No one cares unless you make them care.
In an age of abundance, access to many choices leads to paralyzing indecision. We have more options than ever before, when buying a pair of jeans or picking a career path. The struggle to make sense of so many choices and pick the best option is paralyzing for most people.
It’s normal to want to make the best choice, picking the most form fitting and highest quality jeans for the lowest cost but its hard to sort through so many options and figure out which is best. Jeans are pretty straightforward though and if you can’t make a decision on which pair to buy you may be in for a bumpy ride throughout life.
It is typical to have many options available when making decisions and its hard to pick a path and commit to it with permanency. And when you make a vocal decision, no on really cares unless you make them care. They will assume your decisions are like everyone else’s, they lack permanence. Maybe you will just return the jeans in a week, or quit the job after a month or stop writing the blog before you ever truly began.
You can make people care by taking decisive action and then making each choice with a point of no return mentality, burning your ships as you go. This means a commitment to consistency and staying on course once a decision is made.
The point of no return is the point at which an action sets off a chain of events that ultimately cannot be undone. As soon as the action is set in motion there is no undoing it. Classic examples are when a plane has doesn’t have enough fuel left to turn back and must land at it’s destination. When Caesar and his army committed the unlawful act of crossing the Rubicon into Rome. Or my favorite, when invading forces enter enemy lands and burn their ships so that their can be no chance of escape.
The point of no return is a sunk cost without the resources to invest in another path. The point of no return is a metaphorical event horizon, the point at which you cross the barrier of the black hole and can’t pull back.
The bottom line is that no one cares anymore because there are only so many hours in the day. We make so many back and forth decisions everyday and we build habits of course correcting. It makes the decisions we make seem phony. Why would anyone care about my decision to start this blog if I’ve made a habit of starting things and stoping them a week later?
It’s about resource allocation, the time and energy we have to focus on anything in an increasingly competitive attention economy. Making decisions with permanency, with the point of no return mentality is hard and earns respect from peers.
The mentality of win or die earns you respect even though we know it’s not a life or death situation. It’s the fact that you’ve made a decision and will struggle on through it’s completion despite the many opportunities to turn back. Society admires struggling and overcoming adversity.
Want people to care about what you do? Take decisive action and burn your ships.