The Question That Took Me to Chicago

 

MA having her first slice of Chicago deep dish pizza, WINx Chicago, Apr 2017

“What if there was no secret but there was a question? Not just any question…Life’s Most Powerful Question: What’s Important Now?”

– Brian R. Willis, Winning Mind Training Inc.

What’s Important Now?

The question, “What’s Important Now?,” can serve as a guide to help us prioritize the choices and decisions we are faced with every day. It is a question that can help us overcome life’s challenges, obstacles and road blocks.

Brian Willis first heard about the question (represented by the acronym W.I.N.) while reading the book Winning Every Day by the famous college football coach Lou Holtz. Coach Holtz used to remind his players at Notre Dame to ask themselves this important question throughout the day.

“There is a powerful lesson to be learned from ‘Coach’ for all of us,” explains Willis. “Every day during our personal and professional lives we are faced with a number of critical choices and decisions. Our responses to those choices, the decisions we make, have a lasting impact on our health, our relationships, our careers and our finances.”

In order for us to achieve excellence in our lives, Brian suggests we ask ourselves this simple, but powerful question throughout every day – What’s Important Now?

Why?

Because the simple act of stopping to ask this question causes us to briefly pause while our mind imagines the impact of the choices we have and almost immediately brings to mind the most desirable choice.

“When I say most desirable I do not mean the choice that will give us the most immediate gratification,” Willis explains. “I mean the choice that will have the most positive impact for us in our lives, based on the foreseeable future. This one powerful question allows us to prioritize decisions, choices, actions, and events in our personal and professional lives.”

The reason “What’s Important Now?” is such a powerful question is that it is about both the present and the future.

Brian Willis is a mentor of mine – and a good friend. Interestingly, our paths crossed before we did. Brian was a Calgary police officer who trained my husband, John, when he was in recruit class. After John’s death, Brian and his lovely wife, Lynda, became strong supporters of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund…and of me, personally.

Brian first introduced me to the “What’s Important Now?” question more than a decade ago. And the older I get, the more often I find myself utilizing it as a powerful tool throughout my day.

Brian recommends we ask ourselves this question 35 to 40 times throughout our day – and I suspect I am probably getting pretty close to doing just that.

Why? Because it works like a charm to help keep me on track with what is REALLY important in any given moment or situation.

For more information about What’s Important Now, please visit the W.I.N. website. And I highly recommend signing up to receive Brian’s weekly blog via e-mail.

Which brings me to Chicago…

When Brian and his colleague, Roy Bethge of the Virtus Group, asked me to be one of nine speakers at WINx Chicago 2017 in late April – a TEDx Talks style event for growth and advancement of the law enforcement profession – I immediately said yes.

Our presentations could only be 18 minutes in length…which was a real challenge! But I did it. We ALL did 🙂

And the experience of being part of WINx 2017 was amazing. It was an opportunity of a lifetime…and I am so glad I had the courage to embrace it.

All of the talks were filmed and will be shown on You Tube. Here is the link to the 2016 WINx talks.

And since I was in the Windy City anyway…

For those of you know me personally, this won’t surprise you in the least – but since I was in Chicago for work anyway, I figured I might as well extend my visit a few days to see the sights. Lynda Willis joined me and we had a blast, roaring around the streets of Chicago!

Here are a few pics from the fun portion of the program:

Unbelievably decadent Chicago-mix Garrett popcorn…cheddar cheese & caramel!

 

Looking up at the Willis Tower, Chicago

 

“The Bean” in Millennium Park

 

One of “The Faces” in Millennium Park

 

MA & Lynda on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier, Chicago

 

One view from the Willis Tower, Chicago…skyscrapers galore!

 

MA & Lynda standing not so steady on the glass shelf, 103 floors up, Willis Tower, Chicago

Back on solid ground, here we are outside the theatre where we saw the Hamilton musical. OMG…it was incredible!!

Meanwhile back at the ranch…or the country kennel, as the case may be, Sadie was NOT impressed with her overly cozy canine companion!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

 

6 Comments

  1. Ann on May 3rd, 2017 at 9:46 am:

    What’s important now? Reading this blog from Maryanne that just came to my email inbox. Thank you. What a great way to start the day. I’m sold. I’ll ask it throughout the day. And as a Chicagoan I hope you enjoyed the pizza.

  2. Lynne Karey-McKenna on May 3rd, 2017 at 11:31 am:

    Oh back in my hometown!!! I miss it and it would have been sooo much fun taking you around! So glad you did it and many more mini talks to come I hope for you! I love the W.I.N. and have already started asking myself that. I have gotten offtrack and need to get back ontrack so W.I.N., W.I.N., W.I.N.!!!!

  3. Maryanne on May 3rd, 2017 at 11:35 am:

    Hi Lynne!!! Yes…I was storming around your old home town of Chicago! I LOVED it! SO glad to hear you like the W.I.N. question and are already starting to use it. It REALLY works!!!

    Take care, big hugs and hope to see you soon 🙂
    MA

  4. Maryanne on May 3rd, 2017 at 11:37 am:

    Hooray! So glad the What’s Important Now question & blog resonated with you, Ann…it IS a great way to start the day 🙂 I very much enjoyed the pizza in Chicago…and the popcorn and the Purple Pig and the Spotted Monkey and the delightful mozza cheese & beefsteak tomato salad at an Italian restaurant…I’m getting hungry!
    Maryanne

  5. jennifer dickey on May 3rd, 2017 at 3:16 pm:

    Looks like you had a great time. Tulips looked lovely. Not sure I could do the glass shelf!

  6. Maryanne on May 11th, 2017 at 9:16 am:

    Hi Jennifer! Not sure I would do the glass shelf again either….ugh. But the view was amazing!
    MA

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