The Power of “Why?”

By Kiersten Meehan

Every morning begins with a routine. We wake at a standard hour, dress ourselves, eat something relatively nutritious while inhaling some sort of caffeinated beverage, and choose the same route of transit to arrive at our destination by the time listed on a schedule provided to us prior. We continue to adhere to our general habits day by day with little variance, for that might compromise the typical well-to-do sort of person we have ceaselessly been striving to become. But to what end? When does bowing to these mundane routines, established schedules and prescribed rules constructed by others actually turn into something you want personally? The thing is, it usually never does.

Today, people are clocking in more hours, with little opportunity to advance. Less vacation days are being allocated freely and the retirement age is steadily increasing. These routines clearly govern our lives but what is most interesting is that they, themselves, are rarely held up to speculation. We seemingly never ask ourselves “why?”.

This becomes even more puzzling when examining the number of people who actually enjoy what they do. According to the most recent Gallup report, only 13% of employees worldwide are “engaged”, or emotionally invested, in their jobs, which is more discouraging than just simply perplexing. Nevertheless, despite such widespread discontent, the question of “why?” still remains suppressed more often than not.

Power of Why (2)

Perhaps “why?” does not put food on the table nor sends children to college. Perhaps “why?” does not change the fact that “this is just how the world works”. But most importantly, perhaps “why?” is just easier not to ask.

Taking a step back to self-survey and reexamine your choices can readily erode comfort, damaging that sense of purpose and external value brought to your life for so long by these roles and careers. Such a question prompts us to consider the possibility that our brief moment on this earth is simply an elaborate journey leading nowhere, making our current desires, goals, and actions all seem pointlessly absurd. It makes us realize how much time has been wasted setting aside favored activities, loved ones and all things genuine to us for something we have no personal connection to.

So with that, perhaps it is easier to rather not ask. But as a result of this, each day there appears to be more and more people becoming entrenched with this external reality made up of social standards and rules, while fewer and fewer people living dangerously, exceptionally, intensely and passionately.

Thus, to me, avoiding the question altogether seems like a major cop-out and without ever asking, you will never start seeing the world for what it really is: Yours.


One thought on “The Power of “Why?””

  1. Ms. Meehan,
    As a man in his 20s, this may be one of the most impactful articles that I’ve ever read. I have the sweetest gig in the world, and its all thanks to following my gut instinct. Keep following your’s and you’ll make it,

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