The power of “because”

In 1987, Ellen Langer published a research study about the power of the word “because”.

That simply using the word because dramatically improves compliance.

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?” (60% compliance)

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?” (93% compliance)

“Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?” (94% compliance)

This is what 200 years of the industrial education complex has created—compliant cogs to fit into a system.

Interchangeable parts and interchangeable people.

Why do you think there are so many self-help books on the subject of finding your passion?

It’s because (see I just used it there) we are not used to leading. We are used to asking, “Will this be on the test?”

And so, when we leave school many are left asking, “Where should I go? What should I do?”

There are many answers. Waiting to be told what to do next isn’t going to help us get to the places we want to go.