A big idea and then “the seven questions Michael Bungay Stanier uses to get unstuck.”
I’m preserving these here because when I’m facing too many choices OR can’t quite seem to get moving on what’s next, reading this list makes me feel like someone just loosened the lid on the ol’ pickle jar brain:
Stuck is often when you think you have just one way forward … and you don’t like that way.
Unstuck is when you can see other possibilities.
Here are my go-to questions. The invitation is to pick one and try it. Get a challenge in mind … and ask away.
What can I do?
What can I stop doing?
What’s the fast thing to do?
What’s the easiest thing to do?
What’s the brave thing to do?
What’s the Over The Top thing to do?
What do I want to do?
A few personalized notes on each:
What can I do? Options for action are good to list out. Even the bad ideas.
What can I stop doing? Itemizing the current actions, again – in a list, can be really helpful in looking for what to cross off.
What’s the fast thing to do? Quickest fix. Using your gum to plug the leak. Doesn’t have to solve the problem, but gets your brain back to progressive action.
What’s the easiest thing to do? See question above, but reframe in terms of least friction. Might be loud or quiet (ex. I could just scream, I could just say nothing)
What’s the brave thing to do? Someone you respect and wish you were more like – what would they do here? WWTPYLWIYD (what would that person you like who isn’t you do).
What’s the Over The Top thing to do? All I can think of is Stallone turning his hat, but seriously, daydream a mic drop.
What do I want to do? Related to and rooted in “do you want to be someone or do something?” Thinking forward, where do you want to land? The “want” in this question, also comes back to memetic desire.