Moving from Why and Who to How

by Bill Mansell on July 12, 2011 | One Minute Motivators

When something unpleasant happens to us, we go through a series of questions as we attempt to mentally process the event. Often our first response is “Why did this happen to me?” We spend considerable energy delving into the reason why the event happened. We’re trying, of course, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

This focus on Why naturally leads to the next question: “Who is to blame for what happened?” We’re looking for the culprit who can bear responsibility for the event. Eventually, we move to the final step, which is “How can I solve the problem and move forward?”

These thought patterns are a natural part of the problem solving process. Unfortunately, some of us get stuck in the Why and Who way of thinking and never move on to How, where the real healing and solutions are found.

When this happens we become fixated on blame. Some blame themselves and become paralyzed by depression and self loathing. Others blame God. Still others become obsessed with revenge. They file lawsuits–not with the intent of solving the problem, but in an attempt to force someone to take responsibility for what happened. They believe they will only be happy when the responsible party is completely ruined.

Sadly, this focus on Why and Who forever traps us as helpless victims who are unable to move on with our lives. Only when we are able to let go of Why and Who, can we shift our focus to How–how can we solve the problem and make our future as happy and fulfilling as possible.

Much has been written lately about the power of forgiveness–both forgiving ourselves and forgiving others who we perceive have wronged us. The profound concept for me is that this forgiveness is not for the benefit of the one forgiven. It is for you and me. Once we let go and move on with our lives, we are suddenly no longer victims. Instead, we are empowered with the ability to solve problems and create a better future.

Success Tip: Is there an area of our life where you are stuck in the Why and Who way of thinking. I urge you to let it go and turn your attention to How you will make your future bright. It’s a simple concept, but one that can literally change your life.

Bill Mansell is president of MindPerk, Inc., one of the web's largest resources for self improvement and business training. A dynamic speaker and success coach, Bill is the author of a weekly blog titled, One Minute Motivators. Bill helps companies and organizations inspire and motivate their team members to consistently achieve more. His contagious enthusiasm has helped people from all walks of life to reach and exceed their goals.

has 149 articles on MindPerk.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie Muyunda July 13, 2012

Thank you for this. My problem is in getting past sleep. From now on will be a changed person. My past is full of bitterness

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Jenay July 20, 2011

It’s like you’re on a mission to save me time and money!

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ziggy July 15, 2011

“you can’t cry over spilled milk.” an oldie but goodie.

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Jim McRae July 12, 2011

Letting go of the past. Probably the hardest and most important thing I ever learned to do. Thanks for bringing this up.

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Jim Pronko July 12, 2011

I think the key is to focus on little actions to take relative to how to change your focus. Developing daily practices such as listening to positive and inspirational speakers and meditating 1/2 hour per day before starting and finishing up the day.

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