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"Why" vs "How" questions - focussing on the future not the past

Had a great conversation with a guy yesterday and he pointed out something fundamental to me - the difference between asking a "why" question to asking a "how" question.

In essence - "why" is past orientated and "how" is future orientated.

For instance, asking "Why do I do have an 'open information' principle?" will lead me to question my past actions, environment and experiences. However, if I ask, "How does having an 'open information' principle affect me?" leads me to talk about the future actions, behaviours and thoughts.

Simple eh ... but so effective.