A while back, I was listening to Akimbo by Seth Godin and something really stuck with me. He’s said this in previous podcasts, but, like most things, it took repetition before it hit.
It’s about sunk costs—things that you’ve invested time and money into, but that the time and money shouldn’t be part of a current decision (though, because we’re emotional people, it often is).
I went to school and now I’m thinking about changing careers. But I spent all that time and money on school!
“It is a gift from the you of yesterday to the you of today.”
The you of yesterday gifted you with education, with whatever else came from those years. But standing here today, what do you want to do?
This is especially applicable to getting out of unsavory situations, whether they be relational or monetary. Instead of thinking about how much you already invested, look forward, find a path, and follow it.
Maybe it’s continuing on the same path, but make that decision without the burden of the past.
Of course, the advice is also simplistic and there are variables that come into play in some cases and on and on. But the basic premise is solid. And if you peel away layers of your arguments as to why you can’t change paths, how often do you get down to sunk costs? (Often. Not always. But often.)
Eliminate those arguments, and help yourself move forward.