WHY is WHY important?

It is a great week as I am in Chennai, the 35th book fair started here. Over 300 stalls and tons and tons of books which attracted huge number of people (I knew people visited from Kanchipuram, chengalpattu and even from Bangalore) to be a part of this reading carnival. It was good to see lot of youngsters buzzing around the stalls looking for their favorite title or the author. I wonder what would be their options, choices, interests.  What are the jonours they would prefer? I know it is not fair to ask about a person’s interests or to comment on it, it is always curious to know what it is. This book fair also special as some of my friend’s book came from some renowned publications. I have a very peculiar question and ask this to anyone who buy books. I am actually trying to figure out one of the most important thing which helps you shape your personality. I am trying to find out the back-end process of that thing which defines you. The topic I am speaking here is PURPOSE.

The most random shopping can happen only in a book shop. 99% of the people even who love books and reading more than anything else go into the book shop with no specific intention of buying a book. If that rare case happens too, they end up buying more than three to four books along with the book they wanted to purchase. So I ask people if you go and select a book from a bookshop, the outcomes of reading that book can be broadly classified into two things. First is the “reading pleasure”. We can just open the book and read and its cause or PURPOSE of reading is just the fun of reading, as it engages you rather than enlightens you. The second thing is “expecting turnaround” reading. This type of reading involves great dedication and references, as the PURPOSE here is to get some valuable things, which we expect to change the current way of living. Please don’t get confused, an engaging book can also give enlightenment and likewise a highly informative book can be very very engaging. I am asking about the thought process when you choose a book to buy or read. When I ask this simple question to people “ what makes you buy/read this book, is it the reading pleasure you get out of it while reading or do you believe that this book is about to play a game changer role in your life”? I often get an excuse of few hours to think from them, as they have never thought about it. The point is what they have never thought about? It is called PURPOSE.

I always have fun interacting with people. I make it a point to start a conversation with a person, if he is in the same industry in which I am trying to be the best. After all experience makes one wiser, isn’t it?  So when I meet a behavioral trainer, I ask about the way they go about their business. There are very generous people who have shared their insights with me and I am grateful to them for the same. If I try to summarize and give the findings I got from them is they actually make students or corporate employees know “WHAT is WHAT”? That’s a great thing, actually. If the participant knows “WHAT is WHAT”, he then can go for a deep understanding, what is the position now, where we have to go and what should be done to reach there. When I meet consultants who assist companies to perform better, they go a step beyond “WHAT is WHAT”. They use the term called “KNOW HOW’s”. They say that they give a clear idea or suggestion, how the things which are required to reach the next level are done. Of course these two are the basic blocks of any learning Environment, but aren’t we forgetting a bit more important thing. This is the thing which sits in the jigsaw perfectly to solve the puzzle of learning. Yes we are missing an important link called “WHY”. It is most compulsory we need to ask and answer the question “WHY this should be done?” , as this opens a whole new possibility of having a deep understanding about the task we perform. We in Athenus training and consulting believe, if we could imbibe the concept of asking and exploring this “WHY”,  automatically “WHAT” and “HOW” can happen in their own way.

I have a story to share to explain the importance of asking “WHY”. Why this asking “WHY” is important? It is important because this is the first step we take to find our purpose. As the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said it beautifully “Nothing in the entire world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”. What is the meaning of sincere ignorance here is not to ask the question of “WHY”. Now the story is a boy of 17 years joined in a printing press and his first job was to punch cards. A middle-aged woman was introduced to him as his mentor to teach him what to do and how to do. She was a real pro in those punching cards. She did it amazingly fast, with great style leaving the boy dumbstruck. He exclaimed, “Jeez, you are unbelievable. You are so fast and yet you make this look very simple. I have no doubt that I would excel under your training.” The woman’s face beamed with pride and she replied “I am doing this for more than one and a half decade, the same thing. I know everything a person needs to know about this. You can ask me any question regarding this. So don’t hesitate”. The boy then said “I have only one question to ask, may I?” The lady agreed with a smile and asked him to go on. He asked a question that the lady was not able to answer. It was a fairly a simple question though. He asked her “Why are we doing this?” Even though she was a master in that particular skill, it is not a complete one unless she knows why she is doing it.

Athenus has designed its curriculum keeping this key thing in mind. The workshops would definitely give an outline why you should be doing this and the concept of 5 why’s. Then it allows the participant to think divergent about the WHY, which certainly helps him to have a clear understanding of Learning. Click here to join our face book page. You can also reach us here to know more about Athenus workshops.

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