When I’m reluctant to take a risk or face something uncomfortable, I ask myself these five questions which, in melodramatic form, I call the "Five Fateful Questions." They help me think clearly about a situation.

What am I waiting for?
What would I do if I weren’t scared?
What steps would make things easier?
What would I do if I had all the time and money in the world?
What is the worst, and the best, that could happen?

For example, when I considered switching from law to writing, I thought, “I’m moving to New York, the publishing capitol of the country. I have friends who are agents and writers who can give me advice. I have an idea for a book that I’m dying to write, and in fact, I’ve already started writing it. I really want to be a writer. What am I waiting for?” Nothing. I made the switch.

What about you? Do you ask yourself these questions -- or do you have a question of your own? I suspect there are more than five fateful questions! Though that phrase does have a nice ring to it. Which ones have I overlooked?

* I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Unclutterer.

* It’s Word-of-Mouth Day, when I gently encourage (or, you might think, pester) you to spread the word about the Happiness Project. You might:
-- Forward the link to someone you think would be interested
-- Link to a post on Twitter (follow me @gretchenrubin)
-- Sign up for my free monthly newsletter (about 49,000 people get it)
-- Buy the book
-- Watch the one-minute book video
Thanks! I really appreciate any help. Word of mouth is the BEST.

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