the power of why…

We all have that image in our heads, right?

A three year old, desperately clinging to our legs while we try to make dinner and have a conversation on the phone, while realizing we haven’t peed in 6 hours…  and we tell them – no/shhh/hold on, etc… and we hear it – loudly spoken with a truly quizzical look…



And from that moment on “why” becomes that question that leads to you singing, at the top of your lungs and slightly off-key, “Because, because, because!  Because of the wonderful things he does!” to get them to move on.

It may not have been your child that ruined “why” for you – it could have been someone else’s child – for me it was one of my first students…  she said it, over and over and over again, relentlessly.

It could also have bee a truly annoying co-worker, schoolmate, etc…  but somewhere along the line, “why” became a bad word.  An annoying word.  A one-word, open-ended question that you just want to ignore.

And therein lies the power of “why.”

It is open-ended.

It is thought-provoking.

It is earth-shaking.

It is a reality check of your actual knowledge base, belief base, and so much more.

“Why” asks the hard questions.  It opens up the worm hole.  It makes us squirm in our seats and run for cover.

It challenges us at uncomfortable levels.

“Why” is the question of change, the catalyst of moving forward.

And this is why “why” has become my question of choice lately – at work, at home, and in my own messed up brain:

  • Why are/aren’t we doing XXXX?
  • Why are you upset about XXX?
  • Why do you think that is a great idea/horrible idea?
  • Why am I/am I not doing/feeling/trying XXX?
  • Why am I worried about what XXX thinks/will react/says?

Some “why’s” are simple.  Some break open our entire world.

Why can’t I have a cookie before dinner?  Easy.

Why don’t we sell the house, and all the big stuff, and travel the US for a year, homeschooling the kids as we go?  Bigger.  Harder.  World rocked.

“Why” is dangerous.  Powerful.  Provocative.

“Why” has been driving a lot in my life lately – stuff I will start sharing, as well as stuff that I will protect.

“Why” is not an annoying word, screamed by an angry toddler.

How will you harness the power of your “why’s?”

Leave a Reply