Over the past several years, I have been spreading the message that success is about never being afraid to ask why.
From the early age of two, most infants repeatedly annoy their parents by constantly asking them, “why?, Why?, WHY?” But by the time these young inquisitive toddlers get to their formative teenage years, they have lost the ability to ask why because most likely it was slowly beaten out of them by a cynical, practical educational agenda.
Most people today simply live life in a world of “how”. “Just tell me how to get the job” or “how to make money?” or “how to do this and I will just do it.” “How” is the ‘poster-word’ for status quo! There is no creativity in how.
My theory is that young people have become afraid to ask “why” because they are either perceived as stupid by older adults and peers, or even worse, a parent, teacher, or someone else they look up to got annoyed with them because they dared to inquire and they themselves did not know the answer and simply tried to save face. As a result, most theoretically-minded individuals have merely become the minority in a society that desperately needs to change.
The theoretical allows us to understand not only ‘how’ but ‘why’ we do something. This allows one to become creative in either solving or improving upon something that has simply “always been done this way”. TED lecturer Simon Sinek does an excellent job explaining the theoretical success of Steve Jobs’ innovative genius behind Apple’s brand loyalty: “People don’t buy ‘what’ you do, but ‘why’ you do it!”
“Why” empowers an individual with the confidence and creativity to challenge the status quo and go beyond the “how”. In my experience, truly successful people always go the extra mile to figure out the “why” because it enables them to consistently recreate their success. Once you understand “why”, you can improve on an idea, innovate based upon the changing times, or, more importantly, discontinue something if it no longer works.
This is why I strongly believe that in order to really achieve success and get good at something, you not only need to learn how something is done, but I strongly suggest you understand why. I guarantee you that a highly successful person has already figured out not only “what” they were doing wrong, but why they needed to improve on what they already knew in order to beat out the competition.
“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” ~ John Maxwell
Throughout my new book, Demystifying Success: Success Tools and Secrets They Don’t Teach You in High School, I provide my readers with both the theoretical (“the why”) and practical (“the how”) knowledge that I have acquired from my own and others’ past experiences in order to help them navigate life’s obstacles and pitfalls. It is my goal to re-educate young adults, as well as adults of all ages, about the ‘power of why’ so that all can reap their own personal and financial success throughout their lives.
By simply committing yourself to embracing a theoretical “why” approach to learning and living, you will greatly enhance your outcomes for success.