No.230 — Who makes the decisions?

Willmot's Weekly Wisdom

Why do we need to be challenged with ice buckets to donate? Are you giving more because you shaved your head, slept on the street, or painted a fingernail? When did we decide that it was only when we’re extrinsically pushed that we would donate to causes? Do you work as hard now as you did when you were fresh out of university striving to impress? How long has it been since you burned the midnight oil with your project-colleagues — not to get it finished but to get it perfect?

Do we only go the extra yards when there is an external motivation? Part of a project team, in a sales competition, embarrassed to act through the guilt of advertising or because the boss is pushing us harder? If you’re only driven to perform beyond the norm when told, measured, or embarrassed, you’re allowing someone else to make your decisions. You’ve committed your best performances to somebody else: the highest bidder; the boss; the celebrity mouthpiece.

As more of us work with fewer constraints and formalisations of past work practices — reliance on bosses, advertising, and peer pressure fails us. We need to make our own decisions, be self-disciplined, and intrinsically-motivate because the upside is greater and the results are more rewarding. We need to make our own decisions.


“Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.”
— Clint Eastwood.