If I had to choose a single question to live my life by, that would be the one-word question: ''why?'' And today, I want to share with you, funny enough, why that is.
But I'm not only going to tell you why I think that this is the most important question that we should be asking ourselves, but I'm also going to split this general why question, into two more specific questions, that if you welcome into your life, will bring so much light and clarity into your days, that you'll never want to stop using them.
So here's the first why question that in my opinion, we should all be asking ourselves more often:
1. Why are you doing what you're doing?
For real. Why?
Here goes an example. Why are you eating what you're eating? Is it because you're truly hungry, or is it because you're trying to numb yourself from something else? Maybe you're feeling anxious, because people are looking at you, and you don't know what to say or where to look. So you grab another bite, and another one and another one. Maybe you're just bored. Maybe you're trying to bring more excitement into your life, and you know that a bite of that delicious thing will instantly give you what you're looking for, at least for a few minutes. And well, that's better than nothing. That's a lot better than that emptiness, anger or sadness that you're feeling.
I'm not judging
And see, I'm not judging you. And please, if you do these things that I just mentioned, don't judge yourself for them. That's not what I'm trying to get you to do. In fact, where do you think that these examples that I'm giving you are coming from? They come from me and from my life. These are things that I've done quite a lot before, and which I still do sometimes, but at least, because now I know about them, I don't do them as much as if I was unaware of them. And the reason why I'm aware of them, is simply because I've learned to ask why, just out of curiosity, and especially without judgement.
So that's the first type of why that I like to ask myself. The why behind the things that I'm doing. Answering this question reveals the intention behind my actions and allows me to become a lot more mindful about the decisions that I make.
There's a huge difference
There's a difference between eating something because of the joy of savouring every bite of a meal and truly appreciating its richness, or shoving stuff down your throat trying to find a way to scape from your feelings and emotions. And if you ask yourself why, you'll find the true intention behind what you're doing.
Here goes another example. Why are you going to that event? Is it to share a special moment with people that you truly care about, or is it to not seem boring or impolite? Are you going there because of the excitement of experiencing something special, or because of the fear of being judged? And see, the magic behind asking why, is that you can also intentionally choose to change the answer to your why. You can choose to shift your intention from fear of being judged to excitement of having a great time. So when it comes to being mindful about what to do, you have many options:
One option is to say, ''you know what? I'm going to show up, but not because I'm afraid that they'll judge me if I don't. I'm going to choose to see this event differently, and I'm going to open up to the possibility of actually having a good time. Maybe what I need to do, is to lower my expectations a bit with respect to what I should be experiencing in this event. Maybe I just need to show up and stay curious. maybe I just need to stop expecting that this will be a life changing event. Maybe, having a good time can look different to what I'm used to''.
Another option, is to simply acknowledge that you don't have a good reason to show up. Maybe you've already been through enough, to know that this is just not for you. Maybe you need to accept that the only reason why you were going to show up, was because of fear of being judged. And maybe, you're ready to stop living life from fear. So maybe, asking why now, will lead you to what will truly make you happier.
A third option, would be to change nothing because you don't feel like change is needed. Maybe when you ask why, you realise that you actually do want to show up to this event. Maybe you realise that it's a great opportunity for you to connect, to evolve and to grow in the way in which you want to. And so, asking why is helping you reassure that you're doing something for the right reasons,
And a fourth option, would be to know that you have no good reason to go other than fear, and still show up, because of fear. And well, if living your life from a place of fear, is something that you want to do, of course you're welcome to do it. I mean, it's your life so go ahead. But I personally, wouldn't recommend it.
So those where a few examples of things that might arise when you ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing. But now, I want to move on to the second type of why question that I like to ask. And that is:
2. Why do you feel the way you feel?
I'm a big fat believer that all feelings are trying to tell us something. But not so much something about other people, but something about ourselves. Feelings are a reflection of what we believe about ourselves, and asking why, with love and kindness, instantly reveals what those beliefs are. So here goes the first example of this type of why.
Why are you feeling so tired? Why are you drinking so much coffee to function? Is it because you´re not sleeping enough? And why are you not sleeping enough? Is it because you don't have the time? Or because you haven't prioritised your sleep? And if you haven't, why haven't you? Is there too many things that you feel like you need to do? And if there are, why is it so hard to let go of some of them? There has to be something that you can let go of, right? At least one thing. So why is it so hard for you to let go of that one thing? Is it because of what other people will think if you do? Or, is it because of what you believe you will become, if you downgrade the importance of certain things? Maybe you believe that not doing certain things, will make you look like something that you don't like, because you've been taught that you shouldn't be that thing. And maybe, it's this messy chain of stuff, what's not allowing you to sleep more and therefore is making you feel so tired.
And here's another example. Why are you feeling so vulnerable and emotional? Is it because you feel lonely? Is it because you're scared that you're not doing things right to get to where you want to be? Is it because you feel like you're not enough if you don't achieve certain things?
Asking why you feel the way you feel, over and over again, leads you straight into beliefs that you carry not only about who you are, but about what you believe to be right or wrong, smart or dumb, cool or stupid. And once you reach those statements about what you believe to be true, then you can question why you believe that that is, and finally, if that is actually true.
A whole lot of information
That's a whole lot of information that you can get about yourself, by simply asking why, as long as you're doing it from a place of loving curiosity and not from a place of judgement and shaming.
So if you want to live your life in a more intentional way and to let your intentions create a journey that you want to be in, then I encourage you to ask why, often. I encourage you to ask why, and to welcome the honest answer that your heart brings to light right after, even if it's a little painful to see. Even if it's a little awkward, because it's a why that will push you to do things differently, trust me, it's a question worth asking. Because this, is the question that will give you the motivation and the discipline that you need, to move away from a life that's not for you, and say hello, to the life that you were always meant to live.
So today, please, start asking yourself ''why am I doing what I'm doing and why am I feeling the way in which I'm feeling?''