“It sounds contradictory, but the greatest risk is taking no risks. Not only does it maintain the status quo, but it’s also a recipe for regret. More specifically, inaction regret. . . . In the short term, we tend to regret the mistakes we’ve made. In the long term? We regret the opportunities we’ve missed more than the mistakes we’ve made . . .” – Mark Batterson
Mark Batterson prefaces Day 21 (“Change the Routine”) of Do It for a Day with Habit 5 – Cut the Rope. Pastor Batterson begins with the story of Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. In the winter of 2000, Hastings and Randolph walked into Blockbuster’s conference room, located at Renaissance Tower in Dallas, Texas.
Hastings and Randolph proposed that Blockbuster, then a $6 million home entertainment giant, purchase their start-up company. For $50 million – or three day’s profit. In return, the start-up would run Blockbuster’s online video rental arm. However, Blockbuster took a hard pass. Because they failed to anticipate the advent of video streaming. And the company Blockbuster passed on? Netflix!
In addition, Pastor Batterson notes, two kinds of cost exist in the world of economics:
- actual cost – an expenditure that shows up on a balance sheet as a liability
- opportunity cost – the hidden cost
For example, if you decide not to invest in a certain stock that later takes off, there’s no actual cost to you. The opportunity cost, though, could be substantial.
Moving on to Day 21, Mark reminds us that forty-five percent of our thought is automatic – subconscious. The author likens these thoughts to trip wires that crisscross the cerebral cortex. Therefore, to deconstruct and reconstruct your habit cycles, you must identify those subsurface hazards.
In conclusion, Pastor Batterson states, bad habits are hard to break because they’re too convenient. Hence, you interrupt the pattern with a change in your routine. You make it less convenient to sustain your bad habit. In other words, harder is better!
Today’s question: Do you find that the greatest risk = taking no risk? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Reverse engineer your habits”