15 July 2014

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why” – Bernard Baruch

There’s a common misconception in business, and to some extent in life, that the people who shout the loudest have the best ideas or are more capable than others of leading or managing. Whilst confidence is important and in many ways beneficial, I would argue that the people who take a quieter role and listen intently to what’s being said are often overlooked. Yet they are often the people who will sit and ask why.

newtonWhy is one idea better than another and is it a case of more spin than substance? It might sound exciting and dynamic, but it’s important to ask yourself why you should go ahead with it. Will it help you to achieve a goal, streamline a process or make things easier for yourself or your customers?

Asking why is such an easy way of making sure you get the most out of every day. If you’re starting up your own business, it’s a question that you should be able to answer easily in just a couple of sentences. If you’ve been running a company for years and things are starting to falter or grow stale, it’s a question that can remind you why you started in the first place, and identify the things you were doing well in the beginning that might since have fallen by the wayside.

That same tiny word can help you to take stock of your life and re-evaluate. What is your reason for doing what you are doing? Does it make you happy? Will it help you to get where you want to go in life? Have you ever found yourself rolling over to face the alarm clock in the morning with a cloud of lethargy hanging over your head? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself that all-important question.

Curiosity is one of the attributes we seem to lose as we get older, but if you look at children or have a conversation with them about almost anything, you’re likely to hear them asking why. Personally, I’ve never heard of a cat getting killed by curiosity. Have you?

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