Have you ever caught yourself going around and around in circles trying to figure out something that hasn’t gone as you wished it to? Endlessly analysing and rationalising, trying to understand why, in a state of total ‘analysis paralysis’? But, for all your questioning, you’re no closer to reaching the answers?

When we narrow our focus so much we can forget there might be a bigger picture. We can exhaust ourselves trying to piece together one small corner of a jigsaw, without setting it within the larger whole.

Sometimes that bigger picture becomes clear over time. How often, for example, has something happened which left you bitterly asking ‘why?’, but a few months, days, or even hours down the line, it has led to something important, something meaningful or life-enhancing, which would never otherwise have occurred?

But, if you’re not careful, asking ‘why’ can lead you down a blind alley. That’s not to say that you should not take stock and consider why things pan out as they do – but fretful and fruitless over-analysis is definitely to be avoided.

There is another way to look at things. Next time, when you find yourself in a situation when things aren’t turning out the way you’d like them to, or something happens to upset you, don’t get stuck asking ‘why?’ – instead stop and ask yourself ‘what is it I want?’, ‘What are the results I’d like to see?’

Really try to build a picture in your mind – don’t just ask what it is you want, but what does that look like? What benefits would that bring to you and others? What difference would it make? And be sure to explore how that would make you feel too, because tapping into the ‘feeling’ of something is often the key to shifting our thinking – it has the power to change the fundamental way in which our brain functions.

When we start to focus on what we want, and how that might make us feel, our thought processes start to change, our perspectives start to change, and our brain physiology starts to change, and so too our levels of inspiration and motivation.

So next time you’re falling down the rabbit hole of asking ‘why?’ try switching your focus to asking ‘what?’ and see what difference this powerful question can make for you.