That is an awesome question! It is certainly better than the various questions many people ask themselves. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I do it? Why is it so hard? Why are so many things impossible? Have you ever caught yourself asking any or all of these questions and wondering why you are still stuck in life? Why not try the very best question you can ask: so, what is possible?

In fact, Helen Mac, my inspiring guest on this week’s podcast, Optimise your life, calls it the power question. She has spent her life teaching about optimism and optimising lives, and her optimism was severely tested after losing her husband of 30 years, four years ago. How she applied her optimism process in her own situation is inspiring and I recommend wholeheartedly that you listen to this podcast if you haven’t already.

The key premise of her process is to get rid of ‘not possible’ and ask, ‘what is possible?’ It is really the source of success and happiness in every area of life. As Helen explains, when we say to ourselves that something is not possible, then our brain shuts down and doesn’t even look for an answer. Why would it? When we have stated that it is not possible. There is no point searching for a solution if we don’t believe one is there. On the fabulous flip side, when we ask, so, what is possible? our brain goes to work scanning our files, which have been there for our lifetime, to find the possible answers and solutions. It’s an amazing phenomenon, and it is triggered by that one simple question.

Many years ago, I was supremely fit. In fact, you might even say I was maniacally one-eyed and obsessive about my fitness level. Most people would shake their heads and look at me in disbelief when I would tell them what I had done or was about to do. A memory came flooding back to me this morning when I trained at a location that I had been many times before when I was a personal trainer. Now, that I have moved back closer to the beach, I am making the most of it. This morning I rode my bike to train with a friend at the beach. At this spot there is a very challenging set of beach stairs, leading from the cliff top down to the beach. One flight has 100 steps.

As I stood at the top of those stairs looking down, I reminisced about a time when I would run at least twenty flights non-stop. Come to think of it, it may even have been forty. Any hoo, it was a lot. As I stood at the top of the stairs this morning, looking down to the beach, I thought to myself, I couldn’t do that now! Then, I caught myself, gave myself a metaphorical slap, and asked: okay, forty flights today may not be a sensible first step after this many years, so, what is possible? What a great question. All of a sudden, I devised a little circuit with my friend, that incorporated a few flights of stairs and then some other exercises. I ended up doing three circuits which included twelve flights of stairs. I felt a little tired but great. So, now I believe, with a progressive and sensible approach – something I need to develop – forty flights are definitely possible.

What a wonderful word ‘possibility’ is. It immediately turns impossible into possible. The reason is because it turns on your reticular activating system (RAS), which is your brain’s way of seeking, searching, and finding answers, solutions and possibility. It is your success radar, and you turn it on by simply asking, so, what is possible? What are you struggling with right now? What are you saying to yourself is not possible? Are you thinking it is not possible to lose weight, save money, resolve a conflict, or get past your writer’s block? Trust me, it is. You are just saying the wrong stuff to yourself. Instead of thinking how hard it is, or why it is not possible, just think about what is possible.

Helen Mac overcame one of the greatest tragedies of her life by asking that question. I conquered the terrifying stairs by asking that question. Every great discovery, invention, business, or other success came about when things look tough, but the person simply asked, so, what is possible. I want to encourage you to start asking that question every day, then you will see what is truly possible for you.