Rational decision makers

When I first heard the term ‘sunk costs’ I had no idea what it meant. However, I heard it from Seth Godin so I payed attention and came to find that it referred to money that had already been spent (which you can’t get back) that should not be considered in future decision making.

This idea can be applied to more than just money, it can also be applied to time although they say time is money so it all really just boils down to the same thing.

The idea of sunk costs is so useful because often we make decisions based on the past whereas sunk costs advises us to put that aside and make choices based on the present. I think it helps us to become more rational decision makers instead of relying on how things of the past have made us feel.

Getting drawn in

Some people enjoy arguing.

They love it, it fuels them and they will seek it out.

They’re rarely interested in understanding other people or sharing what they know instead they want to dominate and they want to be right.

You may find yourself often getting drawn in but by then it’s too late, you’ve gotten swept up in it all. All of sudden you’re passionately explaining your point of view hoping the other person will take it in enough to agree to disagree and move on.

But the other person tells you no, they tell you you’re wrong and they try to invalidate your opinion by saying you don’t understand.

And in these kinds of situations when you’re being baited in order for the dialogue to continue it’s easy to get riled up. It’s easy to try to get the other person to accept that it’s okay to see things differently. More often than not your efforts are to no avail.

And so the growth point is in choosing to not engage even if you think this time might be different.

The exchanges are rarely helpful and you just end up leaving them frustrated wishing you didn’t once again get drawn in.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood is infamously known as the one who ‘steals from the rich to give to the poor.’

He is an interesting character because he forces us to see things from a different point of view.

If asked, we would probably all say that stealing is wrong but would consider it less wrong if it was for the sake of those less fortunate.

And so we don’t consider Robin Hood to be a ‘bad person’. He’s someone who does a bad thing thing for a good reason.

What would happen if we extended that level of awareness to people in real life, not to accept or encourage ‘bad’ behaviour but to simply acknowledge that we understand.

Making the best of challenging circumstances

One of the best lessons to have learnt this year is how to make the best of challenging circumstances.

I’d be highly surprised to find that there is anyone who reads this blog that has not been affected by the pandemic.

People have lost their jobs, had family and friends pass, experienced financial difficulties, had holidays postponed, struggled to cope because they’re living alone, missed moments with the people they care about, had plans cancelled and so much more.

It’s easy to end up feeling as though life can be nothing more than bleak but it’s important to remember the joys of life.

No matter what is going on if you only focus on the ‘bad bits’ it will consume your whole outlook until you can’t see past it.

Of course you can’t ignore what is going on in the world but you can make time for things that bring you joy and make you feel good.

Ahead of their time

Often the key indicators of someone being ahead of their time is that years later other people are doing what they did with less pushback and other people are gaining more success.

Another indicator is if the person were to do what they did 5 years ago today, how would it be received.

A few years ago I started listening to a podcast that began a few years prior so I had hundreds of episodes to catch up on.

From the very first episode I listened to, I was hooked. I went back to the very beginning and worked my way through.

The podcast ended around a year after I started listening and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve gone back to the beginning and re-listened.

When I think about that podcast I honestly believe it was ahead of it’s time.

I’ve come across other people that are doing similar podcasts and I’ve come across people who started later and have had more ‘success’. Lastly, if the podcast I enjoyed started 5 years later than it did or even if it started today I’m certain I’d have liked it just as much if not more.

And so, I think it’s fair to say that the podcast was ahead of it’s time.

The disciplined creative

One of the things that I think is severely underestimated is the need for discipline in creative pursuits.

We’re bombarded with ideas and imagery of the wild artist. The creative that is awoken from slumber with their great idea. The writers block or creative block that results in nothing being produced for days, weeks or months. Then suddenly they’re almost possessed by the desire to create.

I think we separate the idea of being disciplined because it seems so in contrast to the idea of creativity.

But furthermore because we often look at creativity as a natural thing that just comes to you instead if being something you have to work at.

Time, dedication and discipline of a creative pursuit isn’t always appealing but it’s necessary.

Changing your mind

When you’re vocal about your beliefs and the things you want to do in your life, it can be difficult when you change your mind.

If you openly displayed yourself to the world in a particular way, major change (especially if it contradicts with your existing aims) will come with judgement.

It will come from strangers and people around you but it will also come from yourself. You judge yourself because you have difficulty comprehending and accepting that a person can hold a set of beliefs and then months or years later decide to reject them in favour of something else.

That internal judgement matters more than the judgement we receive from others because if you can’t understand yourself and the choices you’re making, what does that say about who you are?

If it doesn’t work out

We’re often brought up to believe that risk is a bad thing.

But the truth is it depends on the risk.

Packing up and moving to a new city could be considered risky but it’s not a bad thing. On the flipside, gambling away your savings hoping to hit the big time is risky and it’s not a particularly good idea.

I think when it comes to taking risks you know whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on how you’ll feel if it doesn’t work out.

When the risk not panning out means your safety at risk it’s probably not something worth pursing. Let’s take the gambling example.

If it turns out well you could walk away with more than your annual salary which is enticing. However, if we look at what happens if things go wrong you’ll realise that you gain nothing. If you gamble away thousands of pounds you don’t leave the experience haven’t learnt a lesson.

Those kinds of risks aren’t worth taking.

But when you try something new, push yourself and get out of your comfort zone, even if it doesn’t work out as planned, you’ve given yourself the opportunity to grow and develop into the kind of person you want to be.

Making things happen

It’s easy to make excuses for why things didn’t work out.

But often the reason is simply because you didn’t believe it was possible.

When you have self belief you approach life differently.

You walk with your head held high, you don’t second guess yourself and your actions flow.

When you don’t have self belief, you struggle to make decisions with certainty, your confidence is low and and you’re less likely to think the life you want can become a reality.

And so when it comes to making things happen self belief is essential.

Identifying barriers

If you had £10million what would you do differently?

We otfen think that money is the biggets barrier to us being able to achcive our dreams. However, that is rarely the case because where there is a will there is a way.

The real barrier is a little more challenging to overcome.

The real barrier is fear, a lack of confidence or low self-esteem, the list could go on.

If you’re scared to pursue your dreams without money you’ll still have some of that fear leftover when money is no longer an issue.

So work out what you’re afraid of and overcome it so that it’ll no longer hold you back.