During my hiatus, I spent a lot of time watching historical drama.
I was in awe of how surrendered the majority of people were – most accepted their status and simply “took” what was given.
The general population didn’t question many things. They accepted orders and did things the way they were told to. Elders were respected and considered superior.
Breaking free of a mold was extremely hard. People just lived the lives of their ancestors. Slaves gave birth to slaves. Scholars raised scholars. Nobles expected their descendants to act dignified and snobbish.
Having thoughts, ambition and opinions was a privilege for the select few. Questioning the norm and rebelling against the dictates of convention were mainly unheard and unconsidered.
Today, the opposite exists. Very few people are surrendered to what is. And most can’t help but fall into the trap of overly questioning the WHY of everything.
“Why am I here?”
“Why am I not motivated?”
“Why should I wait a year before I get promoted?”
“Why can’t I find a soulmate?”
“Why don’t people ‘get’ me?”
Although questioning everything under the sun brings better awareness to the self, this may stifle progress and growth when one can’t move past asking the question and wanting an ‘ultimate’ answer.
Why questions tend to have evolving answers as they are more conditional in nature and can’t be influenced by external factors.
The question “Why is the sky blue” can have different answers depending on how the question is completed – “Why is the sky blue today?” “Why is the sky generally blue?” “Why is the sky not blue today?”
Thus, wanting to get the ultimate answer behind “why” can eventually lead to a paralysis as people get burdened by the existence of things at present.
This burden can result to people falling into a helpless state that may turn into a hopeless state, leading to bouts of depression, anxiety and confusion.
If you think of how people operated in the past, the focus was more on the WHAT and integrating this into the WHY can turn the burden into a blessing as one achieves enlightenment within a short time.
For example, adding a WHAT to the WHY questions above can help one let go of the inner-conflict one faces and reach a solution, albeit temporary.
“Why am I here?” (What can I do?)
“Why am I not motivated?” (What can make me happy?)
“Why should I wait a year before I get promoted?” (What can I do to get promoted before that?”)
“Why can’t I find a soulmate?” (What can help me find my soulmate?”)
“Why don’t people ‘get’ me?” (What can make me connect to others?)
For some, adding these WHAT questions can help deepen the understanding of the first thing one is looking for behind those WHY questions.
Asking what can one do to get motivated, get promoted, get connected can all contribute to living a more mindful and aware life – helping you see a bigger picture and direction for yourself.
At the end of the day, what motivates people is to feel successful and accomplished and not feel “like a failure”. Yet many forget that success need not be defined by what it used to be centuries ago!