I spent some time with my seven-year-old nephew today. He is lively and quite a bright spark like many children. I can usually manage only an hour or two before my head is whizzing from his inquiring mind. He, like many children, spends a lot of time asking about things.
Why does it work in a particular way? Why do you do that? Why does that happen? Why is it there? There are endless questions that can get asked during any visit.
It reminded me about the importance of continuing to ask questions, and the right kind of questions, when we get older. Unfortunately, it is something that we seem to lose at some point. When we start work we seen set on creating the impression that we know lots of things and don’t need to ask. This is remains with us and as we get older it is hard to say ‘I don’t know about X can you tell me more’.
Many people find it easier to grasp partial information and then try to piece things together. Once they have done this then they will try to verify whether they have created an accurate assessment at some future point. This is all very dangerous stuff.
We need to reconnect with that inner child that was full of wonder at learning lots of new things about life and the world around them. This means accepting there is much to learn and that we have to ask to find out. It isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign of an inquiring mind. So when you go back to work tomorrow think of that young relative or friend and how they approach life, and maybe it is time to ask why?