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Don’t get stuck

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Saw this article from my friend Liu Shuhui’s blog. I think it’s kind of interesting because I thought my green card situation is very much like that. Not to mention the stocks, let’s don’t go there today 🙂

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譬如公车平常是十五分钟一班,当你花在等待的时间超过十分钟后,你会开始烦躁不安,但通常你会继续等下去,等到超过十五分钟公车还不来时,你除了咒骂外,也开始感到‘后悔’——你应该在十五分钟前就走路或坐计程车去的。

  但通常你还会继续等下去,因为你已‘投资了那么多的时间’,不甘心现在改坐计程车,结果就越陷越深,无法自拔,直到公车姗姗来迟,你心理的困境才获得解脱。
  但人生有很多‘目标’,并不像公车那样‘必定会来临’,而且投资的也不是你‘个人的时间’而已。如何避免蹈入陷阱在人生道上,如何避兔蹈入这类‘陷阱’,也是一门不小的学问,心理学家鲁宾(J.E.Rubin)的建议是:
  1.确立你投入的极限及预先的约定:譬如投资多少钱或多少时间?
  
  2.极限一经确立,就要坚持到底:譬如邀约异性,自我约定‘一次拒绝就放弃’,不可改为‘五次里面有三次拒绝才放弃。’
   3.自己打定主意,不必看别人:事实证明,两个陌生人在一起等公车,‘脱身’的机会就大为减少,因为‘别人也在等!’
  4.提醒自己继续投入的代价。
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4 replies on “Don’t get stuck”

Sometimes the consequences are too grave to allow us to wait on forever…

In economics, they would refer to the already-wasted costs sunk costs, which would usually not be factored into any cash flow analysis. For some people, it’s rather common sense stuff.

Yes now I recall the “sunk cost” taught in my accounting class last year. Unfortunately I think human being are not always rational in those kind of situations. There is emotion involved when “I already waited 20 minutes”, or “I already dated this girl for half a year”…

On the other hand, I think there is also “opportunity cost” when we “do one thing”. I mean, time could be better spent “doing other things”. Again this is easily said than done, as indicated in the original article. 

Howdy stlplace,

What a poignant observation…

While sunk costs are a little easier to identify, opportunity costs vary by individual preferences and hard to maintain a universal definition. Don’t we all what to make the best out of all the alternatives available to us? Then one’s best might be another’s worst.

What it truly takes might be a little paradigm shift & courage to make/perceive things equally easy said and easy done? Isn’t that part of the fun living a meaningful life?

Stlplace,

Although never doubt that as a human being to be emotional quiet often, it is yet unsafe to parallel “I already waited for 20 min…” with “I already dated this girl for half a year…”. While it’s hard for you to control how long you will wait for the bus coming and you were just as a customer; how could you overlook you are a participant in the dating events if it begins with “mutual appreciation” but ends with “personality incompatibility”, not to say the happiness you have had and the lessons that you can get……

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