If you can’t figure out why, ask yourself “why not?”

by Paul Goodchild on June 23, 2014

Ever stop to ask why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Of course you have.

But, do you always answer it though?

The only way we grow, get better, be happier, and feel like we’re actually making progress, is to question what we’re doing and most of all, WHY we’re doing it. Then adapt accordingly.

Often we deliberately ignore this question, and the answer, because it’s difficult to deal with sometimes, or it’s just plain hard get to the bottom of it.

I’m finding that, to help get around this impasse I’m coming at it from another direction and simply asking ‘why not’ instead.

Example: Why stay in Valencia?

I’m questioning this at the moment. Things have just developed in Valencia to the point where I feel a change of scenery is needed.

I don’t know if it’s because perhaps Valencia just isn’t “my city”, or I just haven’t given it enough time.

Something isn’t right; life hasn’t clicked yet, and I’m not as content as I’d like.

I’ve been kept busy with the business for most of my time here, but I’m finally getting some balance into place. However, that balance is highlighting that in-fact, there may have been an underlying reason all-along why I never got the balance quite right.

I had a similar dilemma in Japan – it was hard to bring myself to leave even though I knew deep down I had to.

The difference with Japan is that I was absolutely loving life!  I had lots of free time, a great disposable income, hobbies, a best of all wonderful network of friends.

Life in Valencia is starkly different and I haven’t been able to fix it. There are some reasons for that being the case, and I take full responsibility for it.  But my negligence doesn’t fully explain the difference.

So what to do?

If I wasn’t going to be in Valencia, where would I like to be?  My first pick, if you ask me today at least, is Buenos Aires.  I’ve always wanted to go to South America, and Buenos Aires has always attracted me.

I can’t quite answer the question of why I would leave Valencia, so instead, I’m asking why I shouldn’t go to Buenos Aires.

Well why shouldn’t I?

I honestly can’t think of a good reason.

The lack of why nots is a clear sign that I could, and probably should, just go to BA.

And that’s where I’m at – unless something drastic happens in the next 6 months, after I go to Brazil, I think an extended stay in BA is on the cards.

When you’re stuck on the ‘Why’ … ask the ‘Why Nots’

Is there a change you want to make?  Something you want to do but can’t find the push and reasoning to do it?

Perhaps you are afraid of what you’ll lose with changing the status quo?  Understandable.

Instead of facing it directly you could try these 3 simple steps:

  • think of how you would like things to be after the change
  • think of a few of the steps you could take to get to that resulting change
  • then ask yourself why you shouldn’t take each one of those steps. Why not?

It’s simple, it’s obvious, but perhaps this helps you get somewhere you’ve been wanting to go for a long time.

Give it a try.  Why not?

Clearly define what it is you want to try out and ask why you shouldn’t do that. When you can’t think of clear reasons to not do that “thing”, then you know the only resistence standing in the way is you.

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