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“Why?” That is the Question!

(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by Scott & Elaine van der Chijs)

The best thing about going on vacation is that you get to escape for a while. At least that is what you hope for. Last week I got back from one of those vacations that you wish went longer. We got to reconnect with old friends, family and visit some old haunts. It was one of those vacations that you are forced to ask the the question, “Why?” Why are you going back to your normal life? Why are you going back to your job? Why do you do what you do from day to day when you aren’t on vacation?

I think it is good to ask the question, “Why?” Not only that, I think it is good to be able to answer the question, “Why?” Seth Godin had an interesting post about it. It’s short, so I’ll paste the text below:

This is a simple mantra that is going to change the way you attend every meeting and every conference for the rest of your life.

You probably don’t have to be there. No gun held to your head, after all. So, why are you spending the time?

Do you have an agenda? It might be to change the agenda, or meet someone who will become a client or to learn something that will help you at work tomorrow.

Well, if that’s why you’re here, tell me again why you’re just sitting there? If the only reason you came was to avoid the office, you need a new office. Quick, before the boss decides that for you.

Surely you have a question you can ask the speaker. Surely you have something interesting to say to the person sitting next to you. Surely you can do more than just sheepishly hand someone a business card they have no reason to save or remember or use.

If there isn’t a good reason, go home. If there is, then do something. Loud, now and memorable. Productive too, please.

Whenever I come across people who can’t answer the question, “Why?” or they don’t have a good reason, I ask then ask the question, “Why don’t you do something else, then?” It’s easy to get stuck doing something for no reason or lame reasons. The only remedy to that is to stop making excuses and do something you DO have a reason for doing.

  • Why are you doing what you are doing?
  • Why aren’t you doing something else?
  • Have you taken enough time away to be able to even ask yourself the question, “Why?”
  • What are you doing to do now?

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