Don’t Ask Why, Ask How: What to do When you Feel Lost

just ask how
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Perhaps the most famous question ought to be “How me?” and not “Why me?” this article explains why you should start to ask How.Truth is that it is not your responsibility to take hold of your life, as I may often contradict myself in saying. It is not a responsibility but a decision that requires your competence. And the uncertainty over competence breeds fears, for if you fail, you must be ready to glare at the mirror once it is time to assign blame.

 

The reason most of us choose not to be free, not to dare for that which we most desire is because if we fail, we’d have to deal with pointing the finger at ourselves. So how do you become competent in driving your life towards your desired ambitions? You ask how.

 

The Question is Ask How

If you want to embody competence in your life, you must stop asking why as you focus on how.

 

“Why is the sky blue,” children ask as their mind begin to experiment with wonder at an early age.

 

“Why doesn’t he/she like me,” some teenage boys/girls may ask amongst friends as they sort through puberty and bubbling hormones.

 

“Why am I here,” some say as young adults hitting an existentialist crisis.

 

And then there is perhaps the most famous question ever asked in the history of man, “why me.”

 

Next time you come across a life difficulty do not ask why ask how. Look at your circumstances, refusing to place blame on anyone but yourself. But be gentle and know that you only focus on yourself because you can’t control what others do, not because you are solely to blame. What others do to you, accept as their choices. You only need to understand by asking how.

 

Asking how turns you into the scientist of your own life, thereby making you much more immune to those uncontrollable feeling of regret and remorse that you cannot control.

 

And remember like a scientist you must always rely on the truth no matter how damaging it may be for everything you always thought about yourself. You will be surprised how liberating it is to find the root of a problem by asking how, no matter how uncomfortable your investigation makes you, no matter how many mistakes of perspective and action you realize you once held. Once you get to the bottom of How you feel ready to be better and more equipped for the future.

The much more productive question is always how and not why.

 



 

Why How is Important

 

How and why are both sibling questions that drive to the truth. Except one is the beloved kid brother, who settles for superficiality and immediacy while the other demands investigations, begging your participation.

 

The one quality I admire about religion is that it attempts to answer life’s most pressing question by giving us reasons that explain our most profound “why’s” just as philosophy does. But unlike philosophy, religion seems to prescribe the exact hows that can be practised on a daily basis. By engaging the how’s of being devout, one is convinced he/she is. Find the little how’s necessary for you to live the life you desire.

 

Muslims pray five times a day.

 

Jews do not eat pork and observe the Sabbath.

 

Christians pay their tithes, baptize their children and regard Sunday as a holiday to be spent in Church.

 

You can physically throw yourself into a practice and call it faith.

 

Religion does not solely relax by telling you that you are here because of God. It goes the extra step by listing in full detail how you must follow him, depending on your denomination. The how matters.

 

Philosophy pales in comparison. There are no accessible and unchallenging ways of how to become a true existentialist, taking on life’s responsibilities squarely on your shoulders, making a life your desire for your freedom. We need the how’s to guide us, to hold how hand and guide us with a reassurance that we are following a set of principles correctly.

 

Imagine if science stopped at asking why. We would see the apple on the ground and settle for the fact that it fell from the tree. Perhaps Isaac Newton may still have stumbled on gravity but that a new science would not have been born from an investigation of how the force works. In asking how you are no longer powerless to the unknown.

 

In engaging the how you occupy your time with activities that frees you from the anxiety of being bound to inexplicable circumstances. And you must admit that a lot of your time has felt like a leaf caught in a storm because you never stopped to understand and own how your situation came to be. You were not yet competent at mastering your life.

 

In engaging the how you occupy your time with activities that frees you from the anxiety of being bound to inexplicable circumstances. And you must admit that a lot of your time has felt like a leaf caught in a storm because you never stopped to understand and own how your situation came to be. You were not yet competent at mastering your life.

 

So just how do you participate in the phenomena of your own life by asking how?

 

How about Getting past your Initial Reaction

Kristina and I had a conversation where we discussed her luckiest friend, Marta. Marta is a bonafide engineering genius. She doesn’t bother to explain why she loves bridges so much but when she takes a walk with her friends, she is always keen to point out a bridge or building she admires.

 

“I just love Venice,” Marta says, “to get the water pumping out at just the right level so as to susatin the city and its infrastructure is one of the wonders of the world.” She isn’t making vague comments when she says things like this.

 

Marta sees the sketches that designed what we take for granted and she marvels on the pipes that burrow underground, with a deep appreciation for the ingenuity that contributes to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

 

And according to Kristina, Marta has always had good fortune come her way. She is a 24-year-old from Spain who spent a year in Washington, D.C to finish up her engineering degree. A feat she achieved on after deciding to send her application to the exchange program on the very last day, still receiving an honorary scholarship. In the midst of an economic crisis, she found a job after a month in which she would rotate through a flourishing company in Manchester, England.

 

But just last week on a weekend excursion to Brussels, Marta was stranded by a Ryan airlines flight, grounded in a foreign city only to receive a 250 euro check for compensation. A sum that was 20 euros more than we received when the similar thing happened to Kristina and I as we were leaving Germany last year.

