The Power of Two Words

Part of the inspiration for this post came over the weekend.  With some degree of risk I’ll admit the source. Later.

What’s the value of power?

Power gives the ability, strength, and capacity to do something.

Last week, we explored how questions are powerful.  Open-ended questions are really a request for information, designed to help us stop and explore for truth. I reminded us how…

Questions help us give careful thought to reality, the facts; and when examined become a source of feedback.  Truth allows us to choose; we can change unproductive behavior, enlarge our influence (leadership), and achieve success…yes, make a difference in the world.

Reflecting on life using questions gives us power – the ability, strength and capacity to change unproductive behavior(s), improve our performance, and make a difference in our world. That’s power! 

In like fashion there are two little words that have power…when combined.

This connection came back to me as Rita and I watched the movie “Letters to Juliet”

I know, it is a “chick-flick”, a romantic film with a predictable, yet engaging story line. 

Yes, I enjoyed it.

The film is the story of a letter written to the fictional Juliet Montague of Shakespeare’s play. The film creates space with empty dirt roads, the architecture, food, that sidewalk café, and those cobblestone streets still to be found in Italy.  It does seem like a very romantic place. And so,

In Verona, Italy – the beautiful city where Romeo first met Juliet – there is a place where the heartbroken leave notes asking Juliet for her help. It’s there that aspiring writer Sophie finds a 50-year-old letter that will change her life forever. As she sets off on a romantic journey of the heart with the letter’s author, Claire, now a grandmother, and her handsome grandson, all three will discover that sometimes the greatest love story ever told is your own.

Come on, who couldn’t use a little romance?

In the story, the time comes when Claire reads the letter to a group which Sophie wrote; the letter that started the search for Lorenzo.  Indeed, the inspiration for this blog.

“What” and “if” are two words as non-threatening as words can be; but put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life.

What if?

What if?

I don’t know how your story ended but if it was true love back then, it is never too late. If it was true love then, why wouldn’t it be now? You need only the courage to follow your heart.

Yes, this is blog is about our personal growth. It is about your dream. It is about the decision you wait to make which postpones the possibilities and adventure or the solution or the thrill of making a difference in someone’s life…even the world.

What if?

“What if?” can haunt us or set us on an adventure and the journey of a lifetime.

How might answering this powerful little question, “What if?” change your story?

What if…

You make that call?

Write that letter?

Apply for that open position?

Forgive the offender?

Take the risk?

Start your own business?

Take that class? Teach that group?

Mentor that person, ask to be mentored?

What if you care or love?

What if you act on your plan to get out of debt?

What if you read one book a month?

What if you change your eating and exercise habits?

What if you change your thinking about…?

What if…?

Claire and Lorenzo had lived 50 years of their journey without contact when Claire ask the question: What if Lorenzo is still alive?  

What opportunity begs you to ask and answer the question, “What if?”

What do you think? Please leave your comment below, I’d love to hear from you.



Who would you forward this to?

6 Responses to “The Power of Two Words”

  1. David, what a great school!

    What if we teach people to ask more and tell less?

  2. Cary,
    What a great illustration. You applied asking “What if?” to the everyday, ordinary decisions of people with people journey… BEYOND the so-called “game changer” situations, like what if Lorenzo is still out there.

    Thank you!

    Now in light of your response (taking action) may I give you the answer to your 2 questions?
    1 – I am humbled that you read what I write and it gives support to your day, today
    2 – I am encouraged and determined to keep listening, writing, and passing along what I receive

    Yes, your response to the possibility and opportunity has affected my life; thank you!

    What if…with action; powerful.

  3. davidburkus says:

    I went to a middle school that posed an open-ended question for reflection as the theme for the year. “What if?” was definitely the best of the themes I encountered.

  4. With further reflection on this blog, I have been thinking this morning how powerful “What if?” can be in the everyday, ordinary stuff of life, too.

    For example, let’s say procrastination rears it’s head…what might happen when I ask “What if I go ahead and get this done now? Perhaps the simple question that begs for an answer provides me the “power” to get it done? I intend to find out!

    Thank you for your comment.

  5. Cary Tennis says:

    I’m glad I asked myself, “what if I took a moment that I don’t think I have to read Steve’s words of wisdom. And What if, I told him how meaningful they were to me this very day?” Thank you, Steve for some much-needed inspiration!

  6. Rhonda Mayhan says:


    Very inspiring and thought-provoking. Seems so simplistic when said, but what power it has when acted upon. I don’t think there is anybody who has not asked the “what if” question at least once in their lives. This one certainly resonates with me.


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This entry was posted on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 11:42 pm and is filed under Personal Success, Risk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.