Why not?

Posted By on Feb 20, 2020 |

Ever notice that a typical response to a new idea is often “Why?” I once worked with a wise daycare director who helped me to instead ask “Why not?” Try it — it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

I was explaining this philosophy to a family on tour yesterday, and I could see their eyes light up at the thought. Most times, there’s not a ton of risk in trying something new. And, a lot of good that can come from taking a risk. So, why does the status quo have such a strong hold on us?

Have a crazy idea, like I did recently? Ask people why it wouldn’t work. Chances are, the reasons won’t hold up under scrutiny. (It was kind of amazing, actually, how everyone ended up agreeing that the idea could work — I was totally prepared for a reality check!) I once worked with someone who, every time I had a request, always told me at least three reasons why it wouldn’t work. I started to rephrase my question: “If this were going to work, how could we make it happen?” All of a sudden — the person was extremely helpful.

This is why I love working with kids. In spite of their million “Whys” as they’re figuring out how things work, they are most often up for an adventure. After several muddy winter days, we decided to go on a mud walk. Why not? We raided the crate of extra rain-boots and got everyone ready to go outside and get dirty. What a relief! No restrictions on where to walk or play, no constant reminders to stay on the sidewalk or stay out of that puddle. And — extra bonus — a sock party at lunch.

Kids have all kinds of crazy requests. Ice cream for dinner, sleeping with a favorite toy that’s not particularly cuddly, wearing pajamas to school. Do you ever feel like you’re saying no all the time? Before answering, ask yourself — why not? It might just turn things around.