In my opinion, the message “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is the most toxic message in the history of the world. The fact that this proverb is in the lexicon is part of the problem. People really, really need to speak out and stand against it, because it’s a Trojan horse for cynicism and surrender.
It would be faster AND more accurate to simply say “Good intentions are not enough.” This leaves open the fact that many other elements are needed.
Blaming good intentions is the height of folly. It promotes cynicism and other negative parts of human nature. Why bother doing more than the absolute bare minimum to get by? Why go the extra mile? Why bother when you can just sit back, slack off, and still get the same mediocre results with MUCH less effort? Blaming good intentions undermines every pep talk about giving 110%, following through, being proactive, etc.
Good intentions are NEVER the problem. Instead, it’s poor planning, poor execution, lack of know-how, or lack of consideration of the ramifications. While doing nothing will be the correct action 1% of the time, it will be the wrong action the other 99% of the time. Given that doing nothing is the default option and the path of least resistance, it does NOT need to be actively encouraged.
Poking holes in something is easy enough. Actually coming up with solutions is the hard part. If an endeavor were that easy, somebody else would have already completed it by now. Getting things done properly requires things like know-how, skill, and attention to detail. It can feel like it requires all the planets to be properly aligned.
To get on-topic, I think that this toxic old proverb is holding back humanity and productivity. It’s time to junk it.