Many of us know of the 5 why process in strategic thinking. Few of us use in our day to day lives or work.
What would happen if you asked yourself ‘why am I doing this’ this week rather than being on autopilot? Especially the things we do on auto pilot. Things like ‘why do I check my email every 15 minutes or every hour?’ Why am I doing it now?
Perhaps we’ll discover interesting or uncomfortable truths about ourselves. Perhaps we’ll find out we’re bored or distracted. Or perhaps we’ll discover our need for affirmation, our need for feeling like we matter or being ‘seen’. And that we are trying to fulfil that need in strange ways.
And perhaps in recognising our patterns we will decide to make changes. Or better yet, perhaps we’ll recognise patterns in ourselves and realise that others also have patterns and be a bit more empathetic.
And here’s the thing. We can see patterns in our behaviour, but we can also see it in our thinking. So why are we pushing certain digital technologies and transformations? Why are we wanting to use biometrics or artificial intelligence? My guess is that if we ask why 5 times we’ll likely discover it is some mixture of efficiency, wanting to be like others/ not left behind, and wanting to be ‘cool’/viewed as ‘innovative’.
And so perhaps by asking why of ourselves, we’ll discover how we need to ‘get out of our own way’ so our impact on the world can flourish.