It’s common in conversation to ask “what are you doing”? Our responses are mostly monotone for we simply are sharing facts. Describing the activity we find ourselves in at this moment. Not only are we often asked this, but we too ask this same question of others.
When changing this question to “why are you doing – what you are doing?”, we tend to pause. Filling the conversation with silence. For we don’t often approach our activities with such a critical eye.
Why is used more in trying to understand things that occur outside of ourselves. Why does a problem exist? Why is this happening at this time? Why are you so stressed? To all of these questions, its purpose is to discover new information that will help to make sense of the world around us. To make evident things that are not when first confronting them.
What is much more straightforward and easier to answer. What problem exists most times seem evident. What is happening can easily be described by many. The stress we see in others can be traced to what is happening at this time.
Why is a much more elusive player. Always seeking to go deeper beyond what can be seen. What is not only more evident but also much easier to self report. Where why is easier to discuss about everything outside of ourselves but very difficult for us to answer internally. We don’t use why often in conversation. Rarely do we ask it of ourselves.
Answering a question of why requires more focus and deeper listening. Why did we choose to do what we did? Why can only be answered when there is more trust between the parties discussing it. Asking why, slows everything down. Giving time for reflection. Exposing the weakness in our thinking that ultimately confuses us when making our choices. For we have not thought things though as well as we should. Often, we have no good answer to the question why. At least, not the first time this question of why appears.
Thinking about why more often can be very helpful. In sorting things out. Finding where we are in the midst of everything else. Giving us a chance to “measure twice” before we cut so that we are more secure in knowing what we chose to focus on is what we truly seek in our lives by understanding our why.