Planning for unhappiness

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. John Barrymore 1882 – 1942 No matter who you are or how good your life is, at some point, you’re going to be unhappy. It might only be for a few hours or a few days: someone could hurt your feelings, you could break or lose a treasured possession, or a host of little things might go wrong. But there’s always the potential for worst case events, ones no one is immune to: you could lose your job or your savings, be diagnosed with a serious illness, or see a …
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Plan M

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. George S. Patton 1885 – 1945 A few years ago, there was a feel-good show called Leverage, in which former criminals used their unique skills to help people in need. In the pilot episode, things start going wrong on a job and the leader, Nathan Ford, changes the plan. One of the crew asks if they’re going to Plan B. He replies, “Technically, that would be Plan G.” Which prompts another question: “How many plans do we have? Is there, like, a Plan M?” I’ve written before about the importance of having a …
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Sunk costs

If things go wrong, don’t go with them. Roger Babson 1875 – 1967 Over the past week or two, some of you may have received holiday gifts you don’t like, and you might be thinking about selling them on eBay or Craigslist. There’s an important business principle called sunk costs that you ought to consider; it’s actually useful in any number of life situations, so it’s a good lesson to learn and understand. The idea of sunk costs is fairly simple: any past costs associated with a decision are irrelevant, because you can’t change the past; you should only consider current and …
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