Bit of random post today! I just felt really inspired to write about this book The Art of Thinking Clearly. I had a cosy afternoon in the other day and when looking for something to read, came across this favourite from my bookshelf. As someone who is criminally indecisive, this book has really helped me try and focus my mind and hopefully make better/more informed decisions.
The book is broken down into small snippets of advice, usually about 3-5 pages long. The one that particularly spoke to me was Why You Should Forget The Past (Sunk Cost Fallacy).
This is an excerpt from it:
The sunk cost fallacy is most dangerous when we have invested a lot of time, money, energy or love in something. The investment becomes a reason to carry on, even if we are dealing with a lost cause. The more we invest, the greater the sunk costs are, and the greater the urge to continue becomes.
In the book this chapter uses the simple act of going to see a movie to show this. It basically explains that if the movie is bad then it wouldn’t be a waste of money to leave halfway through, as at this point the money is gone regardless. The only decision now is whether you waste more of your time sitting through the bad film.
This really hit me when I first read it as I always used to allow myself to continue down paths I knew to be ultimately doomed because I didn’t want the time I’d already spent on them to be a waste. This book really opened my eyes to how we should really look at things. If there’s one piece of advise I would take from this book it would be this:
No matter how much you have already invested, only your assessment of the future costs and benefits counts.
Disclaimer: Obviously, this advice does not work for every situation.
The book in general is filled with all sorts of useful advice and it talks about so much more than the little bit I’ve covered here. For myself I know it really helped me with some life-changing and long overdue decisions and I still really like to pick it up when I’m having trouble focussing or my mind is muddled. If you struggle with that as much I do, I’d seriously recommend giving it a whirl.
I know this post was a bit random, but hopefully useful nonetheless. Thanks for reading!