There are a lot of important questions we ask in life: Who? What? When? Where? How?
But the most important of these is the one we ask the least often: Why?
Granted, why? is the hardest question to answer. But just because it can be difficult to answer doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be asked.
Why? is the question with the most potential and the greatest opportunity to spark new life going forward.
When I first began minimizing and removing possessions from my home, I found myself asking lots of questions: Where should I start? How will I ever get through my entire home? Where should I drop off these items? How will I ever get this old piano out of the basement?
Lots of questions.
However, as the process continued, I began asking myself fewer what?, where?, and how? questions. No longer wondering what process might work best for my family, I began asking myself more difficult questions, including:
Why did I buy all this stuff in the first place?
In the end, it was this question that brought the greatest potential and opportunity into my new life. It was this question of why? that forced me to uncover and evaluate the unseen, unhealthy motivations that were contributing to my over-accumulation in the first place. Once I knew them, I was better equipped to overcome them.
That’s what makes this question so important. Why? forces us to stand face-to-face with questions of motivation and impulse. It requires us to confront the reason behind the actions.
As a result, it offers opportunity wherever it is asked:
What is the first thing you do in the morning? Why?
What are the unhealthy habits in your life? Why are they there?
What worries do you carry? Why is that so?
What fears do you have? Why do you have them?
What struggle points do you have in your marriage? Why?
Do you enjoy your work? Why?
Are you getting ahead financially? Why not?
Are you content with your life? Why or why not?
Are you happy? Why or why not?
With each question, we journey deeper and deeper into our heart.
The what? and where? and when? questions may reveal facts. But the why? question uncovers motives.
And that is how self-reflection begins to emerge.
And it is self-reflection that paves the way for the greatest self-improvement.