The Power of a Simple Question

July 25, 2018

People who know me really well know that I’m a person that asks A LOT of questions!

Personally, I see this as a great quality.

Most of the time 🙂

It generally comes from having a curious mind which drives me to learn and grow.

I’ve been asking a lot of questions my entire life.

I can clearly remember a time when I was about 4 years old, sitting at the kitchen table with my dad and asking question after question about the universe, about the state of the planet, about all the things that might cross a 4 year old’s mind.

And I remember my super patient dad taking the time to answer all of my questions one by one as best as he could, so sweet! 

Once answered, my favourite follow up question was usually: “BUT WHY”?

Which just led to an endless loop of question + answer + but WHY?

Seriously, hats off to my dad for not dismissing me and all of my 4 year old questions!

Today, as an adult and as someone who’s done quite of bit of self development work, I still ask a lot of questions but I’m much more aware of how some questions can be helpful, and others might not serve us the best at times.

The “WHY” questions especially don’t always serve us. 

WHY questions like these:

  • Why’s the recruiter not calling me back?
  • Why haven’t I been called in for a second interview for this position?
  • Why haven’t I been promoted already?

Our brains try to come up with answers to the WHY questions, often with no rational means to accurately answer them.

For example, with the “Why’s the recruiter not calling me back” question – our brains might go to something like this on a day when we’re not feeling the most positive:

  • Because they hate me
  • Because I must have said something wrong on our phone interview
  • Because they’re just mean, they’re not good people!

Notice how these thoughts likely make you feel, maybe, depressed, angry or anxious.  

The real why could simply be something like this:

  • Because they’ve been super busy serving their clients (the employers) and haven’t yet had a chance to call you back
  • Because they sent your resume to the employer and they’re still waiting to hear back from them
  • Or maybe because they’re on vacation for a week!

There’s a multitude of reasons WHY things are the way they are.  Asking endless WHY questions in some situations such as job search can negatively impact our state of mind.

So, what if we used my favourite question instead:


I love this question so much!

I use it constantly and in a multitude of situations, work related or personal.

  • What if the recruiter’s just about to call me back?
  • What if the role I applied for is no longer being filled? (so it has nothing to do with me)
  • What if the next call I get is for an interview at my dream company? 

See the power of the WHAT IF question?

So go on, play with me, try substituting your WHY question to a WHAT IF question the next time you find yourself in a funk or stuck and wondering what’s happening in your career, your job search or any other area of your life.

WHAT IF it could be that easy?