Make Your Life Easier: Replace Why with How

6a00c225266b2e8e1d00fa9684a1e40002-320pi (JPEG Image, 320x300 pixels)-1According to my parents, I almost institutionalized them with my non-stop questions.

You know, the normal kid questions i.e. Why can’t I chew gum that’s been spit-up? Why don’t people eat the crust (sandwiches)? Why is my face so flat? (all questions I’ve asked, btw), so naturally, “Why?” was the initial word that would come out of mouth for a loooong time.

Several years ago, I noticed most “Why” questions lead to “How” questions.

For example:
“Crap. X and x, now xyz!”, followed by “WHY”s. Why did this happen? Why would it happen? Why couldn’t we prevent it? …and more often times than not, followed by finger pointing, blame, and focusing on what went wrong and frankly, talking in circles.

Once the dust (and panic) settles, we move on to solutions:

  • How did this happen?
  • How can we properly execute this?
  • How can we effectively communicate this?
  • How could we have prevented it?
  • How can we ensure this never happens again?

By consciously asking more “How” instead of “Why”s right off the bat, I’ve reached solutions more efficiently and quicker …or simply: my life became a trillion times easier.

Since my how question method, emails have been drastically cut down, there are faster turn-arounds, almost always on schedule, etc., etc., because you see, the “how” is often buried in the “why”s.

So for my peers that read this (if you guys still do…I haven’t been updating) – try it, and let me know if I’m load of crap. :)
Image courtesy of Natalie Dee…god I LOVE her!

3 thoughts on “Make Your Life Easier: Replace Why with How

  1. Thanks for this :) After half the night not being able to sleep and just accidently stumbling over this post/website i have to tell you you where right, the reason i couldnt sleep was work and why related but trust me ill attack them with a how state of mind this monday :)

  2. hehe, oh yeah :) now lets see. It didnt go quite as i planned, because when i want to attack someone i find that i do need all the information i can gather. So in the morning i started preparing and gathering intel, i quickly found out how it could have gone wrong (2 different sets of documentation) and while skimming to the long pieces of text i could replace a lot of why’s with how’s and thats where it started to go another way, (sorry was interrupted by a server crash), i felt more at ease than earlier that morning and instead of wondering why i should fix it i was more wondering how i should fix it.

    And now the company booked me and a colleague a nice and expensive hotel in Frankfurt just to go out and solve the problems.

    As i said, it didnt go as i planned but at least it did stop myself from being angry for no reason :)

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