Many intend but few act

Many intend but few act

We often receive invitations or opportunities to do good. As one of the more popular Bible verses go: “Many are invited but few are chosen.”

Based from the research projects of current thesis groups, it is easy for people to “intend” to do sustainable activities. This could be in terms of bigger aspirations such as intending to start a sustainable enterprise; or this could be something as simple as intending to recycle packaging we receive from e-commerce services.

Yet, these intentions do not always translate into actions. My research groups’ working insights are related to social desirability bias, or a person wanting to intend an act that is perceived to be good by society. Who wouldn’t want to start a more sustainable enterprise or to recycle?

From a practical perspective, we need to have more support systems to help translate these intentions to action (incubation for sustainable enterprises, logistics support in terms of proper recycling). People tend to overestimate one’s self-efficacy and intentions in doing these things; but these fall short when it comes to actually acting on such good intentions.

From a personal perspective, are we really so weak individually that we have to generally rely on an existing support system to translate our intentions into actions?

Maybe this is why many are called, few are chosen; because many intend, but few act.

Matthew 22:1-14. Many are invited but few are chosen


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