I believe one of the things the lockdown has allowed (or maybe forced) us to do, is to ask the question, ‘Why?’ We should we do certain things because ‘that’s just the way we’ve always done them’? Almost as if we have been programmed the way one would programme a robot or a computer. By forcing us to break the ‘that’s just the way it is’ train of thought, the last few months have allowed us to ask why.
Here are a few examples, from my own personal experience. Maybe some of them will resonate with you.
The most obvious and biggest change in work life has been this transition to WFH. It has forced us to ask a number of ‘why’ questions.
- Why do we need to spend 2+ hours every day in commute?
- Even if meeting in person does foster collaboration, why do we need to do it every day?
- Selling was supposed to be the final frontier; you had to meet in order to make sales happen! But in a lot of cases (including our own business) we have seen sales / pitches happen completely remotely (and successfully)! Why?
My wife and I were blessed with our second daughter a few days before the lockdown. Her consumption pattern is very simple – she feeds a few times a day, ‘converses’ with her family for a few hours, goes about her day, listens to some music and sleeps. As grown-ups, our consumption pattern during the lockdown has been very similar. Honestly, most of us have adapted very well to this. If we could adapt so well to such reduced consumption, I think it’s time to ask the why questions:
- Why did we need to order in food even when we had cooked that day?
- Why did I go to the mall four times this month?
- Why am I subscribed to six OTT platforms?
- Why did I buy this gadget when it’s been gathering dust all year?
Pretty much every single person in my immediate family has made some sort of change to lead a healthier life. I for one, have been eating only two meals a day, and started drinking more black coffee instead of the standard variation. Some ‘why’ questions that come to mind are:
- Why do we have to wait for the perfect day to start our healthy regimens – New Year’s Day, birthday, etc.?
- Why spend so much time, money, space on gyms, equipment, etc?
- Why didn’t we take remote fitness coaching so seriously before?
All of us have a few groups of friends. Each time we meet these groups, we crib about how those catch-ups have become infrequent and how everyone misses the old days. What I’ve seen during the lockdown is – I’ve been catching up with my friends far more often than before. No more waiting for an occasion!
- Why did we need an occasion to catch up with friends?
- Why not just hop onto a video call with one group of friends every week?
- Why not put an end to the endless cycle of cancelled ‘Goa chalte hain yaar’ plans and just have a video chat whenever you feel like?
THE LITTLE THINGS
Then, there are some miscellaneous little ‘why’ questions:
- My house has a great view of the sunset – I have seen more sunsets in the last three months than in the last four years that I have been staying here! Why did I let that happen?
- I haven’t missed a single milestone for my new-born, from the moment she was able to hold up her neck to the moment she was able to turn on her side. Why did I miss these for my elder daughter?
I hope all of us get some good answers to these and the many more ‘why’ questions in our lives. Maybe this lockdown was just the nudge we needed to stop doing things just because ‘that’s just the way it is’. I hope we also answer the ‘Why don’t we ask why’ questions more often…Now that we’ve started asking, let’s not stop!