American culture is a how culture. We ask almost exclusively how questions, because our commercialized culture is not interested in why. – Don Miller
I must confess, I love questions. Since I was a child, I have asked questions about every situation I encountered to anyone that would listen. And I am particularly fond of the how questions. I enjoy creating structure and developing processes. If you ask me how to organize information or bring order from clutter, I get excited and embrace the challenge. I have a color-coded paper planner and a meticulously stratified, well-labeled binder on my desk that speak to this.
But its the why questions that motive me – that get me out of bed. Not just, ‘how do we fix broken families’ but ‘why do they exist’ and ‘why does this emotion follow that action’ and ‘why is it that nothing seems to be the way it was meant to be?’ These are the motivation questions.
The how questions are important because it’s the way in which change occurs. But the why questions matter more. Without answers to the why questions, the how questions are blind, flailing around for solutions without understanding the problem.
So if you’ve been frustrated with the answers you’ve been getting, maybe it’s because you’ve been asking the wrong questions.