The Power of ‘WHY’

IMG_5421I had a very interesting discussion today with someone working in a creative agency. And because we were trying to solve the identity of a brand and get to the depth of what consumers ultimately feel, need, want or are, obviously the discussion got very intense. It ended up to be a great debate actually.

However, one thing particularly moved me. He asked me the following question: “How do you know that you got to the real depth of an issue/question/anything? How are you sure you are not still looking at it superficially or hiding from the real truth? Let me tell you how. Try to ask yourself/question the thing with ‘WHY’ five times in a row (building upon the answers like a 5 years old child), and only after the fifth one you will get to the actual root of what you are trying to figure out”.

I rarely fall into the whole marketing/motivational bullshit, but this guy made me reflect on this. I tested it on my way back home, and I realized it actually makes a lot of sense if you answer truthfully to these questions of WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY, because every answer raises another source of origin, and slowly you are moving to the root cause of a reaction. Honestly, it was a “AHA!” moment for me and I believed it is worth sharing.

We live in a world in which we are being bombarded with a lot of information (news, ads, messages…). And as we try to grasp as much of it as possible, we usually get bits and pieces of everything, but rarely go into depth in topics, because there is so much out there to find out about (and acknowledge), that missing it, is not an option, and deeply getting into it, is a choice. As we grew up like this, we tend to treat our problems, questions, issues the same way, tackling them from the surface and not getting into them deeply. We most often than not lack depth…and sometimes a simple silly exercise like the one above “Questioning something with a WHY for 5 times” can make us pause for a second, and just go slightly deeper and figure out ourselves a bit more.


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