The other night my girlfriend was talking to me and I was being a good boyfriend and mainly listening attentively. At one point I commented “so what are you going to do?”
As I listened to the answer another part of my brain processed why those words sounded so familiar and significant. Scroll back about 15 years or more when “ThirdRock from the Sun” was the newest show on TV. In one episode Harry Solomon (French Stewart) becomes a barman. People attempt to tell Harry their problems and Harry just continues to polish a glass and sigh philosophically “So what are you going to do?” The joke was people would consider this question, causing them to consider all their options and play out the possible consequences and reach a conclusion. Typically an exchange would go something like:-
“So, what are you going to do?”
“I should tell my boss to kiss it! But if I do that I might lose my job and then we would have to cancel our vacation. I’m going to have to put in the overtime. Perhaps it won’t be so bad and I could use the money. Thanks Harry, you have been a real help!”
Harry, a usual would be essentially oblivious to the real world and what was happening around him but establishes a reputation as being an excellent barman and a great guy to tell your problems to.
Once I had identified the origin and significance of the phrase the temptation became too much. A couple more times during the conversation I ask my girlfriend “So what are you going to do?” and watch with interest as this kick-starts her keen mind into problem solving and planning her course of action.
Sometimes, take time to ask yourself or others an important question. The answers may surprise you.