The Best (and Worst) Question Ever

We were building our first house.  The project manager had taken the stock plan for the Cape Cod model and marked it up with our changes.  Create a linen closet in the downstairs bathroom, move the back door. Use a more traditional-sized window in the downstairs.  Use this flooring instead of that flooring.  Reconfigure the kitchen to make it more efficient.  All documented.  All on the plan.

Yet every day when my husband went to check on the house, there was something wrong.  Back and forth with the contractor.  Fix it.  Change it.

Then there was the sheetrock guy who appeared drunk on the job.  The painter who tracked red door paint on his shoes on the unfinished hardwood floor, which then had to be sanded off.

Building a house seemed such a good idea at the time.  Now?  We weren’t sure.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

What do you do to keep going when you’re not sure if you can take it anymore?

You remind yourself WHY.

Why has such power, doesn’t it?

  • When you remember why you married your spouse, you can resolve an argument.
  • When you remember why you wanted to start that business, you can persist when it gets hard.
  • When you remember why you wanted to get healthy, you can keep going to the gym.

Yes, why has great power.  To keep us on track.  Or get back on it when we lose our way.

In fact, you could say that Why is the best question ever…….sometimes.

What about these whys?

  • Why doesn’t anything go right?
  • Why did he have to die?
  • Why do I have to do everything myself?

Is Why the best question then?

Asking why has incredible power – for good or not-so-good.  In fact, the wrong Why can completely derail you.  I know it has for me.

As you heard in Episode 067, your brain asks about 50,000 questions per day, most of them unconscious.  And in my case, many of those questions were also negative.

  • Why doesn’t anyone listen to me?
  • Why doesn’t God heal me?
  • Why didn’t I do something about my illness before it got so bad?

Why has the power to create incredible energy.  And yet, the wrong Why, such as the questions I asked, made me expend tons of energy on something that got me nowhere.  Like running on a treadmill and wondering why I didn’t end up at my parents’ house.

Imagine what you could do by simply asking a powerful Why?

  • Understand the motivation behind someone’s actions.
  • Repeat something that was successful, or prevent repeated failure.
  • Come up with an innovative solution to an intractable problem.

One question leads to another and another.  You end up in a place you never imagined, all because you asked one leading question.  Why?

Yes, Why can be the best question ever.  Or the worst.  Which will it be for you?

Have you had a time when asking Why led you somewhere incredible?  Share in the comments.  We’d love to learn from you.

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  • Great perspective Kathleen! Also I notice how when I am tired I can start asking myself why questions in the most negative way. Thank you for the reminder that no matter how negative something can appear, asking the right question can be so liberating.