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A proximate cause is an event immediately responsible for some outcome, as opposed to the root cause - the ultimate, "real" reason something happened.

To diagnose the real cause, you can use "5 Why's" method.

For example, a problem:
I got a speeding ticket.

- Why?
Was driving too fast. (Proximate cause)

- Why?
Was late for work.

- Why?
Woke up late.

- Why?
Went to sleep late.

- Why?
Watched Netflix whole night. (Root cause)

@startuplab Or you can keep going

- Why?
Job is unfulfilling

- Why?
It is entirely pointless administrative paperwork

- Why?
The philosophical position that a person must "earn a living"—do something that justifies ones existence in economic terms, on pain of death by starvation or exposure

- Why?
In a word, Capitalism (Root cause)

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