WHY can be a life-changing word.
It can make other people turn away from you or it can open up dialogues.
It can make you lose your job or get promoted.
It can make your head spin or bring contentment and clarity.
It can cause you a lot of frustration or be the beginning of an endless journey of curiosity, learning and growth.
I do not know how many times I have used this word since I moved to England and started my new path to train as an osteopath.
WHY do people hunk the horn at me when I drive 3 mph slower than the limit is in a roundabout with a foreign car? WHY do people run around almost naked when it is only 5 degrees Celsius outside? Why do men in the gyms here work only their arm muscles so that they look like a disproportionate comic figure? Questions with nothing else to answer but a “because that is the way it is. And you should just accept it and direct your energy to more important things”.
Sometimes WHY is fruitless and will only cause frustration when we ask it in situations we can’t change, where we would find more peace or gain in accepting reality as it is.
But then there is the other WHY. The WHY that is fuelled by curiosity, interest, wanting to see the bigger picture. Wanting to learn, thrive, connect the dots, learn about yourself and your link to others, your environment and your place in this universe.
It took me five years to figure out which direction I wanted to head after I realized that my previous profession didn’t fulfil me anymore. Five years.
And now after my first 6 months of study I have come to realize that I need that “good” WHY. Why do we do this technique? Why do you place your hands here? (I have to admit there are also many WHEN’s, HOW’s and WHAT’s). I feel very lucky to have a few lecturers – and special friends – who truly welcome a challenge, criticality and curiosity rather than feeling bothered by it. Their openness inspires me, makes my brain go full speed – moments where I feel happiness, excitement and progression within myself. I am sure some teachers and fellow students are bugged by my relentless WHY’s or might even like to knock me out and that feeling surely isn’t very pleasant. But this urge to really understand, to make sense of things, to put the pieces of a big puzzle together and to be critical rather than accepting everything I hear as a fact is so strong that I can’t ignore it. And I want to feel that this difficult, long study and challenging profession is a thing I am convinced of and want to do for the rest of my professional life.
Knowing when WHY is the key to personal development, growth, progress, enrichment and happiness, and when it is nothing else but refusal to accept unchangeable facts is the key to growth – or stagnation.
“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” – Werner Heisenberg