5 Wise Whys - Journaling Tool

All that is seen by the physical eyes, or perceived by the other senses of the body are the results, the effects, of causes that are invisible or hidden from the very organs that perceives such.  D. L. Waters, Sr.

“Men are more accountable for their motives than for anything else….” – Archibald Alexander

Asking the question of “Why” enables both the asker and answerer, to delve deeply into the core motives – To inquire, “Why we do what we do? This process helps us go deeper into our reasoning, habits and unconscious beliefs.  The process is amplified when the asker and the one answering are the same.

This tool invites you to ask and answer a series of 5 WHY questions. For each answer that comes up, ask “Why?” to that answer. Each time you do this repeat the asking of “why” process especially by asking at least 5 times, allows you to go deeper, to reach a deeper level of truth or essence.


Getting Started

Pick any activity you performed over the last 2 days. Ask yourself, “Why did I do this activity?” Once you’ve answered, ask “Why?” to the answer you just gave. As you continue to ask “Why?” each of your answers moves you to a different mindset and until you gained a deeper understanding of your motives for doing things.

Go Deeper

What excuse do you use most often? Write it down in your journal. Ask yourself the 5 Why’s around that excuse. What insights arise that help you understand why you make excuses to prevent yourself from moving forward? Just being aware of our defences helps us work through them.

Reach Higher

Ask yourself, “What is (or might be) my life purpose?” When you get an answer, ask, “Why do I want to…. (enter the answer you just gave).” Ask WHY at least 5 times, until you run out of answers.

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A Guide to using "Insights on One Page"

Welcome to the “Insights on One Page” worksheets offering powerful processes that will support your change and growth.

How to get the most from your ‘Insights’ page:

Protect an hour of uninterrupted time to complete each worksheet.

Any new beginning needs to be anchored with some special marker, to make it memorable.  For this new beginning, take a deep breath now, breathe in, hold it for 5 seconds, and then breathe out. Next, affirm either by writing it down or by a strong mental affirmation, an intention of attaining new insights regarding a definite desire in your life.

Next, pledge to yourself that you will answer all questions to the best of your ability. The more desire, focus, attention and openness you bring to this exercise, the more quality and meaningful results you will achieve.

Write your initial answers on a separate piece of paper and then summarize your main conclusions in the boxes on the form. Do your best to capture the essence of your top answers in a word or short phrase. The more concisely you can describe an answer, the more power it will have to focus your mind.

After you’ve answered a question, ask yourself, “Are there any more answers?” and listen for inner guidance.

Do your own thinking, then use any additional recommended resources for more insights.

Once you have completed the process, review your summarized answers and then write down your action steps or final results and prioritize them. As you review your notes, you might want to circle, highlight or underline your main insights.

These are challenging questions. Don’t worry that you haven’t got all of the answers or even the best answers. The ideas that first come up for you are fine for now. Allow the process to bring you better and better answers over time. Just relax and do your best at each sitting.

For best results, periodically review your worksheet. Add new insights as they come. This will assist you in integrating the information presented there for greater effectiveness and lasting results.

Once you start on the path, the journey,  the process of self-exploration, it does not stop. Expect new insights and answers to keep coming to the surface.

Why does this work?

Each “Insights on One Page” worksheet can quickly give you heightened awareness and clarity around the topic being addressed. Getting focused and clear really helps us get results, so this alone is valuable. However, our process is particularly powerful due to the format used. Here’s why:

The one page form helps you see the big picture and details all at the same time. This stimulates whole brain thinking.

Listing all answers on one page overwhelms the rational left brain and engages the intuitive right brain. Quality questions also stimulate more creative right brain activity. This supports you in making new connections and in more fully integrating the material. It also activates the subconscious mind to work with the information.

Most of the worksheets include both positive and negative perspectives. Facing these dualities creates a positive tension in our minds that seeks to find balance between them. This fosters continual change and integration. We begin to balance the past and future, blocks and potentials, the head and the heart.

The one page form helps you reduce complex issues into key points which can be easily reviewed, remembered and acted upon. If it is in sight, it is in mind. Consistent attention through quickly reviewing what is important to us helps create the change we seek in our lives.

Many of the processes work on 3 levels:

  1. Inventory – to assess the situation now.
  2. Path – to identify where you want to be
  3. Action – to plan how to get there.

These ‘Insights’ worksheets are powerful journaling tools that get you thinking in new ways and writing down your thoughts. Both of these actions support us in moving forward in our lives.


Enjoy your journey!

Are You Conscious or Unconscious?

“Most people don’t live aware lives. They live mechanical lives, mechanical thoughts — generally somebody else’s — mechanical emotions, mechanical actions.” — Anthony de Mello

“Of course I’m conscious!” you reply. But are you really?

