You’ve come to the right place. 😉
I had written earlier about how telegraphing (in the form of writing and talking) can be counterintuitive; risks outlined are in fact benefits, mission statements can be aspirational only.
Why would anyone write or disclose something about themselves that is less than stellar, or worse, protrays them as a something opposite of what they are?
This is not a post about scolding anyone for doing anything really, it’s more of an observation that it’s just human nature of do that. And by and large, it’s just a fact.
It’s also not about being a pessimist either and that you only focus on one’s mistakes and failings.
One place that is least likely to be able obscure things is where we spend our wares.
How and where we spend are time.
How and where we spend our money.
And it’s along these two dimensions that it’s hard to hide your true colours. Morgan Housel talked about this in a recent post:
“I call investing The Greatest Show On Earth because money is everywhere, it affects all of us, and confuses most of us. Everyone thinks about it a little differently. It offers lessons on things that apply to many areas of life, like risk, confidence, and happiness. Few topics offer a more powerful magnifying glass that helps explain why people behave the way they do.“Investing: The Greatest Show on Earth, Morgan Housel
Money can be time, or it can buy you time in the very least. But there is a concept that in a recent Rational Reminder podcast with Ben Felix’s guest Ashley Whillans from the Harvard Business School talks about on her research on money there there is are tradeoffs between time and money. When asked about whether people are good at valuing their time, Whillans said:
“No, we do systematically undervalue our time, overvalue our money. There’s also been some great studies by Dillip Solman and others showing that, whereas when we lost our financial resources, because money is very concrete and tangible — this feels viscerally bad. You get double-charged for your favourite latte at a coffee shop, you get very upset about it, even though it’s a $5 loss. When it comes to small loses of time, 30 minutes or an hour, we don’t track in the same way, we’re not careful with it. It’s not until we lost ten months of work on a project, do we become equally as upset than get double-charged five dollars for a latte. … Because psychologically we think we’re gonna have more time tomorrow than we have today, whereas the value of our money is relatively constant across time.“Episode 143: The Rational Reminder Podcast, Ashley Whillians
There’s absolutely flaws of cognition when time and/or money or both come into play. But it’s worthwhile to explore because the process of spending both becomes who we are.
I’m reflecting now on how I spend time and money and how that is different than what I telegraph. The best of us, tend to reflect on both the good and the bad.
I also think it’s important to be cognizant when reading about investing, business, entrepreneurship and life lessons from others that you keep this in the back of your mind. Most publications I subscribe to have amazing writers with convincing arguments and beautiful narratives. That’s their job. Your job is to be more aware of their perspective. Is it consistent with how they spend their time/money or is it just talk?
Next time you consume anything think of it as an iceberg; the majority of it is beneath the surface whether you like it or not.