The Sunk Cost Fallacy; Or Why It’s Never Too Late to Change Course

You know that psychological phenomenon called the sunk cost fallacy?  Basically it’s when you refuse to abandon something (a job, relationship, money investment, etc.) because you’ve already spent so much time or money on it.

As I head into my mid-30s (GULP), I talk to a lot of folks my age who are dissatisfied with their careers or certain aspects of their lives. But they’re hesitant to make a big change because they’re already invested on that path.

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And I get that. I mean, what if you’ve spent a decade being an expert in one field only to realize you really don’t enjoy working in that field? Do you just abandon all that? Or what if you’re in your early 30s and you’ve been in a relationship for six years but realize you’re unhappy but you desperately want kids and you feel the burden of your ticking clock. 

Well. I’m hear to give you permission to completely scrap something you’ve been with/at for years if it makes you unhappy or no longer calls to you. It’s OK. That’s the beauty of life. We are supposed to be constantly in flux.

And if you don’t leave something/someone that in your heart you know isn’t right for you, you’re simply wasting more time – because I guarantee – if your desire is strong and real enough, you will end up going a new direction towards that place anyway. It’s like psychological, subconscious magnetism. 

When I’ve made big decisions in my life – like moving to LA and committing to writing, I would remind myself of the quote “Fortune favors the bold.” And I’ve found it to be true. Moving here and deciding to go to graduate school was the best decision of my life. More opportunities have come my way than I ever could have imagined.

You’ve got to make moves (metaphorically, but literally in my case) to accomplish big things.


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