Why instead of How

Often, I notice myself asking how to do something when I really should be asking why.

  • How do I get up earlier in the morning instead of hitting the snooze three times, or ditching the alarm altogether?
  • How do I eat healthier foods while still enjoying opportunities to go out with friends?
  • How do I stay focused on one project at a time instead of getting distracted every two seconds, or procrastinating?

For each of these kinds of questions, the question shouldn’t be How. It should be Why.

  • Why do I get up early on the mornings when I do get up early?
  • Why do I need to eat healthier foods? Why are certain social obligations so important to me?
  • Why do I easily focus on some projects but not others? Why do I procrastinate?

In other words, what’s the motivation? The rest is just details. While still important, they aren’t the real obstacle.

Do you notice yourself asking How when you should be asking Why?

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