about your annoying little brother or sister.

things i’m learning about your annoying little brother and/or sister:

If you grew up with younger siblings, you might remember your little brother or sister doing things that would annoy you. Let me know if this sounds familiar:

“Kelsey, put your toys away.”

“Why?”

“Because you have a zillion polly pockets and you can’t just leave them all over the house.”

“Why?”

“Because if you do mom is gonna yell at you.”

“Why?”

“Because it stresses her out when the house is a disaster and she has a million other things to do.”

“Why?”

… you get the point. Imagine hearing that from this little monster:

We probably all remember that lovely little trick where they’d respond to anything you said with “Why?” And with every answer, they ‘d respond with another “Why?” as an increasingly annoying challenge to dig further and deeper to find an answer that would finally make them shut up… Of course in the most annoying way possible. Asking “why?” is seemingly an annoying talent that most little brothers or sisters tend to have a boundless supply of.

As much as we might hate to admit it, we might be able to learn something from our annoying younger siblings.

As I use the same exercise to dig deep and challenge myself daily, I have interesting results. As I probe deeper into the layers of my internal thoughts, subsequent actions, my habits and routines by constantly asking myself “why” I find that I can learn a lot about myself. Pushing through those layers of “why” can help identify strengths, weaknesses, blind spots, opportunities, and more. It helps me understand the perspectives, decisions, and actions of others too.

As I ask “why” throughout the day, every day, and as I constantly review and iterate, I can find the root causes of certain behaviors that I can then hack or modify for my own benefit.

When you really learn why you are or aren’t doing something by identifying the root cause, then you can figure out how to fix it. You can enlist the help of others. You can modify your own habits and way of thinking to change.

You might want to shoot your little brother or sister a text message today. Tell them thank you for being annoying.

Ask why.


Don’t worry, the girls and I turned out alright :)