These may be the two most important – and least-asked – questions. “Why?” makes you think about purpose. “Why not?” opens you up to new possibilities.
Let’s start with why. The answer to this question identifies the reason behind a decision or an action. It is purpose. Motivation.
If you are making sound decision, your why for anything you do is based on your values, your passion, and your goals. A trifecta of motivation. The reason for doing something is due to your strong belief that it is right and good to do based on what is important to you, and it helps you reach an objective or milestone.
In business, why has huge implications. Every action your team performs, every product or service you sell, and every decision you make should move you toward your goals and be in line with your values and purpose. If not, you are wasting both time and resources. Can you afford to do something simply because you’ve always done it that way without considering a new approach? Should you even be doing it at all?
Of course, to answer these questions you must know your purpose, values, and goals. Not in some vague way but with specificity and clarity. If you can’t do that, this is your starting point.
Let’s move to why not. Asking this question forces you to consider new ways of doing things. It gives you freedom to think of alternatives, to try new methods, to reinvigorate your team, to reach your goals faster. It helps you stay relevant. It allows you to dream and try new things.
Why not keeps you from becoming stagnant, stuck in the same place. Markets, customers, technology, and trends are always changing, and your business must adapt. You must find new ways to be more efficient and effective. You must reach new customers. You must stretch yourself and your team.
Author Louise Penny says, “Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead.” Asking “why not?” can be scary but it is necessary.
When you do consider new options, your why and your why not must be in alignment and compliment each other. In other words, your new possibilities should reflect your passion and goals.
I encourage you to take the time to reflect on your why and consider your why not.