Mohamed El-Erian

“Focus on the How not the Why, When and What only”.

That was the advice given by Mohamed El-Erian‘s Father, one of the most successful living Egyptians. He has been through intellectual journey all his life.

The words kept ringing in my mind, Focus on the “How, not the why, when, what only”, very impressive because it covers the logic, the timing and the substance of any problem but let’s think , How can we use this “Paradigm”?


Let’s take something hypothetical, you have a problem with your weight, the usual line of thoughts, Why I am overweight? So bad, I am overweight because I eat a lot, I am inconsistent in my eating habits and I don’t exercise enough, Great , but So WHAT? 99% of overweight people have the same reasons and the same logic that led them to being overweight!

If you use the “Focus on the How not the why, when and what only”. paradigm, you would address the problem differently and more positively ! Simply think “How Do People Lose weight and How Can I do it”?

Check  success drivers of weight loss and how can you fire up you “WillPower” to do the same, don’t focus on the problem as it would absorb you , focus on how you can solve the problem taking different perspectives?


Another application if the paradigm, The ancient Chinese notion of happiness (fu 福) has five elements: longevity, wealth, health, virtue, and living out one’s natural span well. “Happiness”, it is not about what makes you happy, it is “How You define Your Own Happiness “?

Does happiness mean your beautiful kids, Does happiness mean success, Does happiness mean “a Family”, Does happiness mean “Freedom” , Does happiness mean “Successful Marriage”, Does Happiness mean “enjoying or performing  Arts, music or sports”? Does happiness mean “Praying”?

Does Happiness mean “Eating and Drinking”? Does Happiness mean “Sex”? Does Happiness mean “Travelling”? Does happiness mean “Money”? If you think about how you actually define “Happiness” and breakdown the elements of your definition of Happiness , each one of us would have his/her own set of Happiness variables that clearly frame his own “Happiness” and afterwards we should think clearly about “How we can make ourselves happy by prioritising those elements of Happiness?”

Happiness is not a tangible materialistic thing that you can touch and feel, it is the Mindset of “How do You Define Your Own Happiness”?

The Paradigm of “Focus on the How not the why, when and what only” can have endless streams of thoughts and applications.

Now i want you to think again about this golden advice How would you “Focus on the How not the why, when and what only”?:) Please Share Your thoughts about this intellectual journey.