Why Do People Not Do What is in their Own Best Interest?

Robert Terson

There are about 75 guest-post contributors to this site. If you’ll click on the “See All of Our Contributors” link on the site, you’ll see who they all are. Many of them are among the top sales and marketing professionals worldwide; I take great pride that they’ve consented to share their valuable content with you on Sellingfearlessly.com.

There are also a number of contributors who aren’t as well known, but whose content is just as valuable. I take great pleasure in providing these lesser-known individuals a platform to speak their minds; it’s a winning proposition for all concerned: me, you, and especially them—it gives them great exposure. It’s certainly in their best interest to be a contributor; I doubt any of them would tell you otherwise.

What astonishes me is that I’ve invited a number of other people to contribute who initially accepted the invitation but never followed through, never sent me any of their content to post. Why, I ask myself? Why not do what is so obviously in their own best interest? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Are they just so busy that they can’t find the time? (It is true that some of these individuals are busier than hell!) Are they procrastinators at heart? Are they so shortsighted that they can’t see the benefit to themselves? Whatever the reason, it boils down to this: they’re shortchanging themselves, which is, in my opinion, a form of self-destruction.

It sort of reminds me of the telecommunication companies, and other companies like them, who advertise tens of millions of dollars every year to obtain new customers, while treating their “old” customers with all the regard of Mr. Scrooge before his great epiphany in A Christmas Carol. You call them and while you’re waiting a half hour to talk to a human being, the frustration building with each passing minute, you get to listen to them pitch you about other services they want to sell you, all the while tossing in now and then a “Your call is very important to us; it’ll be answered in the order it was received by the next available operator.” How is it in their best interest to treat you so shabbily, I ask you? It isn’t, but that’s not motivating any of them to change their stupid ways.

So the great question of the day is, Why do people not do what is in their own best interest?

Is that you? Take out a pad of yellow legal and quick make a list of all the things you said you were going to do, promised someone you were going to do, really want to do, know is in your best interest to do, but just haven’t gotten around to doing. Next, ask yourself what it’s costing you to not follow through. Ask yourself what it is about your character that’s preventing you from following through in these situations. Ask yourself why you’re so willing to engage in this kind of self-sabotage.

Is your blood beginning to stir? I hope so! It’s your world. Go do what’s in your own best interest, for God’s sake!


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