For the past two weeks we have been discussing something called the Habit of Seeking Whynot.
My last two blogs have addressed this topic and have, consequently, led to some rather interesting conversations with a number of people, some well-known to me, others total strangers.
It seems the Habit of Seeking Whynot is a lot further reaching and, therefore, far more pervasive than I had previously realized.
A young lady described to me, in painful detail, the reluctance of her mother to forgive her father when she explained to me how the Habit of Seeking Whynot brought great bitterness and pain into her mother’s life.
She explained to me her parents had divorced when she was in her mid-teens and the divorce had been both hostile and protracted. To this day, some 25 years later, her mother still refuses to even entertain the possibility of forgiving her ex-husband for any of his transgressions – real or imagined – that may have taken place all those many years ago.
When she has asked with her mother why she holds onto so much anger and bitterness, her mother always clearly articulates why she will never forgive this man and why she will hate him until the day she dies. Her mother will not entertain the possibility of setting aside anger, while not realizing the intense damage she’s bringing upon herself. She has an endless list of reasons why she will never forgive.
She can clearly tell you Whynot.
Another conversation centered around the history of friction in the Middle East. The person with whom I was having this conversation is a recent immigrant from that region and he shared with me his views on why, sadly, that part of the world will never know peace.
He explained to me that dislike, distrust and differences in religious beliefs are so ingrained in people of that area that they have lost any willingness they may have had to attempt to reach peace. Each of them is capable of presenting reason upon reason why peace cannot be entertained, even as a remote possibility.
He said that you could stop people on the street in almost any country in that part of the world and ask them about peace in the region, invariably they would share with you their viewpoint as to why peace can only be possible if massive changes are made by others, not themselves.
He pointed out that any one of the three hundred and fifty million or so folks in the Middle East could clearly articulate Whynot.
And he explained that one cannot explore possibilities when one’s view of the world is witnessed through the distorted lens of Whynot.
All greatness has been achieved through the Habit of Exploring Possibilities for this is the only way of discovering how far we can possibly go. Progress comes not from Whynot but from reaching for the unreachable.
Pushing ourselves harder and further than we ever thought possible paves the way for others to follow and the willingness to risk failure should never be thwarted by the unwillingness to risk success.
We are everything we believe to be true and what we believe to be true either limits or expands our perceptions of possibility.
History is filled with tales of people who accomplished the impossible and each of their feats was made possible by rigorously adhering to the Habit of Exploring Possibilities.
The possibility of doing the impossible resides in each of us and we can either run to it or from it.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.