So, got through my first week back at Just For Laughs. (First four days actually, including the weekend, as of this writing.)
During one of the numerous information sessions/meetings designed to re-integrate myself into the culture, the flow and the madness of the event, I asked an innocent question about a questionable show:
"Why are we doing this show?"
"It's part of a recurring series."
"But that doesn't explain why we're doing it."
"Well, we've done it like this for years."
Which, frankly, explains nothing. That's an excuse, not an explanation.
Here's what I've seen happen way too often:
You try something out. It works. You do it again, and suddenly it becomes a pattern.
While, on the surface, said idea still seems to be working, in reality it's taken the first step into its grave.
And that's not the tragedy.
The tragedy is that the idea was dead long before you noticed, or acted upon it. It's like housing a corpse on your living room easy chair for a few years, and then wondering "Hmmm, I wonder what that odor is?"
By that time, opening a window and a few squirts of Febreze may not be enough.
So this week's lesson was brutal and stark:
NEVER STOP ASKING "WHY?"
The answers you come up with may astound you. They will probably enlighten you. What made perfect sense at conception may be foolish today.
And if you can't answer, well...guess it's time to stop.
This is not just good business, but a necessary personal-position-and-balance-check in our essential day-to-day existence.
- Why do I work here?
- Why do I eat here?
- Why do I read this?
- Why do I take this route to work?
- Why do I go to the cottage every weekend?
- Why do I write this blog?
One of my favorite old Doobie Brothers albums was entitled "What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits" (Ahhhh! Now you understand what it's doing at the top of this post!).
Sadly, that's what happens to even the most outrageous of our actions.
Exciting ideas turn into old habits.
And, as the cliche goes, "Old Habits Die Hard."
What's worse, you probably still think they're alive and well.
Ask yourself "Why?"