Exercise is a mixed-up matter for me. It is said to be the cheapest and effective way to combat cardio-vascular disease, the number one cause of Filipino deaths. But, the more I need it, the less I want to undertake it. According to a cardiologist, the treatment for heart disease or any disease, for that matter, relies on a three-pronged approach of nutrition, medication and exercise. The first two are easy, and were never an issue to me. But exercise is not at all a favorite pastime. The Harvard Medical School named five best exercises for non-serious exercisers—swimming, walking, tai chi, strength training and kegel exercises. Our Business Ethics Professor assigned us to do something that may constitute a “stretch” for us and to provide a feedback, by way of a reflection, on how it impacts our decision-making and judgment of others’ ethics and decision-making. Of the five, swimming is the exercise that I took on as part of my paper. This is because I have turned down endless invitations to go swimming. And if I usually accept the invite, I would just watch and do other things.
I reluctantly invited my family one weekend to comply with my academic requirement. It was a weekend far from our usual but as it is said, “change is the law of life.” The trip, though, was full of anticipation for my family. While we were on the way, part of me was already thinking what time we will be able to reach home, so I could do other responsibilities. After spending over an hour paddling, my biases intersected reality. It was undeniably exhausting but rejuvenating. It was not bad at all. I actually enjoyed the activity with my family, which I initially thought would benefit them more than me. Actually, the concerns I had with swimming at the outset were far less than the benefits it gave. As indicated in research, it can indeed improve your mental state and put you in a better mood. Besides, I was still able to do the things I needed to do when we arrived home. I felt like I have been doing the futile exercise of finding excuses to replace things the way I want.
As part of my reflection, I partly attribute my perception to a past accident I had in one of my swimming classes. I allowed myself to be dominated by the fear. It is said that to conquer fear is to repetitively expose oneself to it until one has learned to overcome it. However, one cannot deny that there are some things that people are not just confident of doing for one reason or another. Unless the person has the courage to change or experience it, this preconception remains intact. And apparently as one holds on to these prejudices, it tends to cloud ones’ perspectives, thus seeing only a portion of the big picture.
Our decisions, which are likely to be influenced by our choice to go for what is delightful, define the after-effects. The context of one’s decision-making or behavior is typically anchored on certain norms. And even though the decision can be disrupted, it is said that it is essential that when one has decided, it is executed and carried out appropriately.
Individual choices seem to run parallel with how humanity—and specifically business organizations—deal with challenges that confront them. The issue of moral ethos has been the object of discourse over the time. Socrates, for instance, opines that wrongdoing damages the soul. Aristotle, on the other hand, argues that money is not a final end but merely a means to an end. Adam Smith, in turn, talked about the “general rules of conduct” that are founded on “a sense of duty.” Indeed, morality has a crucial role to play in improving moral standards of business organizations. It is when humanity fails to uphold its moral standards and is overpowered by disordered appetites for earthy goods that the challenges commence.
Personal and business beliefs are normally anchored on principles that guide the way people in a business organization behave. Experiences are part of an individual’s learning process. It is crucial that people are open to go outside their zones of comfort, as this may be the only way to bring back better decision-making.
Ms. Dacul is a Doctor of Business Administration student at De La Salle University. She is a Senior Agribusiness Specialist at the University of Asia and the Pacific. The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty and its administrators.