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Don't Ask "Why": An Introspective Trap

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

In a world driven by self-discovery and personal growth, it's become almost a mantra to constantly ask ourselves, "Why?"


We're told that understanding our purpose, our motivations, and our deepest desires begins with probing the question, "Why?"


Yet, what if I told you that starting with "Why" might not be all we've been led to believe it is?


What if I suggested that "Starting with Why" can lead to creating a tangled mess of cognitive dysfunction?


Let's embark on a journey to dismantle the conventional wisdom of asking "Why".


The Pitfalls of Asking "Why"


Asking "Why" seems innocent enough.


Toddlers do it all the time!


It implies a quest for purpose, a desire to unearth the motivations driving actions and decisions.


Many self-help gurus and motivational speakers advocate for relentless introspection, urging us to peel back the layers of our psyche to find that elusive "Why?"


The answer will supposedly unlock the door to our true selves and guide us in all our decision-making.


However, the problem lies in the very nature of the question.


Here are a few reasons that explain how "Why" is the wrong approach:


"Why" often forces us to look backward

"Why" often forces us to look backward, to seek explanations for our past choices, actions, and circumstances. Most of the reasoning for our actions, environmental or emotional triggers are gone. "Why" asks us to rely upon our memory, which is often biased and faulty. While retrospection can be valuable, it can also tether us to our history, making it difficult to move forward.

"Why" is infinite
"Why" is ineffective with certain disorders
"Why" can lead to manipulation

Conclusion

In a world where the pressure to discover our "Why" can be overwhelming, it's time to rethink our approach to self-actualization and purpose.


Starting with "Why" can leave us stuck in a web of explanations and easily influenced by external forces.


It can also make us idle, standing still to uncover our "secret power" before me make any decision on building the future.


In contrast, starting with "What" empowers us to chart our own course, set our own goals, and take control of our destinies.


I will be adding more to that thought in my next post: Start with "What": The Path to Productive Fulfillment.


Thanks for reading my notes,


Good Luck!

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