in Short Stories

Don’t ask How? Ask Why?

A man was working on his laptop when his mother asked him “Do you want some coffee, I am making for myself?”

“No, mother. I am busy” came the reply.

“Doing what?”

“I am looking at some tips for how to write a book”.

“Ok. Then what will you do.”, the mother asked, looking lost by his software engineer son’s desire to write a book.

“Ah.. I have some vacations coming up too in December. I want to travel outside the country this time. I need to find out how to travel the maximum and see the most places in those 7 days of vacation.”

“But why?”, enquired his mother.

 "There are no right answers to wrong questions." - Ursula K. Le Guin

“There are no right answers to wrong questions.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

“Why what?”, the man shot back.

“Why are you writing a book? Why do you want to travel outside the country? And Why do you want to visit a lot of places in 7 days?”

“Hmmm, never thought about it this way”, the man said.

“Then think now. Replace the ‘how‘ in your questions with ‘why‘ and see what happens.” His mom said, explaining further, “The hows will give you answers too, but the whys will give powerful insights about what you really want…”

Like in the above story, we also live most our days trying to figure out how to do this, how to do that? Even when we meet people, we ask them – How did you become popular? How did you get into this job? and so on. If we were to replace the hows with whys, we would get a real peek into who we really are and what do we actually desire. Just changing the hows to whys can make a lot of difference in our lives.

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