Life,  Reading

The Wisdom of Timely Stop Loss: How to Overcome Sunk Costs and Start Anew

There is such a shocking story in the novel “Wolf Totem”.

Local people will set up a powerful trap on the grassland to catch wild animals, but wolves are rarely caught.

This is not because of how smart the wolf is, but because if the wolf is caught in the leg, it will bite off the leg, bones and tendons, and escape with three legs limping.

When other wild beasts are captured, they will only howl in place, and eventually become the hunter’s food.

If it were you, would you be a wolf brave enough to break your leg and save yourself?

Or will they fall prey in panic?

We have to admit that we often make wrong choices.

But people who don’t know how to stop loss often only lose more.

This is what economics calls “sunk costs”, which refer to those expenditures that have already been paid and cannot be recovered, such as time, money, emotion, energy, etc.

In life, many people are often reluctant to give up sunk costs:

You bought a movie ticket, watched it for half an hour and found out it was a bad movie, but still bit the bullet to watch it;

I have been in love with my boyfriend for 3 years, and although we have no feelings for each other, we are still together;

Traveling to popular scenic spots, you will still go the whole way when you see the crowds and the scenery is bad;

I have worked in an industry for many years, have no development prospects and do not want to give up the accumulated experience, so I continue to struggle and worry…

The astonishing sunk cost tells us that timely stop loss is the high allocation for adults.

Those who dare to stop losses in time will win in the future

There is an English proverb that says:

“Don’t cry over spilled milk.”

But why are there still many people who can’t help but be milk weepers in their lives?

This is because forgoing sunk costs triggers the “loss aversion effect” .

Behavioral psychology studies have found that people’s feelings about loss are about four times stronger than those about gain, which is the “loss aversion effect”.

It’s the same in real life, the pain you feel when you watch money go away is much greater than the joy you feel when you get something of equal value.

That is to say, when sunk costs arise, people will instinctively “bite the bullet and continue”.

These ideas are so deeply embedded in our cognition.

It controls our thinking habits and makes us make irrational choices at critical moments.

We are always afraid of loss and forget that we can gain more.

If we accept these losses bravely, we have the opportunity to invest our lives in a future of unlimited resources and find better ways to compensate for these losses.

Japan’s Matsushita Communications was facing a major crisis.

Originally, Panasonic was the number one electronic computer development company in Japan and the world’s leading computer development company.

But unexpectedly, IBM in the United States was born, and the ranking of these dark horses in the field of electronic computers soon surpassed Panasonic.

Panasonic’s top executives are in danger, and they have offered their plans to seize IBM’s market share.

Unexpectedly, the president Konosuke Matsushita made an amazing decision:

Give up the field of electronic computers directly, even if a lot of research expenses have been invested.

Since then, Panasonic has focused on the development of traditional products and finally blazed its own path.

However, Fujitsu and Hitachi, which competed with IBM that year, all ended in disastrous failures.

The past cannot be admonished, but the coming can still be pursued.

Smart people will never sit there and mourn their loss, they will happily find ways to make up for their wounds.

As the famous writer Lin Yutang said:

“It is better to give up wisely than to be blindly attached.”

Those who dare to stop losses in time, although they have lost the past, they have won in the future.

People who have difficulty giving up sunk costs will eventually sink

My friend and her husband have been in love for 5 years and married for 3 years. My husband has a bad habit of gambling and often plays cards online.

People around her persuaded their friends to get divorced before they had children.

However, my friend hesitated, saying that she was reluctant to part with her husband from college until now.

I would rather help him repay the loan and live in a mess than get divorced.

Finally, when the loan shark collectors came to her door, she even paid for the wedding house, so she finally chose to divorce.

In a similar situation, He Yu in the TV series “A Year Without Work” was much more decisive.

Although He Yu and her fiancé have been in love for 10 years, when she found out that her fiancé was having an affair with an intern in his company, she neither looked at her fiancé’s phone nor imagined it.

Immediately clarify the matter and let the fiancé express his opinion.

Seeing her fiancé defending the intern and ignoring her feelings, she poured a glass of water on her fiancé and ended the relationship on her own initiative.

After the breakup, she was very miserable and locked herself in the room without eating or drinking.

But after one night, she regained her strength and devoted herself to work.

