why why?

Germany's Irina Mikitenko runs on her way to winning the women's London Marathon in London

The question ‘Why?’ is one we are familiar with.

We use it to seek understanding, context, reasons.

But an alternative viewpoint might be that it is the most unhelpful question.

‘Why?’ encourages us to repeat the story we have always told ourselves and told others. To tell ourselves, and others, the same untruth. To give ourselves and others permission, justification. That justification in effect a cloak. A cloak to deeper understanding, to enquiry, to learning, to change.

‘Why?’ becomes an (unintended) excuse.  ‘Why?’ effectively keeps us running on the same track; because we tell ourselves why we always have, why we are now, and why we always need to.

So maybe stop providing yourself and others with the excuse.  Ask instead ‘what?’, ‘when?’, ‘how?’, ‘where?’.  These questions explore specifics, they explore truth, they facilitate growth and movement.  They illuminate choice and perspective, instead of justification to remain stuck.

shall we play that game?


Returning to work after a holiday is…

Well, what is it?

How do you complete that sentence?

Returning to work after a holiday is…

… difficult?
… to be relished?
… depressing?
… a relief?
… a right pain?
… worrying?

I wonder what is to be learned from our transitions in and out of holidays?

The rush to leave. Clearing the inbox. Completing the ‘to do’ list. Handing over. Readying the house or the family for the break. Buying what you need; food, gifts, tickets.

If you are going away, checking you have everything at point of departure (tickets, passports, money etc). Securing the house. Telling neighbours, friends, relatives.

Then the return. Knowing that work will have been piling up. Checking your emails the night before. Anything urgent? Can you clear the junk? Getting your work bag, clothes, technology ready. Dealing with the nervous tension in your stomach. Packed lunch?

First day back. Easy routine to fall back in to. So much to catch up on. Nothing has changed. Tell everyone about your break. Listen to their story. Let it all fade into memory. Focus on the work. Rhythm found.

Until the next time.

Why do we play this game?