During the five years prior to reading this short thought, I’ve been making a concerted effort to live my life in a more thoughtful manner.
The main way that I have managed to achieve this is by asking the simple question:
Why is a wonderful question, and if asked enough times in a row, it can often strip away layers of old-fashioned thinking to reveal a simple and yet unappealing truth:
We don’t truly think about most of what we do.
And research has backed this up. As we go about our day to day business, many of our actions are completed out of habit, on autopilot. While this is advantageous because you don’t have to remember every single turn in the road to go home from work, it can also cause issues when we simply believe that something is right because we have been told so, or because we have been engaged in a certain behavior for time immemorial.
The habit of eating meat is a great example.
Most people eat meat not because they have sat down and thought about it, and reached a conclusive judgment regarding the pros and cons, but purely because their parents, and friends, and family, and most people around them, ate meat, so it feels like a natural thing to do.
This is a dangerous way to live because you don’t end up exposing yourself to other ways of thinking, which might turn out to improve your life immeasurably.
After all, if you haven’t spent the time to examine the way you life, what are the chances that you are doing it the best way possible? Or not even the best way possible, but just one of the better ways?
It’s essentially a coin toss.
So, ask yourself “why?”.