Tuesday, June 09, 2009

why you should make excuses

If you're in the business of trying to motivate particular behaviour, this thought might oil your kippers.

Jamie and I went to Breakfast Club at The School of Life last week. In a nutshell it was a group of people chewing over both muesli and light philosophical musings, all hosted by Robert Rowland Smith.

It hit me a few days later that although this was a new experience, it wasn't actually an invitation. It was an excuse.

It was an excuse for me to do something that I was already predisposed to doing but normally would not. It was an excuse because my usual reasons for not doing it were removed.

Here were my excuses for going:

1. It wasn't my idea to go - it was Jamie's idea
2. She goes to lots of interesting events, so it's probably not as pretentious as it sounds
3. It could be valuable for my line of work - it's "research"

Of course I loved it. Because it's exactly the sort of thing I would enjoy. A guilty pleasure of sorts that I would normally not act on because of the effort it would take to find out about and subsequently the message it would send out about me.

I have a point to make.

Rather than think how you can make people do stuff. Think who would like to do it and then give them an excuse to do so. Like, I don't know.. hand out microphones in Trafalgar Square and play one of the most popular songs of all time?


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