5WHY’s — The Secret Tool of Life

“Guruji, Can you tell us one important advice for life”

“5 Why’s”

“5 Why’s? We use this tool in designing products. This is an iterative interrogative technique used in exploring the cause-effect relationship in a problem. How will this help our life”

“Yes. True. Let’s see a scenario. You told me that you had a fight with your wife today morning. Right?”

“Yes. She broke a ceramic Teacup, got angry, was staring at me, so I also got angry and shouted. She was the one who initiated the fight”

“Why did she get angry?”

“Because she broke the Teacup”

Why did she break the teacup?”

“Because it slipped from her hand”

“Why did it slip from her hand?”

“Because I asked her a question, and she got distracted”

“Why did the question distract her?”

“There was garbage in the dustbin. I asked her to put those in a cover and give me so that I can drop it in Garbage collector inside the apartment complex. She would have felt that why I’m asking her to do that when I can put those garbage in a polyethene cover and take.”

“Why did she feel like that?”

“Because she was standing and washing vessels for some time in the kitchen, her hands were dirty, wet, sweating. Maybe, she would have felt that I was not noticing her work and focussed on my requirement alone”

“So, do you understand that the reason for your morning fight was your selfishness?”

“Yes. I understand. I should go and ask sorry to her”

“let’s look at another scenario. You told me that you had an argument with a mini truck driver yesterday evening”

“Yes, Guruji.”

“Why did you go and shout at him”

“I got irritated and angry, Guruji”

“Why did you get angry”

“I stopped my vehicle for the red signal, but this guy kept on honking. So, I got angry, got down from my vehicle, went and shouted at him”

“Why did he honk”

After few seconds of thought, “Guruji, I think either he didn’t see the red signal or he wanted to jump the signal”

“If he didn’t see the signal, then you had no right to scold or shout at him. Probably, then you are at fault. Let’s look at the other option you’ve mentioned.

“Why did he want to flout the rules and jump the signal”

“I exactly don’t know. Maybe he is a bad character, happy at flouting the rules or he might be genuinely in a hurry”

“If he is in a hurry, you were impatient to listen to him the reasons behind his honking. Probably, you are at fault here too. Let’s look at the other option”

“Why did you assume that he is a person of bad character and who likes to flout rules?”

“Maybe my prior experience with others in a similar situation”

“How can you judge a person based on one honking activity, when you haven’t spend time or known him. Is it not wrong?”

“I understand my flaws, Guruji”

Written by

Secular Humanist, Business Growth Consultant, Design Thinker, India. Reach me at mmshah8@gmail.com. or https://www.shahmohammed.com

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