ONE QUESTION COULD HELP YOU MAKE SIMPLE, BUT MEANINGFUL, IMPROVEMENTS IN YOUR WORK AND LIFE.
I’ve written in previous posts that asking the right questions can help you overcome fear of failure and identify your true passions. Another thing questioning can do is enable you to approach a daunting problem by breaking it down into smaller challenges and more actionable steps. And it can start with asking a simple but very powerful question: What if I made one small change?
Often when we attempt to enact change in our lives or in the ways we work, we start out thinking too big, says Wall Street executive and author Caroline Arnold. We try to do too much, too soon–which sets us up for failure. And as Arnold explains in her book Small Move, Big Change, if you repeatedly fail to live up to your resolutions and goals, after a while you almost begin to expect failure.
But what if you began all of your self-improvement efforts by actually expecting to succeed? That was a question Arnold pondered as she embarked on an experimental project that became the basis of her book.
Arnold is a high achiever on Wall Street (as a top executive at Morgan Stanley, she was a key player in the Google IPO and today serves as a managing director at Goldman Sachs), but she had a long track record of failing at various self-improvement goals. “I couldn’t understand why my determination to get things done at work didn’t translate to my personal life,” Arnold told me in a recent interview.