I am a proponent of not asking “Why?” Based upon new information I am prepared to reconsider.

I believe that why is a bad question any time you are discussing someone’s actions or behavior.  People have automatic negative reactions.  Why did you not do your homework, will always get a defensive answer.  Why did you buy that stock will discover nothing.  How did you come to own that stock might.

I have recently learned of another viewpoint. Last week, Hamilton, Ontario based Gerry Visca sent me an email with a link to one of his YouTube videos.  You can connect to his material here.

Gerry’s point and as it turns out, his colleague Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup fame, is that “Why?” empowers you.  You won’t do much without passion, and why can help you understand and focus that passion.

My earlier view is that why is a question that people use to dominate and so should be used sparingly.  Why has positive aspects too.  Last week, I mentioned that you should encourage children to ask why.  Their why is a method to acquire dots that they can make into a picture of their own life.

After watching the video Gerry recommended, I had another thought.  .

Why? is a strategic question. Why clarifies the strategic matching of who, what, with what, when, and where.

Why can lead to better answers about tactics.  Once you know what you want to do, tactics will be next, the how you go about it. People have trouble dealing with tactics and strategy with the same thought process.  Why can provide the transition.  It is like turning a page.

In one form, why provides information.  In another, why focuses passion and provides focus and endurance.  In yet another, it connects strategy to tactic without overlapping thoughts.

Useful!   Thanks Gerry


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Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario. Contact: don@moneyfyi.com

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