Today, we are expanding on some faulty beliefs in the world- previously we spoke about The Assumption of Ability Theory. Today, we are diving head first into The Assumption of Proximity Theory.
This theory, like many other, is multi-faceted, however the general idea is this:
"The Closer you Are to Something, the Less Likely You are to Achieve It."
I know. What?! But hear me out. I have found this theory has its lessons in two main areas of life.
So lets dive in and explore how the Theory of Proximity can (and will) affect you:
1. The Theory of Proximity and Time:
Time is relative - a famous man once suggested this and, as we near the speed of light, time ceases to exist at all. However, for us mere mortals only orbiting the sun at 25k MPH we are subject to the shackles of time. This portion of the theory suggests that the closer you live to something (appointment, business, etc) the more likely you are to be late or not on time. Why? Because the Theory of Proximity said so, that's Why! But realistically, it is likely due to the negligence of time (which, as we discussed is not negligible until you're at the speed of light). You see, for any given trip out of the house there is a set time required to exit the house. Let's call that Prep Time or PT for brevity purposes. Then, there is Travel Time or TT for short. In any given trip:
PT+TT= Total Trip Time (TTT)
Let's take two different scenarios and break them down, one is a quick run to the store which is 5 minutes away, and the other is an appointment 45 minutes away.
For the first trip:
PT(5min)+ TT(5min) = TTT (10 min)
For the Second:
Now, you see the prep time doesn't change. But, the trip time does and therein my friends is where the Theory of Proximity is most apparent. You are far more likely to be late to trip #1 than #2. Why? Because when we break it down, Trip #1's TTT has 50% of it's time as Prep Time. In Trip #2, only 10% of TTT is Prep Time. The error comes in believing prep time will always only take 5 minutes. If you have kids, and if you're reading this, I reckon you might; you understand that prep time is variable at any given time. Usually, prep time (which should be constant) extends far beyond the realms of normalcy due to defecation, urination, lack of outfit preparation, snack, water, stuffy, pokemon cars, or indignation, you name it, if it can cause a problem it will. Every minute of delay will have a 10%+ effect on the duration of the time in Trip #1. Whereas in trip #2, the prep time, even if it's delayed by 5 minutes will only have a 4-5% increase in TTT which can easily be made up through a healthy speed and good driving tactics. As a physical therapist whose life revolves around appointments, it never dails to amaze me how many folks who live just around the corner are 5 minutes late and those who live 30 minutes away are 10 minutes early- this is the Theory of Proximity in Action.
2. The Theory of Proximity and Location:
This one is a little more simple to understand I believe: The closer you love to something (attraction, event etc) the less likely you are to see that something.
I know. But here is the thing. When we travel far distances, we make the effort to go see the local sights and sounds because we traveled and put in the time and effort to get there. However, when you are local the assumption is "it will always be there" and we put it off in lieu of going on another vacation abroad taking in other sights and sounds. I lived in Colorado for 25 years of my life and never once did I tour Rocky Mountain National Park. Yes, I did lots of other things, but the classic tourist trip... nope not yet- it will be there when I get back. Same for me in Arizona. 10 years (this July) in this state and I've yet to see the Grand Canyon. I know. But it will always be there....
Now this theory gets broken when there is a time limit placed on things such as a concert, one night only, or a week long event because that creates urgency which forces action. If there is no urgency, the local, proximal activities/events etc will fall to the backburner.
I would love to hear how the Theory of Proximity has affected you in your life- comment below of catch me on social media and let's chat!
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