In today’s world it seems all too easy to live a life of non-commitment. As evidence, recent statistics show that 51% of Canadian adults are ‘single’. However, commitment isn’t restricted to personal relationships.
Commitment is defined as ‘An agreement or pledge to do something in the future’. So, based on the above statistic, is commitment phobia rampant in our society? Or has what we commit to changed? Maybe people aren’t committing to marriage anymore. Then what are they committing to, if anything?
Let us take a look at other aspects of our lives, such as events. According to event organizers in the Greater Toronto Area, for most meetings and networking events where attendees were given the option, only about 50% of the attendees register in advance. And of those that do pre-register, most of them do so in the last two days before an event.
Curious as to why this is the case I spoke to many individuals and explored their reasoning. Though they struggled to give an explanation, here are the reasons they gave for not pre-registering for events:
– ‘I wanted to keep my options open’
– ‘I was hoping for something better to come along’
– ‘I wasn’t sure what kind of week I would have’
– ‘I didn’t know what else was happening’
– ‘I hadn’t planned my schedule yet’
There were other comments given, but underlying these are 4 critical conditions that significantly affect one’s level of effectiveness and success:
1) Inability to plan,
2) Not knowing what one wants,
3) Lacking specific goals, and
4) Always looking for more or better.
The way I see it, it all comes down to a fear of not being able to take advantage of an opportunity. This translates into a combination of fear of not knowing what one really wants and fear of not being able to make the right decision. Think about it for a moment, if you knew without a doubt what you wanted, you would not only be able to recognize it when you saw it, but you would commit to it without hesitation.
As a personal coach, I can say without a doubt that most people do not know what they really want. So, if most of us don’t know what we really want no wonder we can not even commit to an event. Hence, most people will end up attending an event by shear default of not having anything else, or anything better to do that day. How sad is that?
On the other hand, there are some individuals that are so clear on what they want and so specific in their goals that they have absolutely no problem committing to everything from a simple meeting to a long-term relationship.
I will go further to say that if you draw a line and put those that can commit on the left and those that make last minute decision on the right that the most successful in our society will stand on the left side of the line. This observation holds true among my friends and my clients.
8 things you can do to better commit:
If you apply these 8 things then you won’t be afflicted with the constant feeling of there being something better around the corner. Imagine what your life will be like knowing that you have made the best decision and you are doing the best thing at any point in time to achieve your goals.
Cost-benefit analysis is an approach to making decisions that examines the costs of an initiative compared to its benefits. In most cases, the goal is to generate more total benefits than the total costs.
TB (Total Benefits) > TC (Total Costs)
However, in situations whereby services have to be provided by obligation, such as the provision of municipal firefighting services the goal is to meet the total required benefits regardless of the costs. Of course, urban planners attempt to minimize delivery costs through locational analysis.
It is important to remember that cost-benefit analysis is a way of making decisions, or more precisely a way of justifying decisions. I say this because the reality is that there is much politics behind corporation and government decisions, whereby those politics supersede any other consideration. Therefore, cost-benefit analysis often becomes a tool to rationalize a decision rather than to assess the project.
There are various ways to manipulate cost-benefit analysis. The most common used by bureaucrats is to intentionally underestimate the cost of a project in order for it to make sense. In cases of large billion dollar projects that take years to implement, if the politicians or bureacrats are still in power then it will haunt them.
Then there is the narrow vision technique for manipulating cost-benefit analysis. With this method you simply close your eyes to some of the not so obvious costs of projects and leave them out of the equation. Narrow vision also applies to the time-frame that is used. Evaluating As as example lets look at public transit (buses) versus private transportation. It is obvious that a bus can hold 52 people or more, while most automobiles can hold 4. But does that mean that a bus is 13 times more effective than a car? Let’s look at the different components:
|carries 52 passengers||takes up more space||door-to-door||parking|
|only way for those without cars||reduces traffic because of stops||flexible schedule||stress|
|has to travel route even if empty||car accidents|
|requires a driver|
|breakdown affects 52 workers|
|some have to drive to bus stop|
|exposure to public viruses|
|not good for getting to hospital|
|not good for commercial deliveries|
|difficult for strollers and wheelchairsextra wear and tear on roads|
There are many more considerations. But, this is enough to make the point:
– how many of the possible considerations get included in the analysis?
– how are the different considerations valuated?
It doesn’t take much to manipulate the analysis at this level to be able to favour one outcome or the other.
Next time someone presents you with a cost benefit analysis you’ll know to ask “What was not included in the consideration and why?” and “How did you valuate the different considerations?”.