I was wondering down this path, alright, it was more like a rabbit hole. The further I went along the deeper the hole got: more time put in, more money put in. The more time and money I put into something the more attached I am to it. Have you ever noticed that $10 “back then” seems to hold more value than $10 “today?” What I mean is, as I move down the path of a project the value of the investment SEEMS to have increased since I put it in. It hasn’t really, it’s just ten bucks but that is the way my mind works and I need to get over it.
Here’s a story I read the other day that explained my “Stinkin’ Thinkin’” (–Zig Ziglar) and I don’t remember where I read it. My paraphrase goes like this:
This guy, I’ll call him Joe was shopping around, invested a bunch of time and found a nice weekend getaway package for he and his wife. It cost a bunch of money and would result in a nice time spent together, some food and activities in a ritzy little place on the coast. Joe was satisfied. Later a friend at work told Joe about this absolutely perfect getaway. It was really what he was looking for and was exactly what he and his wife needed. Plus, it was very affordable so he booked that. When he arrived home, he discovered that it was at the same time as the previously booked weekend. Both events have policies of no refunds and no date changes (for the stories sake).
What does Joe do? It’s obvious, he goes on the more expensive weekend getaway and makes the best of it. Why? Because his human nature is flawed and his value is skewed by the $$$ and the time he spent in researching and finding it. He has to go on the more expensive trip and sacrifice the “absolutely perfect getaway” because of the time and money invested.
Sure you could say, “I’d never double book myself.” But that isn’t why I told you the story. I can identify with Joe because I place way too much value on my past work and past payments. So much that I get locked into where I’m going and what I’m doing. Hopefully, after reading this story, I have the reflection and resolve to choose the “absolutely perfect getaway.”
“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”
–Stephen R. Covey
It may not be as dramatic as the quote but it requires some thought. Another Covey quote is “Begin with the end in mind”. Whenever we discover we’re heading the wrong direction or doing the wrong things we need to “fail fast” and pivot now. Switch to the right path. Take the “absolutely perfect getaway” by not getting into the trap of “I already did this that or the other thing… so now I need to…” You never need to… let me personalize that: I never need to do the wrong thing. Here’s what I really need to do. I need to be open to failing. I need to be open to admitting defeat. I need to be open to realizing that I am smarter in this moment that I was when I made that decision and this new decision is better.
In the comments, share a rabbit hole you were in and how you got out.