There are two ways sunken costs can trick us.
The first is believing that because we’ve already bought something — invested time or money into it — that we must use it to get our money’s worth.
That’s not to say we should be wasteful, but it does mean that we have to drink the rest of the bottle.
The second way they get us is when we think that we’ve put in enough.
We think that we’ve invested enough to be sure that another minute won’t achieve anything.
Often, that’s the moment when a little extra push would bring success.
Sunken costs hurt us both ways. There’s no way to tell the difference.
The best we can do for ourselves is ignore them altogether.
Because as much as we like to draw lines between the past and present, the only connection they have to the future is the one we choose to make right now.
Most people don’t realize how easily they can change reality.
It’s not that it changes the world materially. It just chooses different materials to make the world.
Our brains are wired to look for things we want to see, whether we’re consciously looking or not.
If bananas are keeping you alive, it pays to be able to spot as many of them as possible, even when you’re not paying attention. The same goes for tigers.
That’s why you always notice more of the car model you’re driving, and ants always all appear at the same time.
If we believe the world is dangerous, then it will become more dangerous.
If we are looking for reasons to be happy, we will find many more of them.
There are too many good reasons to be alive once you start looking.
Sometimes we have to go away and look somewhere else to see what was there all along.
We get all sorts of nonsense stuck in our heads that stops us from getting what we want.
One particularly nasty one that trips people up — especially when starting something new — is thinking that they’re too bad to start.
But as my incredibly wise running coach says, “You’re never too bad to start getting better.”
No matter how bad we think we are at something. No matter how unfit or unhappy or unskilled or unmotivated we feel.
We’re never too bad to start getting better.
And starting is half the battle.
Some blokes smell powerful.
It’s like they have so much mass that it leaks into the air around them.
Jocko Willink is one of those blokes.
He was a Navy SEAL officer for many years in the Middle East, and he told me this trick to flip the switch on adversity.
And when Jocko tells you something, you listen.
Anytime something bad happened, he would just say, “Good.”
Sand in your gun? Good. Now you can practice cleaning it.
Shot in the leg? Good. Now you can get some time off.
Lost your job? Good. Now you can find something better.
Didn’t get a date? Good. Now you can go out with your mates.
Gym closed? Good. It’s about time you got into running.
Stuck at home? Good. Maybe it’s time to write that book.
Didn’t get funded? Didn’t get a raise? Sprained your ankle? Got rejected? Got locked-in? Got locked-out?
Because when things go badly, some good will always come of it.
One winter evening my sister and I were smoking weed out her bedroom window when she said something that still rings in my ears.
She was even a little embarrassed to say it.
“I think everyone’s beautiful, in their own way. At first, maybe they’re not beautiful, and then you look a bit closer and find that even the weirdest features have their own weird beauty.”
Every day is like that; every plant, every animal, every relationship. Even the grim and horrifying parts of life have their own, twisted, fascinating beauty.
Life is beautiful.
It’s not that everyone’s beautiful to somebody.
Everybody’s beautiful when we take the time to look.
Sometimes it’s just really hard to find.