Should You Be Forced to Follow Through?

I was reminded recently of a TEDx talk I gave years ago in Memphis. I remember ending the talk by making a case for the development of technology that would allow us to register our good intentions and then essentially FORCE us to act in accord with those intentions.

Forced for your own good

I believed then — and still believe now — that society should take the harmful effects of poor follow through way more seriously than it does and create mechanisms that enable us — if necessary, by forcing us — to actually do the things that we intelligently decide we should do.  

I recognized then — and still recognize now — that the very idea of being forced to do anything — even something that we’ve decided is in our own best interest to do — is likely to trigger a powerful and primitive “Don’t you dare tell me what I can and can’t do!” reflex.  But I thought then — and still think now — that, frankly, our notion of personal freedom needs to grow up.

Are we victims of the freedom to NOT follow through?

Of course, we should always fight for the freedom to decide on our own what we should do.  But, in light of the design flaw that causes us to waste so much of the intelligent guidance we give ourselves, I’m convinced that we would benefit immensely from willingly giving up the freedom to violate our own intentions.

If you had the option, would you volunteer to be forced to follow through?

If/when you have 17 minutes to spare, please watch this presentation based on my Tedx talk and see what you think  about the whole idea of being forced to act in accord with your own good intentions. Watch it below or watch it on YouTube.