I know that for me when I start to feel more tired, restless or unfulfiled, it’s beyond time for a change. I also know that there were warning signs that I completely pushed aside before I got to the point of feeling boredom with my daily routine. Why didn’t I listen to those signs?........Honestly, I think it’s because it would disrupt the routine of “what I do.” It can be easy to get caught up in "robot mode," doing things on automatic even though they aren't necessarily adding to the enjoyment of life, when they could be if they were done differently. Even though what I do is getting old, not working for me and has become disinteresting, I’m still doing it.
I'm realizing that getting stuck in the introspection of “Why” I make the choices I make is sometimes not the place to look and that’s coming from a shrink! When I’m fixating on “Why,” I’m noticing that I’m continuing to engage in my regular, boredom inducing routine with the addition of picking it apart in my head. (Great, now I’m unsettled and analyzing things to death with no different results to show for it.) Not a very healthy combination.
So, here is a new approach: Besides asking “Why,” I’m learning that the question that’s leading me to see results and change is “How.” How am I going to change the way I feel? How can I become less restless, less bored and more filled up with my daily routine? I’m noticing that asking “How” is leading me toward new solutions and actions while asking “Why” is just leading me to feel stuck and stagnant.
The question “How” has been forcing me to come up with an action plan. It’s pushing me to go against my grain and come up with new ideas of how I can get different results in my life. The small tweak in asking a different question is leading toward different results. Ironically, this seems to always be the case in life. That’s why it's a common cliche to hear “do something different.” After all, I believe that "cliches" are cliches for a reason.
If your seeking change, try asking the question “How” instead of “Why.” There is a time and place for each of these questions. Although, currently, I’m discovering that “How” is the question that is leading me to results now. I’m all for self growth and looking into why we do what we do, but sometimes, it’s action time and the more productive question is “How.”
Try it out. Ask something different. Do something different. Sometimes it’s that simple.
* The above image was taken by Ariane Moshayedi, a San Diego based Photographer.