Why is the sky blue? Why did that stranger cross my street today? Why did I react the way I did? Why are you reading this blog? Why am I feeling this way? Why are we having so many questions every day? And why does it look like there’s no end to this?
A “Why” is a sign of reflection, a sign of an awaken consciousness, who questions and wonders about the world, inner and outer including its adjectives. Every ultimate truth can be questioned (see the post A failed prodigy on objectivity). We are misled that if we don’t ask ourselves why, we may overlook some important information and may draw some (perhaps fatal) false conclusions. There is a word »misled«, have you noticed? It’s there intentionally. Asking why provides us with a glimpse that by figuring out the reasons for something, we should be able to come up with solutions. That’s not always the case.
The “why”, if we are lucky to find an answer, provides us with knowledge why things are the way they appear to be. Provides us with knowledge about the EXISTING CONCEPT. the description and possible explanation. Not always sufficient ground for a change, for a solution.
You probably know the proverb that the same thinking that got you into this is not going to get you out. It’s probably true. Rumor has it Henry Ford said something like
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
It’s not important whether he actually said that or not, the idea is that if he would believe and listen to his customers, he would come up with faster horses. But by thinking in different ways, he invented the first mass-produced American automobile. The question WHY was not the right nor the best choice. Maybe he asked himself questions like WHAT NEXT, WHAT IF, what MIGHT I do, etc.
The questions direct the path our thoughts follow. It’s not so much having the right answer, it’s asking the right question! Asking why will explain. Asking what next will open up the possibility. So why is good when you want to find out what about from the beginning up until now and you have plenty of time to find out, because there may well be many dead ends. However it’s insufficient to move on, towards what next. That’s where Solution Focused Approach comes on stage.