We all make decisions for a living, be it at work, at home, in life, or as a family. Sometimes we make good decisions that allow positive progress to be made and sometimes we make decisions that negatively affect our personal or family progress or progress of ideas, work, or new ventures and adventures. If the decision made doesn’t work or does work, regardless of success, it is called sunken cost. And a sunken cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.
We as a people often fuss and fret about the sunken cost especially if the outcome of our poor decision was bad, cost us money, even a relationship. But we must learn to be disciplined to learn from it then ignore the sunken cost. These are things that are in the past, and if you don’t want something from the past (a positive or negative “gift”), then it is up to you to not take it with you forward. Maybe you made a lethal decision that screwed up your marriage, or maybe you made a recent decision like me to talk to someone under your humbling care in a very poor manner in front of your entire staff. Or maybe you made multiple decisions that cost you thousands of dollars. These are all “sunken costs” and we must move forward.
We then look at our prospective cost, which are future decisions to be made that can be different than past decisions to change your actions for outcomes and disciplines to occur and be incurred. The key to these prospective costs is that we as “moving forward people” make a decision. Sometime the decision may “kill a sacred cow”. We may have to do something different then we have ever done before, but we must make a decision to do so. Not making a decision causes indecisive paralysis, which is harmful to you. There are many dead squirrels from indecision in the middle of the road!
We all have made poor decisions. They are all sunken costs. Sunken costs do and should affect, our future decisions as we all typically have an aversion for pain and mistakes, through our hopeful rational assessment. But don’t, if you don’t want something from the past, take it with you. It might be a poor moral/ethical decision or a sacred cow, just kill it! And move forward so you aren’t the next squirrel in the middle of the road!