Every great discovery begins with one question:
One word. Three letters.
It changes everything.
For children, everything in the world is fresh, new and interesting. But as we grow up, we slowly begin to accept things as they are simply because that’s the way they’ve always been.
And we stagnate. And get bored. And stop asking why.
Four year old girls ask 398 questions a day, averaging one question every 1 minute and 56 seconds. Adults, on the other hand, ask an average of six questions a day. Imagine how much we could grow if we asked more questions.
An inquisitive mind is what fuels both compassion and invention. You can ask why before passing judgement on someone’s behavior or you can ask why when you encounter a frustrating product. By asking this question, you are allowing your mind to view a situation differently.
The more questions you ask, the more you can discover about your world:
Why are people hungry, when the world has plenty of food?
Why do cars run on gasoline?
Why do we change the clocks twice a year?
Why do we buy gifts for each other on Christmas?
Why? Why? Why?
Each question you ask will bring you closer to understanding, or even challenging, the world you live in. They will also bring you a deeper understanding of yourself.
I encourage you to ask new questions every single day. Keep a commonplace book where you can jot down interesting questions or observations. Find a little shelf in your mind to set all of your questions, and don’t let that shelf get dusty. Visit it regularly.
Be curious. Fill your mind with wonder. Don’t settle for the status quo. Ask questions even if you are the only one who is. Challenge “the way things have always been done.”
Question if things really make sense the way they are. Then ask yourself if you can change them.
First ask why.