“It’s all about the why…”  was the first thing I read this morning, one of Danielle LaPorte’s truthbombs in my inbox.

Some coaches shy away from asking “Why?” because asking “Why?” about the past can lead us down rabbit holes as we retrospectively speculate, fill in the gaps, make excuses and convince ourselves that we’re analysing our actions to learn what worked and what didn’t, so we can build on successes or to avoid making the same mistakes.

But asking “Why?” in the present uncovers much more powerful answers: Why am I thinking this? Why am I feeling this? Why am I doing this? Why am I choosing this? And to make every “Why?” more curious and childlike, non-judgemental and painless, step back a bit and prefix each “Why?” with a quizzical “I wonder…” Do what young kids do and follow each answer with another “Why?” and another and another till you start peeling away the excuses, the ego, the rationales, the analysis and start replying with your inner wisdom, your gut, and get to an Aha! Moment, the heart of what you want.

Ask “Why?” about your actions, your plans, hopes and dreams for the future, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to sort out the should’s and the have to’s from the things you really want to do. Try taking some of those ‘wants’ and make a To Want list instead of a To Do list today.

Me? I want to pick up my crochet hook again and make more brightly coloured mittens, scarves and granny blankets; I want to paint; to write more songs and poetry; to write quality coaching material that supports and touches folk; to get my stamina, agility… and waistline back so I can enjoy a healthier future. Looking at that list, it’s fairly obvious I want to create, to make a difference, to feel more expressed, to leave a legacy.

I prefer to be love-led by inspiration, not fear-driven by motivation.

Asking “Why?” can empower your future.

Get clear on what you’re choosing – why you’re choosing. Not just the big things, but the details and the thoughts you choose to focus your attention on. It’s the key to clarity and peace.

The first question that I asked myself this morning, faced with another {0} comments day was a curious – but weirdly calm – “So why am I still choosing to keep this blog alive?”

Then I looked at stats and wondered why someone in Nepal read my blog. And someone in Peru. And Romania. And New Zealand. The US… What a wonderful world shrinker WordPress is. It made me smile.

And you read this today. I wonder why?


  1. Back from holidays, Janice, and taken by “Why” ~ in answer to why I am commenting today. As a coach, I value your expansive view of why’s usefulness and inspiring perspectives. Having been exposed to the critique of use of why questions previously, I appreciate its convincing resuscitation today.

    1. Hi Connie -lovely to see you! Hope your holiday was exactly what you needed.

      This post was a weirdy; it almost became a treatise on synchronicity. What got edited out, and maybe shouldn’t have, was that straight after getting that email, when I was doing some reading and rooting around in old quotebooks, I came across some notes about deconstructing fear by using the Why? Because… technique. We’re always afraid of something way deeper than the answers to the first few whys. Then when looking in another book for something completely different, bam, a paragraph about how we confabulate about our pasts if we ask why.

      I’m glad you commented. I may be closing the boxes again soon, not because of their comparative emptiness, but because I’ve started checking them. I never used to do that. I was spoiled, you see; because the blog launched simultaneously with a guest post I did at Zen Habits’ sister site, Write to Done, the blog got hundreds of views and some lovely commenters on day one. Never had any {0} comments except on posts I posted into the archives according to the months/years the original Coaching Moments pieces went out. It’s very good learning for me, exploring what comes up, feeling for every other person who’s ever had a blog die in their arms.

      1. Thank you, Janice. Whatever the blog challenges are I trust you are equal to them and discerning about which to take up. Yes, there’s the synchronicity of “Why blog?”

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