I keep six honest serving-men,
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Kipling reminds us to cherish curiosity, an idea I’ll revisit in the future.
A focus on what, why, when, how, where and who ultimately is reminding us to step back, elevate our perspective and reflect. Don’t accept things the way they are simply because it’s habit. Don’t just react. Don’t keep busy for the sake of being busy. A bias for action is fabulous, but if you’re not careful, you might turn into that hamster perpetually running on a wheel.
You can ask questions on very mundane levels – Why do I keep the mustard at the back of the fridge when I use it all the time? Why do we run the Weekly Report on Tuesdays when the information is available on Mondays? – or at higher ones –Why would a customer buy my new product instead of the one she’s been buying and loving for years? What do I need to do to raise a happy, healthy and productive child?
Just asking yourself and your associates these kinds of questions opens the door to making your life, product or business a little or a lot better.
Consider the words from two great inventors who sum up this idea in different ways.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.”
Five percent of the people think;
ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.
Whether you are tackling a lofty or modest goal, you have two repeating tasks. First ask and then think!
Image courtesy of sritangphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.