Several years ago in certain areas in the US, bracelets and T-Shirts started cropping up with WWJD printed on them, which is a reminder to people to ask "What would Jesus do?" I haven't seen these too much lately, maybe because I'm living in New York, or maybe the fad is over. But today I saw something that reminded me of this. It is a quote from the masterful Tony Robbins that's been making its way around the internet for a while, but just landed in my FaceBook feed today - "If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results."
I'm guessing the actual underlying intent isn't how these read. Because if taken literally, it would go like this. You are agonizing over whether or not to quit your job and take a position where you make more money, but it would have less long-term security. "What would Jesus do?" Well, he would probably not have a job at all and spend 100% of his time forwarding his mission of enlightening the world. Is that your answer?
Or, more than anything in the world, you want to be successful in your marriage, and to have a strong loving and lasting partnership. The most successful marriage you know of is a childhood friend who moved to Denmark when you where kids. The friend is happy and still in love with their spouse after 45 years, having raised 3 lovely kids. So you and your partner copy what they did, you pack up your bags, move to Copenhagen and jettison all birth control. Yikes!
Wouldn't it be nice it things were that easy; if we could just "copy" someone else, to have everything we want? Wouldn't it be nice if others could give us all the answers. And on the flip side, wouldn't it be nice to be able to solve the struggles of our friends and family by telling them exactly what to do that worked for us and have that work for them.
Not that looking at what has worked for others isn't helpful. It can expand your idea of what is possible. It can give hope. But YOU can't copy them, because then you won't be YOU.
Maybe the question to ask with difficult decisions is "what would my best-self do?" Try this next time you are stumped. Ask yourself, "In my most suffering state of fear, anxiety, hurt, disappointment, and unhappiness, what would I do?" Then ask yourself, "In my most beautiful state of joy, confidence, gratitude, connection and awareness, what would I do?" THAT is your answer.