 

“You can ask why Marta is so lucky,” I said to Kristina. “And usually say the same thing, ‘she has always been like that.’Or you can actively ask, how come she gets to be so lucky.”

 

Marta throws herself in the things she wants and figured things out as she goes, committed to finding the resolution she seeks.

 

Marta was top of her class because she locked herself in a room and studied, not just what was asked of her but anything that made her curious. She almost doesn’t do it for the grades, more to thoroughly know and that habit is open to just about everyone.

 

Marta received a scholarship because, well, she was top of her class. It did not matter that she submitted her application late. So long as she made the deadline, the rules were going to reward her, rules that were available to anyone who wanted to strive for their requirements.

 

Marta found a job because as she said, “it is not magic. I spent about five hours every day applying for jobs that I was qualified for, and I wasn’t picky about where I worked. If it was out of Spain, I was willing to move.” Marta speaks English and Spanish fluently, opening herself up to most of the world’s commercial markets. It also helped that she is unafraid of a new challenge even one in which she has never been tested.

 

And as for the typically stingy Ryanair. Kristina and I didn’t receive a cheque because instead, Ryanair paid for our hotel and lunch, to an amount that would have added up to about 250 Euros.

 

You investigate how come and suddenly things don’t seem demystified. Because how is not a lazy question that settles for the first thing that comes to mind.

 

In the same way, Kristina and I dissected the fortunes of Marta’s life, you may examine the misfortunes of your life. Take back control by freeing yourself of the unknown. Life will seem much less mysterious, and you will feel more competent.

 

 

How is for Competence

Be a leader in your life by solving the how not simplifying settling for the why.

Be a leader and remember that amongst all the qualities of a leader is competency.

 

I do not speak of that competence that traps people in pursuing only what they can do at the moment, but rather that faith in self that you will rise to the challenge of the unforeseen.

 

Like Marta leaving all of her family and friends for a new adventure and new job performing various tasks, she had never studied.

 

It is not enough that you are competent in standing still, managing a task assigned to you. It is more important to know that you are competent in jumping into the unknown, figuring things out as you go. But as we understand live backwards, as we live it forward, you must always ask how, applying your understanding into the future. Ask how to be competent, worthy of your ambitions.

 

I speak emphatically of the competency to strive for what is outside of your current ability to do and understand right now.

 

I speak to that basic competence that is faithful to every person that is willing to dare and to see things through, as his charge in life. You too are competent even if you have never thought so, but you must start by searching for how you can become what you already are.

 

If your dream is to travel, but you are afraid of the challenges that the experience will bring, then you must admit the possibility that you very well may have the time of your life. And if that is true, then you already are a person capable of exploring somewhere foreign, what you lack is the direction of how to get it done. You do not find out until you do some thinking and final throw yourself into your fear. How do you ask?

 

Ask yourself how it is you came to be so intimidated by your goal. Ask how you can overcome these problems and how you will make use of finally achieving your goal. It makes everything seem much more concrete and not just a wandering ghost of your existence. Just like the Bible, Torah and Quran do not omit how to commit to their respective religions, you must give yourself enough actionable hows of how to get to your dream, to that state of being you yearn for.

 

Asking how truly allows you to better manage the cards you’re dealt in life and opposed to asking questions whose answers leave you in a different dark than the one you started with.

 



 

From Now On No More “Why Me.”

You ask why me? And the sound that you never here, echoes, “why not.”

If you instead focus on hows it is that your circumstances came to be then you can do something to avoid a repetition.

 

Use the power gained from investigating your personal reality to empower you. Give it a try right now. Instead of asking why doesn’t this person like me, ask how come and be honest and thoroughly considerate of the context.

Why says, he doesn’t like me because I am aggressive.

 

How reveals, this person doesn’t like me because they are accustomed to people who say nice things but I am brutally honest. This person likes people who say nice things because they are non-confrontational and I have been known to start a few arguments, as a result of my need to assert myself as an authority figure. I do this by talking loudly which annoys people. I also do this by interrupting conversations which annoy people. I have always felt the need to do this since middle school when I was picked on by people act the way I do now and my defence mechanism ultimately became my personality through constant repetition and insecurity.

 

Be your life scientist.

 

Do this with your every pain and anxiety. Always seek the how of your failures because there is Success in learning. For how has a way of naturally digging deeper, leaving you with more than the superficial truth which leads to actionable solutions if you so desire them.

 

In whatever you venture into doing, start from where you are, always ask how you can get better and become competent at always giving your best.

 

Are you competent enough to solve and apply the how’s of your fate? Do not give up on yourself.

 

The least you can do is be the very best version of you possible. So start by asking how.

 

CLICK HERE FOR COMPETENCE QUOTES 

 

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Bayo

Bayo is a digital content creator who works on behalf of various businesses and B&K MAG. He expresses his gratitude to everyone who has played a part in his professional and personal growth. Photography, travel and directing videos were an accidental passion but being a writer for Bonds and Kindness has always been the dream. He hopes you enjoy the site, you are the reason it exists.

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