Being open to change

I like this quote from Churchill – “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”.

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Sunk cost

I think the idea of sunk cost is a concept that we need to get comfortable with to benefit all aspects of our life. Sunk cost is generally defined along the lines of a cost which has already been incurred which cannot be recouped no matter what we do. Therefore we shouldn’t take the money which is already spent into account when deciding whether to spend more money or cut our losses. An example would be if we have spent £50 on 5 spins of the roulette wheel and lost every time. The wheel does not take the previous spins into account when it is next spun so we shouldn’t be influenced by the fact we have already spent £50 when deciding whether to spend another £10. That is a completely new and separate decision. It is often said that “there is no point in throwing good money after bad” but the concept applies to so much more than just money and we can be mindful of it to our advantage.

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2 Lessons in life from Moneyball.

Following recommendations from several sources I read Moneyball recently. It’s a cracking account of how an underdog baseball team implemented a system to enable it to compete with far richer and more popular rivals on a shoestring budget. I probably don’t need to go much further into the background of the book as it’s been so widely popularised (and of course turned into a Brad Pitt film vehicle) but I took away a couple of key ideas that can be applied to our own lives.

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10 Tips to begin decluttering

I used to be a terrible hoarder. I had tonnes of things just in case I needed them. I was reluctant to part with anything I considered remotely sentimental. I used to keep shelves of my favourite magazines in case I wanted to look back at them (hint – I never did look back at them). There were lots of things that I had two of. I kept clothes I didn’t like or that didn’t fit just in case I needed them. I had an enormous collection of DVDs and books. I had lots of trinkets. Somewhere along the line though I came across the idea of minimalism and decluttering. At first I was reluctant but gradually the seed flourished in my head and I began to pare my things down more and more. Now I have significantly reduced my clutter and my house feels much more spacious, inviting and organised. I thought I would share my tips on how to I did it.

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The 80/20 principle and a stubborn mindset

After the initial period of militant Paleo advocacy which it seems many people go through when they get excited and fired up about adopting a new lifestyle I settled into a more laid-back 80/20 mindset. I’m comfortable and easy on myself if I choose to eat something which is not Paleo approved on an occasional basis. I don’t start to sweat if I miss a work out (see what I did there?). Despite this, one of the things which I am still strict about is not allowing a slip to go on for more than one meal or one day. The next day I’m absolutely stubborn about ensuring that I eat strictly according to Paleo principles or do some form of exercise.

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The invisible cage of the working week

I’m a shift worker. I’ve been a shift worker for over 7 years now. My shifts are either 06:00 to 14:30, 14:00 to 22:30 or 22:00 until 06:30, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I work a pattern of 6 days on, 4 days off, doing two early shifts, two late shifts and two night shifts. As a result weekends, bank holidays etc. are effectively meaningless for me. It’s either a working day, or it’s not. This has given me a different perspective on “office hours”. Office hours of roughly 9 – 5, 5 days on, 2 days off seem incredibly restrictive to me. A real throwback to the industrial revolution.

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Has the mobile phone adversely impacted social interaction?

I recently finished reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and while reading it a question sprung into my mind. Has the advent of the mobile phone actually adversely impacted on  overall social interaction? Reading the book was a general reminder of how much things have changed in many ways in the intervening 65 or so years since it was written but I really noticed how much more people from that era were required to interact face to face. As someone who has lived his entire adult life with a mobile phone it’s hard to remember what it was like B.P. (Before Phones).

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