The Question That Changes Everything

Before the world shut down for Covid-19, I borrowed a book from the library called Free to Focus.  Thanks to the library closures, I get to keep learning from this book (and everything else I grabbed at my last library visit) until at least April 1st.  The book has online exercises and tools that guide you through a process of examining your productivity.  After completing the first online exercise, I started receiving emails from the author, Michael Hyatt.  I would usually unsubscribe from these emails immediately, but the subject line, “Daily tips to survive the chaos,” seemed a bit like he was throwing me a life ring.  I caught the life ring, so to speak, and read the email.

The Question That Changes Everything

These are stressful times for leaders (also parents, employees, children, medical workers, citizens, …). With the uncertainty in the marketplace, it’s tempting to adopt worst-case thinking and become reactive. Here’s a simple tip for keeping a growth mindset despite the current crisis.

Ask yourself, “What does this make possible?”

What can I accomplish with the time gained from travel or event cancellations?

Start thinking about possibilities, and they will begin to appear.


I have found myself thinking about that question repeatedly.  “What does this make possible?”  So far, it has made possible teaching my daughter to play the piano; teaching my daughter to ride a bike; time for projects and baking with the kids; taking an online workshop on motherhood; connecting again with old friends and renewing friendships; getting my kids into a habit of quiet time; getting my kids to help around the house; and conversations with my husband about our family’s rhythm.  Of course it’s not all good.  But I want to keep a growth mindset and see the good things, little or big, that come from this experience.


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