I could be an annoying kid (maybe I’m an annoying adult). I was the one with my hand shooting up in class asking why. The one who stayed behind after Economics class asking a teacher about the mathematics behind elasticity. Or who continued to ask why I wasn’t allowed to do something my parents had forbidden me to. The beauty of the questioning is that you start to realise that often there isn’t a good reason behind actions or the way things are.

If it if a factual statement, it can be more simple, for example

Why is the sky blue? As blue has the shortest wavelength and is dispersed more easily.

Why is the grass green? As Chlorophyll is required for photosynthesis and refracts light in that way to show as green.

However, if you want to know if you can be a chief executive, international cricketer, climb Mount Everest, you need to separate the opinion you will hear from fact. Opinions often become embedded as facts simply by the passage of time.

You may be told that a business process is essential because that’s the way it’s always been done. More likely it is simply a mental shortcut to help the brain’s processing speed in the same way that someone reading often skips over words like “the”. The fact something has been around a while doesn’t affect its right to being questioned at all. It may have survived years of questioning, but perhaps no-one has ever tried. Asking why is an enormously powerful tool once you start.

Remember to question why. You have a right to question everything. It may be awkward, it may difficult, but why shouldn’t you understand what is happening?