence comes from for you. It didn’t require any express re-framing of the situation by my mind or any effort to objectify my emotions – the single question seemed to put those things in motion automatically. For me it was the most wicked question (1) allowing for all sorts of possibilities that were not obvious to my mind. The ideas, visions, split-second corrections in my thinking and in my body flowed and didn’t require any active thinking or guidance. I then had the inspiration to ask the question more often, whether I was triggered or not, to adjust a behaviour that was not optimal or change any habit that did not serve me…during my workouts (adjusting my breathing, body position, focus or order of exercises), a negative memory (to bring my awareness into my heart, see it from another person’s perspective, shift to compassion), in a discussion (adjusting my sense of center to not be sucked into someone’s drama), listening to someone (being more present). This question served as an onramp to intuition such that obstacles became the way and flow was often the result. Connections to energy draining things came to light often effortlessly and were dropped often easily, and regenerating connections to positive sources of energy like Source and the planet were reinforced.

This question is now integrated into how I experience the world. One of the ways I achieved this was to have the question pop up as a reminder on my phone a few times a day. It helped to remind and reinforce for me the importance of pausing to ask this question and not just reacting. You may wish to try this too. Since I’ve integrated this question into how I live, my energy is higher, I’m more positive and my emotional loop outs are shorter and fewer. Consider giving it a try for a day, a week or your life and if you’re inclined, share your experience with me through any of my contact channels below.

(1) Wicked questions are used to expose the assumptions which we hold about an issue or situation. They provide an opportunity to see the patterns of thought, surface the possibilities and find creative alternatives for stubborn problems.

You can find similar articles at my personal blog here

Written by Rob Pilz, Copyright March 31, 2017 Revelation Business Solutions Ltd.

Related Reading and Videos

Freeze Frame Technique Video by Erika Caspersen

The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday

About Rob Pilz

A former executive and now advisor to leaders in business with over 20 years experience in building, optimizing, financing, purchasing and selling businesses ranging from Fortune 500‘s to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50TM. With a talent for bringing out the best in leaders and an expertise in creating leverage in business, I’ve developed a process combining reason and intuition to make better faster decisions that I call Zero Point Decision MakingTM. I welcome your questions or comments at my website, to my email address at or phone U.S. 646-480-0507, Canada 604-722-5361.

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