“Some see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.” – Robert Kennedy
What question do you ask when things don’t go your way?
What about when things go even better than planned? Or when you sense a wonderful new opportunity, but aren’t confident you’re qualified? What about when you see a problem within your family, office or community that no one is addressing?
A recent conversation with a new friend provided powerful insight on a simple question we should be asking in each of these situations. Let me explain.
Daniel Silverstein is a successful business owner, designer, fashion expert and trailblazer. After advancing in a career focused on high-end fashion, Daniel saw a potentially higher calling for his talents.
You see, in his early career he observed two major problems within the industry: (1) The waste produced during clothing manufacturing (14 million+ tons annually in the US) and (2) The inability for many of those who create our clothing to make a living wage.
We are all gifted in identifying challenges in our families, communities and at our places of work, aren’t we? Issues that bother, annoy or even anger us. But, so often our response is nothing more than: Eh, what can I do?
But what if instead of asking a question that enabled us to turn our back on the problem and curse the darkness, we asked one that encouraged us to take action and make a difference?
One Question to Help You Overcome Challenges
Daniel Silverstein’s grandmother taught him the power of doing exactly that.
As a school teacher in her mid 60’s, Daniel’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. In addition to reflecting on the concerns associated with her diagnosis, she took time to consider the life she’d lived and how she wanted to spend the remaining time she had.
She loved teaching, but she’d always been interested in painting. Although she’d not painted since childhood, as she stared into her own mortality, she asked a simple question: Why not me?
She invested in brushes, canvases and paints and began painting.
Not only did this incredible woman go on to win the battle with cancer, but she also won the war to fully live the time she had. More than six decades into life, she discovered and began using her gift. Her paintings now grace the walls of hundreds of offices and homes around the US.
She also modeled for her grandson the power this one question can have on a life and how it can navigate a journey in an utterly new, unchartered and hopeful direction.
Why not me?
With grandma as his example, Daniel left his position in the traditional world of fashion to begin his own business. Zero Waste Daniel is a shop in New York City that takes textile waste from garment factories and repurposes them into new, beautiful clothing. In the windows of his shop – you can see his team working hard to produce the beautiful clothing; to help educate passersby on why adequate prices must be paid for clothing so that the people producing them can make a livable wage.
(Daniel shared his story, business, and passion on my most recent podcast. I loved his heart and his ability to see an industry he loved moving in one direction and for him to navigate how to go the exact opposite. You’ll enjoy Daniel’s story, check it out here.)
So, what questions are you asking yourself as challenges mount, fires burn and life happens?
My friend, why not you?
This is your day. Live Inspired.