Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
****************************************************************** FOCUS: Ask, "What's Right?"
Disciplines: Personal Mastery, Team Learning, Systems Thinking

"Instead of asking, 'What's wrong?' ask, 'What's Right?'"
Kurt Wright

While on a much-anticipated vacation at Martinak State Park in Maryland, my husband, Hal, got sick. We first thought he had twisted his hip paddling our new kayak on its maiden voyage. By the second night, however, I grew concerned that Hal's sore hip was really a flare-up of a chronic infection in his back that is monitored regularly by folks at the Mayo Clinic. Worrying about this kept me awake, which I realized was not going to help. I had been reading Kurt Wright's book, BREAKING THE RULES, REMOVING THE OBSTACLES TO EFFORTLESS HIGH PERFORMANCE. He suggests focusing on what is right at any given moment, instead of focusing on what is wrong. I decided to try it. I lay there and created a list in my head:

1. Hal is sleeping peacefully beside me.
2. Our tent is dry even though there has been a huge storm.
3. The inflatable mattress is as comfortable as a regular bed.
4. We had a lovely day at the ocean and ate delicious crab cakes.
5. We have wonderful doctors we can call in the morning.
6. We have a thermometer with us and can take his temperature.
7. We had a fun time kayaking on Watts Creek. It was beautiful and we are gaining paddling skill. (The first time we kayaked, we went in circles a lot and accidentally hit each other with the paddles.)

I fell asleep picturing us skimming along in our kayak on a beautiful river. In the morning Hal had a temperature. We called the doctor. In a short time we were on our way home. Before you knew it, we were at the Mayo Clinic and Hal was being cared for in the Clinic's incomparable way. All the way I kept track of what was right. The Mayo Clinic itself offers an amazing opportunity to study what's right....but that's another story.

Hal was quickly better, and we're back home now, kayaking happily, with more and more skill, on our own Ohio River.


This was not just a feel-good exercise. The shift from focusing on "What's Wrong?" To "What's Right?" was profound for me. I could easily have become overwhelmed by anxiety and fear. Focusing on what was right both relaxed and energized me, so I could do what was needed. Wright says "What's Right?" questions help us access an intuitive part of the brain and release creative energy.

Wright offers a five-question framework for using "What's Right?" questions to help individuals or teams solve problems. If you're interested in learning more about the power of "What's Right?" questions, read Wright's book or join me in the telegathering
August 2 (details below.)


Please join me to look more deeply at the power of "What's Right?" questions and explore Wright's 5-step framework Thursday, August 2 at 12 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. CDT, 10 a.m. MDT, 9 a.m. PDT.) No need to register, just call (702) 558-4398 at the telegathering time. Reach me: 1-888-769-3494 or e-mail

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

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