Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Emotional importance vs. Logical importance

I had a discussion with my girlfriend (I adore her, even though she uses the lens flare filter) a while back, about the fact that we both are the kind of person that always tends to show up 5 to 10 minutes late to every meeting, and why we do it.

My general theory had (up to that point) been that, because of my positive attitude, I tend to underestimate the time required to do things. My dear lady friend had another theory, though – a more simple one, and one that was unfortunately less flattering on our characters. Simply that we don’t feel that it is important to get to places on time.

This is quite a problem. It’s often we forget that we are emotional, not logical creatures. I don’t FEEL that it’s important, therefore I don’t do it. I feel that I can get away with being 10 minutes late, therefore I try to accomplish things I feel are more important before going to the meeting or whatever. If there was a feeling of importance attached to being on time, I would be on time.

I had flown over 20 times before I missed my first flight – of course it was due to the fact that flying had become very ordinary and had less of an elevated sense of importance attached to it. I missed it, because I no longer had the nagging feeling that said “It’s important not to miss the flight, you should be there at least 30 minutes before the gate closes”. My logic had stayed intact, but my emotions about it had changed, which is what allowed me to miss the flight.

“Being on time” is not the only aspect of my life affected by this phenomena. Five other things that springs to mind are “Go to sleep early and get up early”, “Have good eating habits”, “save money” and “Exercise regularly”. We all *know* that these things are important – that’s good common sense - but we don’t actually always *feel* they are important.

Hmmmm. Expect more blog entries about this soon.