Updated: Oct 14, 2019
Somewhere in my life, I have heard it said that in order to get to the right answers, you have to ask the right questions. It was probably high school chemistry. Hated the teacher, hated the subject, hated the class. No prizes for deducing my grade for that semester. But maybe I learned something of value. In science, and life, the answers to problems can only come about after you have asked and investigated the right questions that will lead you there. Sounds simple enough. But I know in my own life sometimes, I'm forgetting this truth, and in the process, missing my own.
Life moves fast. We are busy doing. We don't leave as much time or place as much value on what we might be thinking from one moment to the next. But our thinking and our thoughts about our actions are paramount to understand who we are, what we want, what we need and how we can go about getting it. Who knew that thinking about the WHY in life carried such great importance?
Why did you eat dessert? Because you were dying to have a taste of chocolate or because you felt an obligation to have something since you were finally out for a date? Why did you yell at your husband about his shoes in the hall? Because the shoes in the hall are important or because you were upset about something unrelated to shoes? Why did you skip your workout again? Why didn't you clean your closet even though you had set a deadline to do so just a week ago? Why did that resolution fail? Why? Why? Why?
Bury yourself in why questions, with everything you do. Ask yourself why.
Why did I just do that?
Why do I feel this way?
Why do I believe this to be true?
And don't stop there. Keep digging even deeper and ask why to all of those answers that are generated. This is not a mindless exercise. As long as you actually answer the question. Saying "i don't know" is a total dereliction of your duty to yourself. If you truly don't know why, then stop and think harder. And ask WHY getting to the bottom of that question is so hard for you. It means something. It means everything. No one else is going to answer these questions for you. No one else has the ability to find the good answers. And you, alone, are in the all-powerful position to ask precisely the right question, each and every time. Why.
Why gets us to the root of what in the hell is going on. Why leads us to a greater understanding of ourselves. Why brings clarity and maybe even a sense of relief once we identify the problem laid bare before us now that we have bothered to ask. Understand your actions. Understand your feelings. Understand the ways in which you thrive and the biases you hold. Understand yourself, and you will understand so much more about how to cope, change, challenge, recover, and thrive.
So much to gain and nothing to lose. You really owe it to yourself to never stop asking why.