Samy Ghannad

Ask Yourself "Why", Three Times in a Row

There are times when I’m not at my peak, There are times when I have a not-so-right feeling about something, and there are also times when I do something that I don’t really understand.
It was so confusing for me, until about 4 years ago when I was listening to a Podcast and heard someone mentioned a technique to solve this very specific problem.
I thought “Man! I really needed this one."
It’s been 4 years that I use this on a daily basis, and it works.Every.Single.Time.
Here is how it works:\

When I’m having a feeling, or doing something that I don’t understand, like suddenly when I used to suddenly start binging for no good reason, I ask myself “Why” 3 times in a row, but not like “Why? Why? Why?” kind of asking, but more like a tool to get to the root cause.
Here are some examples:\

CASE 2: I started binging suddenly.

First Why: Why Did I Start Binging Suddenly?

Because I started to feel stressed about my financial status and eating carbs make me feel good.\

Second Why: Why Do I Feel Stressed About My Financial Status?

Because I’m on a tight budget.\

Third Why: Why Am I on a Tight Budget?

Because I spent 10000$ on a vacation and a high-end camera.\

See what’s happening here?
Now that is clear why I started to binge, it’s much more easier to manage the situation.
Asking the Three Golden “Why"s, leads me to an explicit “How”, for an implicit “What”. “What Can I Do To Prevent this From Happening Again?" is the implicit “What” which is being asked in the back of your head right after going through the Three Golden “Why"s.
And here is the explicit “How"s that it leads to:\

  1. I need to somehow make up for the 10K $ I miss spent. (Increasing Income, Generating Value, Or Decreasing Spending.)
  2. I need to make sure that I don’t overspend again.

CASE 2: I Feel Bad About Something/Someone. e.g. Feeling Bad About a Person/Colleague.

First Why: Why Do I Feel Bad About Him?

Because last time we were in a team meeting together, He called my suggestion outright infeasible.

Second Why: Why Do I Feel Bad About Calling My Suggestion Infeasible?

Because It hurt my ego.

Third Why: Why Did I It Hurt My Ego?

Because I didn’t separate my suggestion from my personality. They are not the same.
\

Implicit What:

“What Can I Do To Prevent this From Happening Again?\

Explicit How:

  1. I need to learn how to separate my ego from decision making process.
  2. I need to be more self aware of my current thinking. \

In my experience, there’s rarely a need to ask more than three “Why"s to get to the root cause, I don’t remember asking more than 4 and it was not more than 2 or 3 times.
I hope this also helps someone who is now in the position I was 4 years ago.
Thanks for reading,
Samy