Here’s a question that will never have a proper answer: why does this happen to me? Another question you could ask yourself that would also not have a solution: why do I keep doing this?
The bottom line: you ask why too much. Yes, life is better when you start asking questions. Who, what, when, why, and how are some of the greatest keys to opening life’s potentiality. But one of those words has been overused to the point of being rhetoric, if not redundant. Perhaps we suckled that word dry when we were two-years-old. Why? Why? Why? The bane of every parent.
If you want to grow, yes, please ask yourself a LOT of open-ended questions. Better yet, write out the questions AND the answers to those questions. And best of all, physically write that stuff down. Use a pen. Use it on paper. You don’t even have to look back and re-read what you wrote. Nobody has to read it. There is something magical that happens when you invest in asking yourself questions and forcing yourself to answer them–especially when you commit to doing this practice by hand.
There is a better method: WHAT
Turn your “why” into a “what” and watch the beauty of rapid personal transformation and betterment unfold nearly instantaneously. Poof. Inside of you is a better version of yourself, waiting for you to reveal that version to the world. You, but better. Let’s look at the questions when used as examples at the beginning of this article. What is more powerful and explorative:
- Before: Why does this always happen to me?
- After: What is it that always happens to me?
- (We’ll save the “always” part for another article.
- Before: Why do I keep doing this?
- After: What triggers me to perform this habit?
There’s something in our minds that tunes out the word “why.” Maybe it is our paternal instinct to “uh-huh” our inner child. Perhaps it is our inner child used to being “uh-huh-ed” by our parents. Or, maybe, just maybe, it is because we are so damn tired of hearing the word “why” all the time. So let’s stop. Use “what,” he’s lonely and wants your attention.
Hows before whos
Since we are weighing the context of question openers, let’s consider the importance and significance of using the word “how” before using “who.” “How” begs investigation into procedural steps of accomplishment. “Who” seeks to blame. Using our hero word “what” from before, let’s ask a question: what is more effective, seeking to know the pattern, or seeking to understand who is at fault?
Would you like another “what” consideration? (Isn’t it more exciting asking “what” questions?) How about this one: what do you feel when you ask how something happened, versus finding out who was involved? Where do you sense that feeling? Is it a weight pressing or lifting off of your brain? Do you feel heavier or lighter? Does your body have more or less energy?
Here is how you get better
Ask what. Ask how. Don’t fall for the rhetoric of why and don’t seek to blame with who. This life is about you.