Sometimes, the Answer Lies in the “How,” Not the “Why”

(2 min read)

We often search for answers to life’s big questions: “Why did this happen to me?”… “Why didn’t that?”… “What’s the point of it all?”…

We feel like we need to have the answers in order to relax, let go, carry on with life, and feel happy. This is the nature of the human brain. We think, theorize, and analyze for the sake of accomplishing practical tasks, which can be helpful and exciting in many ways. However, emotionally speaking, the thinking brain has the potential to do a lot of harm.

Many of us get caught in a trap – in the over-thinking mind. The more cerebral of us insist on digging deep into an analysis of the events of our lives. We ask “why this?” and “why that?” but, unfortunately, asking gets us stuck in a state of obsession and paralysis. This blocks us from moving towards the beautiful things in life that lie ahead – if only we could learn to let go of our thoughts and simply trust the process that is taking us there.

The real “why” question that I think we need to ask is why do we try so hard to understand everything, when the reality is that having a human brain means we’ll never actually know, or we might not have all the answers right away? I believe one thing we can most benefit from is learning to let go of the “why” and, instead, embrace the “how.” We may never fully understand why certain things happen to us and others do not, but one thing we can know is that we’re ultimately responsible for choosing what to do with it.

At various points in our lives, we’re handed a blank slate. On the surface, this might not always seem positive. In fact, it often comes in the form of something unexpected, seemingly catastrophic, or otherwise nonsensical. Where we’re presented with one of these events, we’re being asked to change the way we’re doing things, and if we don’t change, something we can be pretty sure of is we’ll keep running into the same troubling patterns over and over again.

After all, we repeat what we don’t repair, as the saying goes.

The question is, how much longer do we want to keep replaying the confining patterns of our lives – especially, at the expense of a chance to grow and evolve in great leaps and bounds?

When we’re given the gift of starting over, of doing things differently, we’re given the opportunity to focus on the “how,” which opens up the possibility of living a new way. In shifting our energy to accommodate a new approach, we begin to embrace unknowns, challenges, and unexpected events with flexibility, fluidity, and hope, rather than questioning them through skepticism, doubt, and fear. The latter tends to create a climate of resistance, leading to discomfort, pain, and stagnation, while the former allows for a lightness that opens the door to joy, satisfaction, and growth.

This is where we begin to break free.

Making the most of this crazy and unpredictable life is one of the greatest challenges we’ll be faced with. In letting go of the “why,” however, we’ve already won half the battle.


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