Looking Back, Reaching Forward: Why Ask Why?

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My dear daughter.

It has been such a long time since I wrote to you – you must have wondered what had happened to me. Well, to be frank, 2017 was one of those years for me – it was a busy year with many things to do, with many issues to sort through and things to take care of. I am sure that it may have been the same for you as well.

It was a year that was full of ups and downs with a lot going on and because I was incredibly busy, I had to be careful to find time to listen to myself and take care of my health and professional issues. It was necessary to become more reflective and ask myself the very important question – “Why?” So, now after doing that, and after such a long time, I really want to share my reflections with you and try to answer the question – Why ask “Why”?

Asking “Why” is a therapeutic process which allows us to appreciate who we are and help us understand our motivations. Asking “Why” helps us look back – and reach forward, and chart a course towards a successful future.

At this time of year, in this season of transition, when one year is winding down – and another is winding up, it is essential to ask the question “Why?”

Asking “Why?” Is a valuable exercise which enables us to look at where we have been in life and figure out what we want to (and need to) do to move forward. It provides a reflective assessment of ourselves and gives us an opportunity to reconnect with our roots. It allows us to discard (without guilt) those thoughts, behaviours and attitudes which have have not worked for us, and gives us permission to replace unproductive approaches with positive and uplifting actions. It liberates us to create new strategies for success so that we are free to make new, and different choices.

So, as we come to a close in 2017 – and prepare for the new year 2018 – I ask you the do three things for me. Carve some time from your hectic schedule to:

1. Reflect on who you are, what you are doing – and where you want to be. Take time to think about those events in your life which made you feel happy and worthwhile. Then, ask yourself the question – why was that event so pleasant?. What did I do and why did it work? After that reflection you will be in a position to recreate the environment within which you will achieve self satisfaction and fulfillment.

2. Give thanks – for all that you have been, and all that you have done. Remember, that even though some of the things that you have done may not have worked out for you – the way that you would have liked, recognize that every experience provides us with opportunities for learning and growing. It gives us an analysis of what works, and shows us what mistakes to avoid going forward – so give thanks.

3. Use the knowledge that you have obtained to reconnect with your roots and draw the strength from new understandings. Use these understanding to move forward to new and enriching experiences which will lead to success in 2018.

I just read a really interesting book, written by Simon Sinek, –Start With Why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. The book tries to answer the question – Why ask Why? and provide us with insight about leadership. Leadership, especially self-leadership helps us become great leaders. In knowing how to lead ourselves, we become able to lead others. We all have the capacity for leadership within us and the ability to lead ourselves, and others, relies on our deep understanding of (i) who we are, (ii) what we do – and want to do, and (iii) why we want to do that.

We are who we are! We must love and value ourselves for that. We must be proud and thankful that skills and resources to be the best that we can be reside within us. We have opportunities to grow and blossom when our tree is watered by an understanding of “Why”.

So my daughter, walk tall and stand straight. You are supported by strong roots and a deep understanding of who you are. You also have the confidence of knowing why you do what you do. 

So, I wish you all the best for 2018, and as always – take care of yourself.

G’ma Trica

Pat Wright, B.Sc., M.Ed. is an educator, community activist and diversity trainer with a keen interest in people, places and things. Pat has been the Toastmasters Area Governor and was recognized in the first "Who’s Who in Black Canada – 2002 edition”.


  1. Talie.wright@gmail.com'

    Natalie Johnson

    January 7, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Such a helpful piece for today’s modern busy hectic lifestyles!

  2. elainetomo@yahoo.com'

    Elaine Thompson

    January 7, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Fantastic! It’s a pleasure to know and interact with this wise woman! Looking forward to great things from your insights Pat.

  3. beckfordd@hhsc.ca'

    Daniela Beckford

    January 5, 2018 at 11:13 am

    wonderfully written Pat!
    liked it so much !
    May God keep you in good health and with long life so you can continue to inspire us all!
    Way to go ! daniela

  4. Disamine@yahoo.com'

    Any Humphrey

    January 5, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Awesome!… love it

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