The truth is that most of us are basically asleep all the time. We’re lost in thoughts of the past and the future. We’re unconscious of the habits and beliefs that keep us stuck in the same old patterns. We’re oblivious to what’s possible for us.

We only truly live life when we are present to the moment. And being present means being fully conscious of what’s going on – within us and around us – so we can participate fully and authentically in the opportunities that present themselves.

It’s only when we can be present to the moment that we can grow in relationships, abundance, health, service, creativity and consciousness.

When we are unaware, we unconsciously choose the way we always have in the past. And those old patterns don’t usually serve our highest interests. As de Mello said, we “live mechanical lives.”

When was the last time you were aware of being aware? That is being conscious.

When was the last time you had an original creative thought?

How can we become aware? It’s quite simple, really. All we need to do is to STOP and pay attention! What does this mean?

When we pay attention, we bring our minds into the present moment. We’re no longer lost in thoughts or feelings connected with the past or future. We become fully conscious of what’s really happening, both inside and outside of ourselves, right now.

With awareness, we can tune into our senses. We can go more deeply into ourselves with openness and honesty. This gives space to what is. And this, in turn, often brings us new understanding — a new level of truth for us.

For example, when I STOP and pay attention, I may begin to notice:

The muscles of my body are tight like defensive armor and my breathing is shallow – I need to relax.

I’ve been feeling down for a while but I haven’t stopped to really connect with my feelings so I can understand and release them.

My thoughts are blaming someone or something else for my problems or my inner critic is blaming me.

I’m saying or doing something that isn’t really true for me.

The sky is a brilliant blue and taking just a few seconds to gaze up at its beauty fills my entire being with a sense of peace and gratitude.

When we bring an awake and open mind to the present moment, we can discover so many interesting facets of our lives:

We realize how often we are deeply unconscious of what’s going on.

We begin to see how our own preconceptions and expectations affect the way we interact with the world.

We discover how our thinking creates stress.

We begin to recognize there are other and perhaps better ways of doing things.

We get a sense of our motives, of what makes us comfortable or uncomfortable, of our defenses and masks — how we hide our true thoughts and feelings from others.

With awareness, we can uncover our true thoughts and feelings. We move from robot to the real thing. Our authentic selves have an opportunity to introduce themselves and to have a say in how we live our lives. The more we make choices based on our true nature, the more our lives nurture and fulfill us. And we begin to discover that deeper truths, guidance and soul connection are always available to us.

The rewards of paying attention are well worth the effort. And the good news is you have everything you need every moment to wake up to your own truth.

Dennis L. Waters, Sr.
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Reflections by Wise Men and Women

Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.” — Tennessee Williams

Many people live their whole lives lost in thoughts of the past and the future. Yet, we only truly live life when we are present to the moment. And being present means being fully conscious of what’s going on so we can participate fully and appropriately in the opportunities that present themselves.

Reflection allows us to relive our experiences, in order to gain the lessons learned. To eat the meat, or taste the good, to savor the moments of eternity in time, while discarding the rest.

However, there’s no need to probe into the past to unearth old experiences for healing. Life does a marvelous job of bringing circumstances to us know that support us in healing old wounds. And so, we can be assured that we always gain by being present, open and available to the new possibilities inherent in every ‘now’ moment.

We lose the power of the moment because we’re so rarely in it. We’re reliving the past or speculating about the future. We continue to believe that tomorrow’s the day when I’ll be more capable, more wealthy, more fit and more loving. Yet, intuition, creativity, connection, soul and inspiration are available only in the present moment.

When you find yourself thinking of the future or the past, bring your awareness into the present. Really experience how you feel and what’s happening around you, without judgment. If we can treasure each moment, our lives will be rich, no matter what we have accomplished.

“Each today, well-lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life.” — Sanskrit poem

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” — Henry David Thoreau

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” — Annie Dillard

“Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.” — Horace Mann

“If, before going to bed every night, you will tear a page from the calendar, and remark, ‘there goes another day of my life, never to return,’ you will become time conscious.” — A. B. Zu Tavern

“The thought ‘I exist’ is not the same thing as the awareness of one’s own existence. … Thought is not the same thing as consciousness.” — Jacob Needleman

A person asked Buddha:

“Are you a God?”

Buddha’s reply was:


“Are you an Angel?”


“Then what are you?”

“I am Awake.” — Unknown Source

“This moment is the moment of reality, of union, of truth. Nothing needs to be done to it or to you for this to be so. Nothing needs to be avoided, transcended, or found for it to be so.” — Da Avabhasa

“Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories.” — Cathy Allen