In The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series, civilisations are described as being either in the ‘how’, ‘why’ or ‘where’ stage. This it the difference between ‘how do we eat?’ ‘why do we eat?’ and ‘where shall we have lunch?’
I have a theory that people think and live their lives in a variety of ways that can be described as ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘who’.
I know some people who are very much ‘why’ people. They can be fairly religious and tend to spend a lot of time thinking about why we are here and their purpose in life. I tend to get a little frustrated with these people because I prefer to be happy and just focus on the here and now.
Personally, I am a ‘how’ person. I believe that how we live our lives is the most important aspect of a person, the decisions you make and the actions you take defining your life. I chose to move across the country to live with my other half and give up a better paid job in favour of one with a better social life, because I think that how you live the majority of your life and your happiness is vitally important.
In contrast again, ‘who’ people are focused on defining themselves and may reinvent themselves several times or fall in love several times in their lives in pursuit of happiness. Because that is what life is all about to ‘who’ and ‘how’ types. Finding happiness.
It doesn’t matter which of these types you associate most with, and you are very likely a combination of all three. Other categories might include ‘when’ people, possibly fascinated by the future or history and science or truth, or ‘where’ people that dedicate their lives to experiencing as much of the world as possible to grow as people. I’ve felt this tug myself- how can we spend one lifetime on this beautiful planet and not want to see as much of it as possible?
Like I say, it’s just a little theory, but it’s nice sometimes to look at life slightly differently and see if we learn anything about ourselves from it.