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The Best One Word Question

I realized recently how much I do out of routine.

The routine of my own habits.

The routine of other people’s expectations.

So I started asking myself a question every day.

Many, many times throughout the day.

It’s the best question ever.

And it’s only one word.

Why?

Why am I about to RSVP to this event?

Why am I setting up this meeting?

Why am I feeling bummed out right now?

But I don’t let myself end there.

I’ll follow it up by asking again: “no, really, why?

If it’s a complicated why, sometimes I’ll draw it out – create a little diagram that looks like the expanding roots of a tree. I’ll keep asking myself “why?” until I get to the real answer.

My questioning of myself isn’t about passing judgment. It’s about understanding motivation.

Because understanding motivation is the key to helping me separate out what’s truly important from what’s not.