Ep 27: What, How, Why Problems

The key to solving any problem is first understanding what the problem truly is. In this episode of the Change Academy podcast, we define the three types of problems that crop up and teach you how to identify which one you’ve got. Because once you recognize what type of problem you’re dealing with, your chances of solving it go way up.


  1. If you’re not sure what needs to happen in order to solve the problem or create the result you want, you have a what problem. 
  2. If you know what needs to happen but you don’t know how to make that happen, you have a how problem.
  3. If you know what needs to happen and how to make it happen but you find yourself not taking action, you have a why problem.
  4. Why problems cannot be solved with what or how solutions. 

Lab Experiment:

Identify a place in your life where you are stuck or not making progress.

Step 1: Can you write down in a sentence or two exactly what needs to happen or change in order to achieve the goal or solve this problem? If not, focus your energy on identifying the best approach.  If yes, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Can you write down the concrete actions you need to take next? If not, focus your energy on identifying what your next steps are (which might be researching, planning, or taking some small action.). If yes, proceed to Step 3

Step 3: Can you write down 5 detailed and compelling reasons that you want to do this now? If not, spend some time digging for your why (or maybe your why not)?