By Moadh Bukhash (@MoadhBukhash)
I am not usually one to criticize; I usually prefer to have a positive outlook on the issues that surround us, hoping that positive change is on the horizon. However, at the same time, pointing out an issue is almost a duty to have others recognize and admit it. You could say that the first step in implementing change is to admit there is something to change. The issue that I have observed is the common tendency for people to prefer shortcuts to long-term solutions; instead of realizing and acting upon a decision that will surely have the greater positive impact, other short-term avenues are taken instead.
An obvious example is that in health and well being. Through my own experience, and through co-owning Contender MMA, I have witnessed all too frequently that people prefer to take the shortcut instead of opting for the long-term option. To break it down in the simplest manner, the only way to be healthy and ensure that our bodies are both physically pleasing as well as well nourished is to employ a long term, sustainable option.
With health, the benefits of a shortcut solution usually reverse after that effort is done. All too often I have heard of this crash diet, or that water diet, or the new revolutionary exercise that solves all the problems. However, employing that short-term solution and ignoring any of the three pillars of wellbeing, that being exercise, rest, and nutrition, cannot ever be the most fruitful of solutions. The trick to making sure that our bodies are healthy on the long term and we function both physically and mentally well is to ensure that all three pillars are equally and effectively addressed.
Another example I have witnessed is within the construction industry. Two of my close friends own and run a company that sells performance coatings to the construction industry among others. What these coatings do is protect structures and pipes against heat, rust, fire, and so on. Their products are revolutionary to the industry to the measure of how the iPod revolutionized the music players industry. Their challenge, however, in the industry is convincing builders that the long term benefits of their products outweigh the initial costs that it takes to acquire it.
The builders, however, employ the short term solution mentality when they acquire products, not recognizing that the benefits of the relatively more complicated solution on the long term. That in turn creates buildings or structures that are not geared for usage in the long term, resulting in high maintenance costs years down the line that end up being a far higher cost than it would have cost to implement the long-term solution in the first place.
I am not sure what is the reason behind it exactly, it might be within our nature to prioritize the short term over the long term. It might even be the fast food culture that we live in, always looking for the quick fix that delivers the highest returns in the shortest time possible. Whatever it may be, I do know the one thing that can help drive a more thought-out decision making process, and that is education. If we all ensured to take a step back to think about the decisions we make, research the alternatives that exist, and truly take a long term cost vs. benefit approach, then we can be sure that the tide will turn towards more sustainable decisions being made in all aspects of life. Education truly is key.
21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start – Art of Living 101 – Beyond Inspiration – Community Talk – Food For Thought
Interview – Just Another Undergrad – Sense and Sustainability – Society of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever – The Mind’s Eye – Too Blunt For Words – Words, Observations, and Ramblings