I know that getting stuck at a non-hub airport is an unfortunate thing, because you have way fewer flight options to choose from, and I know which airports have the most flights that will get me home.
All of that means that, in any given situation, I know my odds, and I play the odds to try to get the best outcome. ONL would use a poker analogy to describe the same circumstances. The same thing is true in finances, especially when the markets are involved: there is an element of skill and knowledge involved for example, knowing not to buy high and sell low, or having a general strategy like investing in index funds or dividend stocks , but there is a whole heckuva lot of luck. The timing of when you retire relative to the markets can make a big difference in whether all your hard-earned planning succeeds in the end.
People who do everything right and follow all the best advice can still end up losing money. And plenty of people have made money off nothing more than dumb luck. An employer could hit a rough patch and lay us off.
1. Choose to Get up Before You Go to Sleep
Even if we owned the company, the ability to make money would be hugely impacted by the overall economy and whether customers have money to spend on what we offer. CEOs get ousted by capricious boards of directors all the time. What we earn and save both have a massive element of luck, just like investing in the markets. Of course we want to control all of it. That makes total sense! The best we can do — just as with travel — is to make the best decisions given the information we have, and to give ourselves the best odds of success, and then leave the rest up to chance. Of course the flipside also happens, when we blame ourselves for making the wrong choice when it was really all just luck, like my flight snafu that kept me away from home an extra day.
But what if instead of blaming ourselves, we cut ourselves some slack? Or we go even farther and recognize the role that chance played in all of it, and acknowledge that a lot of what happened was entirely out of our hands? In the end, I kicked myself for missing that flight, and then I moved on. Have you realized that something you often lamented was actually chance and never in your control in the first place?
Spill it all in the comments! Subscribe to get our periodic newsletter with tons of top secret, behind-the-scenes info we'll never share here on the blog. You're officially one of our favorite people. Categories: we've learned. Tagged as: feeding the soul , finances , living deliberately. It makes total illogical sense! Luck and circumstance play a major role when it comes to money matters.
Haha — gotta love that illogical logic! And that bootstrap mentality is one of our biggest pet peeves — it ignores the huge role of privilege and of luck, and overstates our own control in all of it. Thanks for the travel sympathies!
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Hi , I definitely understand the need to let go and accept that with my pension pot I have no real influence over it other than the degree of risk I tell the investor I am prepared to accept. The degree it succeeds does however decide whether I can completely get out of the rat race at 55 48 now. I have made a step towards this goal by dropping out of the 5 day a week job and taking a 3 day one :- , this will give me time to explore other options and revenue streams.
I am sure that having more breathing room in your life is positive on so many levels, and is giving you a lot more perspective on how you want to use your time! He writes about the concept of positive expectancy vs.
In your case, you made a positive expectancy decision but truly had bad luck. Over time, if you keep making the same decision you will eventually have more good than bad outcomes. We decided not. I love that way of framing it. I had a conversation with my boss a couple of months after I started my job.
Do You Have Difficulty Making Decisions?
ONL points out. But there is always an element of both. I think you made the right choice in your travel scenario just by being an active participant. Sure, in this ONE case, you missed a flight, but how many wins have you had just by being pro-active? That goes beyond flights. Think about how becoming pro-active in your career, your finances, and your relationships has helped you! We are total believers that some people create more luck by working hard, staying focused, being open to opportunities, etc.
And yeah, totally agree re: my flights. I recently decided to leave my teaching job to stay home with our kids for a few years. When we talk of our early retirement goals, I have pangs of regret over my missing salary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! Oh, and glad you made it home and made the best of it all!
Fellow teacher and mom here! I think that is one of the hardest decisions we ever have to make. I ended up doing the opposite. I worked when they were little still had summers and now I reached FI and have left full-time teaching 5 years before my pension hits. Glad you get to be with your kids — they grow up way too fast. I feel completely confident that you will never regret having this time with your kids! Just try not to beat yourself up over it! It sounds like you are much more of a reflective person and that is productive. Thinking about what happened not over-analyzing hopefully!
If you just move forward all the time without reflection, there is little growth. This is something we work on a lot with student teachers. Total agreement, Vicki! I was thinking here mostly about things that are heavily influenced by chance, and then that second-guessing is entirely pointless.
Hodgepodge had very similar travel woes this week as well. But he said it made for some good laughs with his consultant friends! I am most definitely a second guesser, if it were a sport in the Olpympics I would surely get a gold medal. Maybe we were in the same area! And oh yeah, tons of laughs from it for sure! Definitely a major character flaw of mine!
Stop Second-Guessing Your Decisions at Work
Regardless of whatever the issue is, from remembering to bring a coupon from home before we decided to stop by the grocery store, to filling up the gas tank where it was two cents cheaper, to buying that Disney stock for the grandkids twenty bucks a share ago, I am the queen of shoulda, coulda, woulda. Great topic, though!
Thank you for the brain food for me to reflect on this glorious Wednesday. I almost never second-guess myself — not because I arrogantly believe that I always make the right decisions, but because I understand that every decision that I do make was made with the information at hand at the time. Regarding luck vs. Bad stuff happens. And you know we agree that you can create more luck for yourself by working hard and staying positive — also a subject for another post!
I have grown into a person who learns and looks forward. I used to hold myself accountable for things outside of my control and that did nothing positive for me or my actions. Now, I try to make the best decision with the information in front of me. While it can be useful to learn from the past, dwelling on it, especially on the stuff that was never in our control to begin with, is a recipe for misery.
Kudos for focusing on the future and the positive! The illusion of control section is particularly interesting for us. PIE just learned she could be facing a layoff tomorrow. Bless her, she just put up a post in real time to express some real time thoughts about two different scenarios. As some others have commented, it is all about working with what is thrown at you. I am a big believer in risk mitigation, it is part of my job in terms of diligence we do in the business development arena.