When I was in school, we were taught to leave the first couple of pages blank before we started writing in a new notebook.
Since then, whenever I have started writing in a new book, I have been following this practice for the last couple of decades.
Today, before starting to write in my new journal, for the very first time I wondered if there was any valid or justifiable reason to waste two perfectly good pages.
Well, I certainly couldn’t think of a good reason, and so for the first time since I could remember, I started writing on the first page.
The impact of childhood conditioning can be so powerful that it can make us blindly follow something without a moment’s thought (even when it doesn’t make rational sense).
Whether to start on the first or the third page of a notebook may be an insignificant matter.
A simple question we don’t often ask ourselves is WHY we do a certain thing?
Ask people, for example, why they want to get married.
Not long ago, one of my brother’s friends mentioned that now that he was in his 30s and had a steady job, he felt that getting married seemed like the next “logical step”.
Now I might not know much about marriage, but I know enough that getting married because it's the next logical step or because it's what everyone else does is a terrible reason to do it.
For all children, wondering and asking why they have to do a certain thing comes naturally to them.
But as we grow older, many of us lose this questioning mentality and do things just because that’s what we’ve been told to do by society or simply because that’s what everyone else does.
In our world, as long as something is done by the vast majority of people, we mistakenly tend to assume it is a sensible thing to do.
Asking why prompts us to think critically instead of blindly accepting and following something, whether that’s a meaningless ritual, tradition, or practice.
Now asking why may not always lead you to answers, but it can certainly help to clarify your motivations for doing something and help you make better choices that resonate with your deepest desires.
Asking why can also help you open your mind to new possibilities, alternatives and more effective ways of doing things that you may have never considered before.
Therefore, I’d encourage you to ask yourself WHY you do the things you do in your daily life, and of course, to always examine WHY before making major life choices.
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