How to find the why behind the ‘why?’


“Yes Josie….”

“Why is the sky blue?”

Oh wow! Here we go again

“Well, I think it’s something to do with the light bouncing off the atmosphere”

“yes, but why?”

“because that’s what happens when the light from the sun hits the protective layer around the earth, it shines off the sea like a mirror and the sea is blue so the sky is blue” (I’ve no idea why the sky is blue as you can tell)

“hmmm” that’s silly – why is the sea blue then?”

“because the sky is blue and it would look silly if they were different colours?”

“yes, but WHY is it blue?  Why isn’t it purple or red with blue spots?”

“Why don’t you google it Josie?”

What I loved about this, despite being made to feel like an idiot at the time, was her persistence.  She kept looking for the answer behind the answer and more importantly she could see there was always another question to be asked.

I like this because as we grow up, we stop looking for the why behind the why.  We often just accept the first answer we come across and inevitably end up fixing an effect rather than the cause.

We end up doing things because they’ve “always been done like that” or because it’s easier to do what we can see in front of us rather than digging up something that may be more challenging to deal with.

So, have a think about the tasks you’re currently doing.  Why are you doing them?  Are they going to stick a plaster over a wound or fix the reason the wound is there in the first place?

Are you putting into place permanent structures or just providing a temporary fix?

Get clear on why you’re doing stuff because you’ll end up doing more of the right stuff and this will move you forwards far more effectively.