Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Comfortable Inaction Is Expensive

comfortable inaction

John F. Kennedy popularised the idea of comfortable Inaction through one of his quotes-“There are risks and costs to a program of actions. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable Inaction.”

Comfortable Inaction is our tendency to avoid taking action on a problem, even though we know it needs to be addressed. This can happen because we fear making mistakes or don’t want to rock the boat. Putting it differently, Comfortable Inaction happens when our unhappiness or discomfort about a particular issue has not quite reached the point where we feel the need to do something. 

Bottom line: There is always a price to pay for comfortable Inaction. 

Much as we can try to justify it, problems rarely get solved when ignored and don’t get the attention and action they deserve. Our Comfortable Inaction just makes problems bigger and more complicated.

A stitch in time is always worth nine !!

If you are wondering what comfortable Inaction looks like, here are some examples.

  • Your boss doesn’t oppose your proposal but takes no action. Or your boss agrees with a suggestion but still does nothing.
  • You know you should do something important, like going to the gym, but you keep procrastinating because it’s hard.
  • A colleague won’t take on a task and provides no reason.
  • Someone sticks to the same routine without trying to change or improve.
  • Someone in the team is being disruptive(in a negative way). Instead of confronting the person head-on, the leader looks to try and work the way around the issue, hoping the issue will sort itself.
  • You spend time planning and analyzing without doing real work.

My message? Be aware of your work ethic. Are you action-oriented, or do you avoid challenges?

I want to remind you to be conscious of your work habits, regardless of your context. Do you take action and face challenges head-on, or do you avoid them and endure hardships longer than necessary? Remember that success is not determined by how much you can endure but rather by the results you achieve. 

Becoming aware of your operating model is a great starting point to overcome the ills of comfortable Inaction.

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