Few people can be so decisive, and most people take it for granted in the face of sunk costs.

“It’s all here”, “It’s been so long”, “All the money has been paid”, “I have children”…

Just because I have already paid, I have to continue to hold on painfully until there is nothing to lose.

Those who have difficulty giving up sunk costs will eventually sink.

As the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote in his poem:

“If you weep for losing the sun, you will also lose the stars.”

The most effective way is to actively embrace the stars when you lose the sun. This is the real wisdom.

The most difficult self-discipline for adults is to stop losses in time.

Timely stop loss is not a kind of cowardice, but a kind of self-help.

The smarter people are, the more they know how to give up strategically and not get entangled with bad people and bad things.

Those who break through sunk costs often create amazing value in the future.

Timely stop loss is the high match for adults

Once, Gandhi traveled by train.

When he just stepped on the door, the train just started, and one of his shoes accidentally fell out of the door.

At this moment, Gandhi quickly took off the other shoe and threw it to the place where the previous shoe fell.

Everyone was puzzled, Gandhi explained:

“If a poor man happens to pass by the railroad, he can pick up a pair of shoes.

This may be a harvest for him, and the value of this pair of shoes can also be reflected to the greatest extent. ”

For Gandhi, lost shoes were impossible to retrieve, so the shoes became his sunk cost.

In life, many people will be worried about sunk costs, and they will be timid when making the next decision, thus missing the opportunity to stop losses in time.

But a real warrior must not only dare to face the bleak life, but also dare to abandon the worthless past.

The following three thoughts can help you overcome the sunk cost effect and stop losses in time.

1. Breaking away from thinking

Eiko Yamashita wrote in the book “Duansheli”:

“No matter how expensive or rare something is, those who can judge according to whether they need it or not are strong enough.”

Breaking away is not only a home tidying and storage technique, but also a life tidying view of living in the present.

Learning to let go can help us get rid of the influence of sunk costs.

The essence of the thinking of giving up and leaving is “breaking”. Only when you first recognize the mistakes in reality and make a decision to “break” can you have the following “giving up” and “leaving”.

Many people dare not “break” because they dare not admit their failure.

The higher the self-esteem, the more severe their sunk cost pattern.

Because they always want to prove that they are right and pretend that they are right.

Everyone makes mistakes. Only by daring to face up to the mistakes you have made can you get out of the quagmire of sunk costs as soon as possible.

2. Subtractive thinking

A study published in the journal Nature found that when people want to change the status quo, they tend to be more inclined to add rather than simplify.

Choose addition, perhaps because deleting things means acknowledging that what was added before is a sunk cost.

But it turns out that blindly doing addition is not the best solution in life.

How to focus on the big and let go of the small, and refine thinking and action patterns is the way to improve work efficiency and life happiness.

Read a sentence:

“Loss aversion should not excuse us from ignoring subtraction, which is an improvement we are after.

This improvement, even if reduced in quantity, is an advance rather than a loss. ”

For example, stay away from people who are constantly consuming you, jump out of jobs that do not allow you to grow, and decisively give up wrong decisions…

Growth is about addition, while maturity is about subtraction.

3. Devious thinking

The so-called roundabout thinking is to avoid direct confrontation when thinking about problems.

Temporarily leave the straight track, take a detour, and strive to find a shortcut in the twists and turns.

“Mountains and rivers are full of doubts and there is no way out, and there is another village with dark willows and flowers.” This is the charm of this way of thinking.

When everyone around you is advocating persistence to the end, giving up in time becomes a kind of “deviant”.

There is not only one path to success, if one path does not work, change to another.

Adjusting the direction and finding a solution in a detour is far greater than the rewards brought to you by persisting blindly.

There is a saying in “The Little Prince” that moves the world:

“You spent time on the rose to make her so precious.”

There are many roses, and there is no essential difference between this one and that one.

What you are not willing to give up is the time you have devoted to it.

But if the rose has deviated from your original intention, or even hurt you, then it is the great wisdom in life to give up the rose decisively.

Life is so long, if you buy the wrong thing, go the wrong way, or love the wrong person, just stop the loss in time, and you can meet the good scenery again when you start again.

Life is so short, don’t fall into the internal friction of sunk costs, stop when you need to, leave when you need to, your future still has infinite possibilities.

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