“Why did I fail?”
That question is useless at best, and life-destroying at its worst.
When we ask “why?” we’re looking for excuses for why things happened the way they did.
We’re not seeking new information, or solutions, or practical knowledge that we can use to improve our lives.
We’re just digging into our memories and looking for a reasonable explanation that will tie all those past events together into a nice, neat little story in our mind.
And when people dwell on that question for too long, or too often, they conclude that they, themselves, are failures.
It’s the most all-inclusive and logical reason, after all.
Asking “why?” is the way to make sense of the past.
But asking “how?” is the way to open the door to a better future.
If you try and fail, don’t ask “Why did I fail?” You’ll find plenty of reasons, and none of them will motivate you to keep moving forward.
When you ask yourself why you failed, you’re taking a passive role in your own life.
You become a spectator, watching yourself do things, and then coming up with reasons why you did them, after the fact.
If you want to succeed in everything you do, you’ll get better results if you ask “how?”
“How did I fail?”
That’s a useful question.
It’s looking for a solution.
If you know *how* you failed, you can figure out *how* to succeed.
And since the answer is, almost always, that you didn’t know how to do better…
You can just skip right to the real winning question:
“How can I do better next time?”
It’s the only question that winners ask themselves.
This question puts you back in the driver’s seat.
Now you’re taking an active role in directing the course of your life.
This question sets the expectation that you *can* do better and that there *will* be another attempt… and another… until you get where you want to be.
So leave it to the philosophers to speculate about why things happen.
If you want to adopt a winning mindset, and make things happen in your life, start asking how things happen instead of why they happen.
When you know how things happen, you’ll figure out how to make them happen in your favor.
Heck, you’re only able to read this email right now because some winners in history stopped asking “Why is there lightning in the sky?” and started asking “How is there lightning in the sky?”
The “why” question led to some ridiculous guesses about things we can’t possibly know. (And a lot of very violent arguing throughout history over whose guess was the right one.)
But the second question, the “how” question…
That question led to the discovery of electricity, and *how* it works, and *how* to use it to power all of our modern technological wonders.
It was a winning question that led to some winning results. And it was created by thinking like a winner.