The Importance of Asking Why

knowledge personal growth questioning Jun 28, 2023

Have you ever stopped to ponder why? Whether it's something as small as asking yourself why you said what you said or as big as questioning the meaning of life, "why" is a powerful word. This simple question can help us better understand ourselves and our world and even change our lives. So it's essential to stop and consider why when faced with challenging situations. By understanding the importance of asking why, we can unlock new possibilities and explore perspectives previously thought unimaginable.

Asking why helps us think, decide, and act for a change

Perhaps for many of us, we like to do things as we are told or accept them for what they are without bothering to think sometimes why such things are the way they are. We can be too busy with our work and daily responsibilities, or maybe we lose the curiosity we once had when we were children and keep asking about many things. We assume everything we do is true and correct, and as long as there is no immediate need to ask why things work and for what, we just let things go as they are.

Asking questions is essential for learning, and it can broaden our perspectives if we decide to do it more often. What we see and do may not all be what they seem, so having a curious mind can prove beneficial to know the deeper reasons behind things and help us decide and act on them later. If you start asking about various things more often, you can gain more of the following benefits.

1. Asking questions prevents you from making assumptions

Assumptions occur when we think something is a fact and valid without knowing the truth. As a result, we may start deciding and acting on something without knowing fully what we are getting into. Misunderstandings and mishaps can then happen. All of these could have been prevented if we had only asked about something unclear and not done something unless we had a full grasp of the situation. By asking essential questions, we can understand something better and make the proper decisions and actions based on what we have learned. It's always better to ask than to assume, so we can prevent failures from happening.

2. You get closer to the truth

Sometimes, the things that we know may not be the truth. What we think is the truth may only be the outermost layer that is protecting or hiding the facts. We can only get to the truth if we probe deep enough and ask hard questions like "why." Just look at how people who work in law enforcement get the facts out of criminals or suspects. They keep asking questions until the suspected person or criminal divulges the truth. In the same way, we may also figure out the truth about something if we ask hard enough and keep doing it until we exhaust everything we want to know. It's possible that we may not get any conclusive answers for continuously asking, but at least we can get an idea that something may not be what they seem they are, especially if others try to withhold something from us.

3. You get a greater sense of purpose by asking

Having a sense of purpose helps make us more motivated to do things and have peace of mind by fully knowing what we are doing and for what reason. We won't get a definitive reason why we must do or why something works in a particular way since the cause may not be told explicitly to us unless we ask why. Some may think it is enough to do things as we are told or believe in something, but our lives can be more meaningful if we know the various "whys" of life. For example, if you know who directly benefits from your work and how it affects other institutions, won't you feel more motivated to do your work knowing that somebody else benefits from it and improves their lives? As another example, knowing the reason behind your goals or why you have to do something can make you more inclined to do them, knowing that there is something you can gain in the end. It will only be possible to identify these reasons if we take the time to ask ourselves and those concerned with our queries.

4. You can act and decide better by knowing the whole situation

To make effective decisions and actions, we must learn about the details of whatever endeavor we plan to pursue. We have to ask questions about many things to get a complete picture of what we are getting into and ensure we succeed. By knowing more about things, we can decide whether to pursue something, so we won't waste our time and effort doing something that may not work, which we could only know if we ask experts and other helpful people about what we want to do.

5. We can learn and grow by asking

Our view of the world can be more limited if we only restrict our knowledge to what others tell us and not gaining deeper insight into various things ourselves. Asking questions, especially the "why" questions, are part of learning, and if we want to grow and improve continuously, we should be more inquisitive about things. We can understand our preferences and beliefs more if we get to know something better, and new opportunities may open. Our relationships with people can change, for better or for worse, once we know the true motives behind their actions and what they say to us. We may pursue a better and different path if we realize that something is amiss with our current path, and we could only know this if we asked questions.

We get more insight into various things by asking.

Some of us may fear asking others, particularly the "why" questions, because others may see us as too nosy or challenging their authority. However, we should not be too complacent with whatever others tell us to do. Questioning helps with critical thinking and makes us more independent in following our beliefs and interests and doing things because we want them and know they are right. We are not saying that others are prone to lying, but if we don't learn to ask more, we can be subject to following only whatever others want us to do and not living life according to how we want. Curiosity can continue well beyond our childhood days and help us see the world differently, and it can be done simply by asking more about things that catch our interest.

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