I don’t know about you, but I’m becoming increasingly frustrated by a world that reacts to things, but doesn’t actually want to initiate anything.
Decisions bring responsibility, and many of us are afraid of that. Afraid of making a mistake. Of offending someone. Or of looking foolish, in an increasingly critical and judgmental society.
Best not to decide on anything. Do nothing and wait for something to happen.
In a recent blog post, marketing guru Seth Godin puts a lot of the blame on technology. He points out that we have audiobooks, self-driving cars, inboxes, google navigation and apps that are in our face – doing things for us, guiding us, and alerting us. We’ve become people who are “led” by gadgets. There really isn’t the need to think any more. Machines do it for us.
Godin goes as far as to say “The decline of our personal momentum might be the great untold story of our time. Electronic media, incoming, ‘breaking’, react right now, click here – all has a cost. And the cost is our internal drive to initiate instead of react.”
Godin worries that the day will come when the majority of people no longer read, because that takes initiative. He says most of us are okay with a few words. It’s getting through a whole paragraph that takes work.
The result of this quiet emerging trend away from iniative?
For the most part – silence.
I see it daily in my own life. In years gone by, I would hear from many people sending me suggestions, ideas and invitations to talk. Now – days and weeks go by without hearing from anyone. But the second I initiate contact with a comment or business idea – bang! I get an immediate “reaction.”
It’s as though a good number of people have become creatures, hiding in the forest, ready to pounce whenever an idea is hurled towards them.
More and more – the people who will be sought after in business and looked upon as leadership potential – are those who buck the trend. Who can still think for themselves. Love to initiate. And have the audacity to actually speak up with an idea or two in a sea of dormant “reactors”.