…because it’s the way it’s always been done.

Whenever you set out to do something or make a life choice if you’re like most people you have a reason for what you are doing or the choice you’re making.  A reason that answers the question, “why?”

Even if you don’t have an obvious reason for what you do or a choice you make, there’s still a reason.

How we answer that question is important. For example:

Some bad answers to, “why”?

“…because it’s the way it’s always been done”

In a few cases, you can maybe get a way with this answer if the way it’s always been done is good and successful.  But eventually the way it’s always been done becomes a hindrance to actually getting things done or moving forward.  Remember, “the way it’s always been done” is a method not a value or message.

A method answers the question, “how?”  How you do something does not describe why you’re doing it.  There are many different ways of selling a product.  There are many different ways of driving a car.  There are multiple ways of wooing someone.  There are different methods of sharing about what you believe.  HOWEVER, all these methods don’t describe the value you are choosing or the message you’re communicating.  One caveat.  Methods are often influenced by the value or the message (in other words choosing to share about Jesus with people while pole-dancing really isn’t the best method for sharing the gospel of Christ…) and methods may demonstrate a value or message but in of itself the method doesn’t answer, “why?”

So,  “…the way it’s always been done” is a bad answer for why you do something or make a certain choice.   What you’re really doing is defaulting.  When you default  then usually it means you really don’t know the answer to why? If I get this answer from people my next question would be, “Why are you doing it because it’s the way it’s always been done or why are you choosing that because that’s what always been chosen?”

(we’ll continue this series with the next post exploring another bad answer… “because ‘so-and-so’ is doing it” – The “Why?” picture was taken by “annnna“)

Series Navigation…because “so-and-so” is doing it.

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Darren

My name is Darren Ethier. I’m the father of four children and husband of the most beautiful woman in the world. My passion is developing useful and pretty code. I also love anything to do with leadership and the wise use of words. Currently I'm employed as a Code Wrangler with Automattic. Previous to my employment with Automattic, I had my own business, Rough Smooth Engine and my main client was Event Espresso and Event Smart.  I also am the author/founder of the popular series plugin for WordPress, Organize Series.  You may also see me hanging around working on the WordPress Gutenberg Project (currently on the core team there).

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