By Robert Pagliarini

Last week I asked the Miracle Question from Solution-Focused therapy, which is simply, "If a miracle occurs tonight while you sleep that solves all of your problems, how would you know when you woke up that a miracle occurred? What would be different?" The first step, of course, is answering the question, but if you just stopped there, you might be left feeling a bit frustrated. There are generally two reactions to the Miracle Question. Some people are already living their "miracle life," and, by answering the question, they simply reinforce how happy and content they are. Good for them, but what about everyone else?

What if your current reality is completely different from your miracle life? What if by answering the Miracle Question you discover that the life you are living is not at all the life you want? I call this divide between what is and what is wanted "the gap." The gap can be painful. It can cause frustration and paralysis, or it can spur excitement, fortitude and action.

So you have a choice to make. Continue living as you have been and hope a miracle occurs that fixes all of your problems and gives you the life you want, or decide that you will be your own miracle? The Miracle Question is just the first step. It's only designed to get you thinking about what you want to be different. The next step is a crucial one. It's discovering what you need to do to start living those differences.

Let's look at an example. Let's say your current reality is that you live alone, work at a job you don't like, and feel disconnected from your friends and family. But upon waking after a miracle has occurred, you are lying next to the love of your life, driving into a job that you love and finishing preparations for a dinner party you are hosting at your house that evening.

In this example, the gap between what exists and what is desired is wide, but is it impossible to bridge? I don't think so. Coert Visser, a psychologist and expert in Solution-Focused Therapy, recommends asking what parts of the miracle you can already begin living. Could you host a dinner party for your friends and family? What about just calling a friend and taking them out to lunch? Could you start night classes during the other eight hours to move closer to your dream job? Doing any of these things helps you start -- even in a small way -- living your miracle.

Maybe that example was too simple. Let's take this to the extreme. In the aftermath of losing a loved one, the survivor's miracle is usually that they wake up and their loved one is alive again. This would require a miracle indeed, but, if you dig deeper, there might be some small way to start living this miracle. What is missing now that the loved one is gone? Maybe companionship, security, someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, a comfortable routine or a travel partner? What small steps could this person take to start realizing this miracle? How about spending more time with friends, start a book club, participate in a survivor's group, etc.

One of the founding beliefs in Solution-Focused Therapy is that small changes can lead to big results. It's the butterfly effect for personal development. A small and seemingly insignificant change can create profound consequences that sometimes defy logical explanation. Jeffrey Guterman, Ph.D., and author of "Solution-Focused Counseling" writes, "A small change can result in a snowball effect that, in turn, leads to bigger changes and the resolution of bigger problems." No change is too small.

What is the smallest step you can take today to start living your miracle?


(Robert Pagliarini is a CBS MoneyWatch columnist and the author of "The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose" and the national best-seller "The Six-Day Financial Makeover: Transform Your Financial Life in Less Than a Week!.")


Available at Great on the Job


Careers - Start Living Your Miracle Life

Article: Copyright ©. All rights reserved.