Five Whys of me

5 Whys is, according to wikipedia, “.. an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem”. It’s amazingly simple, you just keep asking why?, until you’ve found the root cause of whatever it is you are investigating. I’ll try to use it as a method of self exploration. The beauty is that I get to define the what of the why.

1. Why are you writing this?

I’m trying to figure out if 5 whys is a useful way of doing self exploration.

2. Why the interest in self exploration?

I’m very much interested in what makes people tick, and I’m the nearest test subject. Also I really want to know what makes me tick and what makes me tick like that, when other people tick like this.

3. Why do you want to know what makes people tick?

Though I answered that question.. guess not. Because it’s so unpredictable! It sort of an eternal question that can never really be answered. I may get wiser in the way of men, but I doubt I’ll ever know enough to ever really know my fellow man. There will always be more to know. It’s complex.

4. Why do you need a question that can’t be answered?

Because it keeps me busy. It’s something that will always be there, that I can never truly master. I can keep on learning and I’ll never run out of people to study (and lots of people studying can involve fun, wine and crazy tales of how we live our lives and see the world).

5. Why are you avoiding something that you can finish?

Uh. Good one. Some would probably interpret that as a fear of failure, and there may be some truth to that. But it’s not like I avoid that all the time — I do have smaller, unrelated milestones, that can be measured. Also my people skills, is a success for me. It’s my job. I’m good at it.

But also — I’m afraid of stopping. I’m afraid of accepting the status quo. I’m afraid of finding that I’ve spend ten, twenty, thirty years of my life just watching television. I need to keep on running. I do know how to relax, but I do get restless after a couple of weeks. It’s the fear of an eternity of not living, but simply surviving.

6. What’s with the eternity thing?

That’s not a why, and it’s a sixth question, but okay... I always though I would live forever. As far back as I can remember. Maybe it was all those science fiction books. But I’ve firmly believed that since I was a kid. Still do. Forever is a mighty long time as Prince sang. Especially if you aren’t living, so I intend to keep on living — as much as possible.

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