Why People Don't Follow Through

ESTRAGON: I’m going. (He does not move).

-Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett

As a 16-year-old, I was unimpressed with Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.” In Ms. Mahoney’s 11th grade English class, we read about the non-adventures of Vladimir and Estragon who sit in a wasteland, discuss nothing with a few other transient characters, and wait for Godot.

Except Godot never arrives.

So, it’s a play about nothing.

And I found it so annoying.

Until I grew up.

And realized that that’s how people are. Unlike conventional dramatic literature (in which the writers set up and pay off the characters’ actions), people don’t always do what they say and say what they do.

How many times have you heard a loved one say that they’re going to lose those last five pounds and then do nothing? Or, how many times have you thought about starting that blog and just…found something else to do…?

Why is that? Are people inherently lazy? (Does everyone just suck?)

No. It’s our minds. It’s way easier to think of something than to actually summon the courage, grit, and work to actually follow-through and do it. Execution of something new can be difficult (especially since we have 60,000 thoughts per day with many of them skewing negative).

So, until the levers of pain and pleasure recalibrate (and we're forced to change), we do nothing. That's just the human condition.

Have you noticed this personal inertia anywhere in your life? If so/not, see how many times this week you see something set up (but never paid off). See humanity (in)action. : )

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