You’ve probably heard some form of this quote in a movie, usually said with a twinkling eye:
“What could go wrong?”
After all, what would be the fun in a plot line that didn’t have adversity and where everything goes according to plan?
Unfortunately, we often get too fixated on what could go wrong in real life too. Some of us, whether because of personality, a tough upbringing, or being hurt one too many times, just seem to have an unquenching need to identify and prepare for all that could go wrong.
Too bad doing so is impossible. I’ve tried. You simply cannot plan for every contingency.
You can, however, wear yourself out and stress yourself to insanity by trying. With that also comes the added frustration of wasted time since most of what we think could happen never does. Yet, those few times where over-planning produced helpful results keeps you hanging on to planning for all that could go wrong.
What if you flipped the script and instead asked?
“What could go right?”
How would asking this instead change your outlook? Your approach to planning? What might you do and think differently? How might it make you feel? How would it change your expectation of people and events?
As for me, I’m purposing to ask, “What could go right?” more often. I hope it eventually becomes my default.
I’ll still plan, but I won’t let my focus be directed by what could go wrong. I’m determined to choose to consider what could go right instead.
Taking this idea one step further, I want to look back on events – even just normal days, whatever those are – and be grateful for all that went right. In other words, I want to break the habit of ruminating on how things could (should?) have gone.