What’s the Best That Could Happen?

Roland Larsson on Unsplash
Wow! Look at that! I want that.
I want it to be real for me, to know it and live it.
…Now, how do I get it?

That’s the question, isn’t it? How do we see, desire, pursue and keep on going no matter what?

How we talk to ourselves about it is critical. Whether it’s a huge leap or the tiniest step, our inner talk shapes the journey. And learning to journey far, well, and often will help us create an interesting, rewarding life. It is best to choose our words well when we talk to ourselves.

Everyone has been encouraged by parents, coaches, guides using cheers, stories, , inspirational quotes. Many remember the game-changing talk, the bolstering hand on our shoulder, the loving, empowering eyes staring into our own: You can do this.

With determined courage surging from our hearts, we dare powerful action, the ball arcing true or the stranger turning away or the horrific gaff ruining a perfect routine. No matter, we summoned our best and used it. And once we’ve done that, we can summon it again and again.

More times than I can remember, someone has encouraged me to take a risk, attempt something that terrifies me, urged me to take that next big step. I’ve been magnificently blessed with encouraging family, friends, colleagues, teachers, friends I have yet to meet.

Sometimes when my encourager would conclude their bracing pep talk with: “What’s the worst that could happen?” Facing the gauntlet, the chasm, the receiving line, whatever the peril, I’d take a moment to think. Duty bound, I would grin and answer with smart resolve, sharp wit, or staggered realization. Our eyes would meet. It was time. The pep talk is over, kid. Get going. So I’d go.


“What’s the worst?” is meant to put the challenge into perspective, into the broader scheme of things, possibly all the way to the deathbed regret that you should have cut the cake, kissed the girl, dove from the high board into the lake. You were, after all, duty bound to go forth and do the thing.

Today I can’t stop thinking about what happens when I flip the question:

What is the best that could happen?

Now, that question gets my juices flowing. I can’t wait to imagine the best, the brightest, and the most wonderful and then ten billion times better beyond that. It is so flipping amazing that I can’t stop.

I inhabit the dream. I revel in bliss. I smile, recognizing that the best is so far beyond my small, safe imagining that I’ll have to wait until I get there to grab it tight and hug it as hard as I can. I imagine the view from the top of the mountain, endless majesty, beckoning me forward.

That is where I want to be.

While I don’t intend to be foolhardy or stupid about what I attempt, I want it to be compelling, so powerful that if I do fail, there is enough energy and momentum to keep me going until I find success.

I’m using “What’s the best that could happen?”

My goals challenge and scare me. But I am more scared of not trying, of not imagining and then enjoying the best that can happen.

Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels
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