THE REALITY OF TRADE-OFFS
AND THE CONCEPT OF THE "NET RESULT"
tba, not fully edited, but complete in the ideas.
LIFE IS IN MOTION, SO WE MUST CONSTANTLY CHOOSE
We have to make decisions in life, just as a part of life and the fact that it is "moving", in motion. Do this or do that. Move my fork to my mouth. Go to work instead of staying in bed. Etc. and etc. and etc.
Some decisions are easy. Some have more complexity or difficulty. In the latter case, if we want a good decision we need to engage in higher-level "effective thinking" (aka critical thinking).
For effective thinking (and good decisions), we need to identify the facts and then use reason. Identifying the trade-offs and thinking through to what the probable consequences are is a very responsible adult activity. Most people don't engage in this.
IDENTIFYING THE CONSEQUENCES
Most people don't even think about what the long term consequences are of a particular choice. For instance, they don't identify the facts when seeking happiness, as they don't know what actually produces happiness and we don't know that what we think produces happiness doesn't. They keep on making the same choices, but not getting what they truly could have.
BUT THERE ARE COSTS (AKA TRADEOFFS)
Once we are engage fully in the thinking process, we will have identified the consequences and then noticed that not all of them come without costs. The costs are "trade offs", in the sense that to get the consequences we want we must do something that has a cost - an actual physical one or an emotional one.
Most of life involves making trade-off choices.
Essentially trade-off choices simply involve getting something of more value than what the cost is.
Since almost everything involves a cost (I can't think of anything that doesn't), we must be willing to accept that fact - it's just a reality of life.
We are in life merely trying to get the most value we can out of our time here. But value isn't free, so we must make "good buys" with our time and efforts and "sacrifices". This is what the gurus call "being willing to pay the price" for success in life.
WE SHOULD SIMPLY "NET" THE COSTS OUT OF THE BENEFITS
This leads us to the concept of "net results". When we "net" something out, we merely subtract the costs from the gains. The result is "the net" of the pluses and the minuses - net profits, net benefits, etc.
In politics and any area of strong or personalized beliefs, we often take positions and then support those positions by selectively finding evidence to support our position and ignoring (or not even seeing) evidence on the other side. We do not consider that everything has tradeoffs. Accordingly we often make bad non-thinking decisions.
President X, of the other party, is not, in fact, a demon - he might actually have a few good traits and have made a few good decisions. (See The Believing Brain, on how we are selective in our evidence and how we make up incredibly poor beliefs without thought, and then think they are the truth!)
BUT WHAT IS ESSENTIAL? (AND WHAT IS TRIVIAL OR MEANINGLESS?)
But most everything else is "just details", as what is essential is essential is life itself and being happy.
If we don't look at life with perspective, considering trade-offs, we come to preposterous conclusions. "I can't stand... someone not loving me or pain or the sorrow of loss or being rejected.
WE INFLICT SUFFERING AROUND THE "COSTS"
If I choose to inflict suffering upon myself and I do it alot, I will be putting so many negatives into the equation that life will "net" be 'not good'. But I don't need to inflict suffering on myself anymore. I can, instead, become clear about how I am doing that.
When I want "more" and I make my happiness dependent on getting it and I make my unhappiness be caused by not getting it, I make myself suffer because I don't step back to see the whole picture - with all the costs and benefits in life - i.e. the tradeoffs and the "net" benefits! The process of appreciating what one has (focusing on it!), such as in the process of gratitude, is one of the most beneficial practices in all of life, and essential to one's having happiness!!!!! Basically, we see "what is missing" (everything we could have plus all that we unreasonably expect) and we make ourselves unhappy. But the truth (and perspective) lies in the piece about what we have in life; What I Have, For Sure - My Mountain Of Haves Versus The Preposterous Idea Of Unreasonable Expectations.
One key, related point is that if we focus so much on the "pain" of spending some time or effort or not having what we want when we want it, life will suck. If instead, we focus on and name specifically, preferably in writing, the benefits we are getting and the costs all in perspective, we will see a huge positive net.
And life will be good.
Oh, I see here that if I want that thing worth 10 units of benefit, I must "spend" (lose, give up, etc.) 3 units of time and effort. If I am paranoid about giving up 3 units of time and effort and the sacrifice of giving up watching TV or such, then I will probably add something like another 3 units of negative - ironically, I will be losing 3 units for nothing! I am simply choosing what will give me the biggest net benefit for the time I have (which will be spent anyway) rather than getting a smaller benefit of watching TV.
The tradeoffs are in favor of the bigger benefit - and so I gain by choosing that alternative.
Somehow, people often think in terms of what they are losing, not just time, but what else they could have had. But the law of reality says that you cannot have two things in the same space at the same time. Since you can't have the "other alternative" if you choose the better one, you haven't lost anything - you've just made a choice that benefits you more. You can't lose something that wouldn't fit in the space (and therefore couldn't exist), so you are not losing something at all. It is a big f------ illusion!
I am simply making a tradeoff decision to get the most benefit I can - and I am not "nettting" myself pain just because I put out effort to get the thing I decided on and I am not losing the other alternative, cause I can have only one thing at a time.
Ironically, many people "expect" to have a massive amount of wonderful things in life and to avoid not having them, but reality definitively says we do not have the time and human capability to get all those things into our lives. It is impossible. Yet we mourn it, like spoiled children who think they can have everything!
Life is great! And life is greater if we use "effective thinking" and we fully consider "tradeoffs" - then we get to reap more and more as life progress, get more net benefits over time - and not believing in the illusion of how much more we could get if life were only fairy-fairy land!
Life is a damn good trade-off!! What a deal! Incredible!!! Such opportunity!!! What a gift!!!! I am so darned grateful, I feel like jumping out of my skin, in joy, seeing all that is there!!!!
From a higher perspective, notice that what we will choose may end up not working - and we will "pay the price" - we'll actually end up with a "net negative" - in that one case! We will, merely by trying, fail to get the result we want, either due to circumstances or to not having Sufficient Knowing. Something not working out is simply an indication, most probably that we don't know enough to do all of what is sufficient to get the result we want. That simply means that I must learn enough to be able to get the result I want. (Duh!) And that is why people, often being misinterpreted as "positive fruitflakes", say "oh, wonderful, an opportunity for learning!" But, of course, it is!
As we learn more, we reap more. But there is a cost to learning more (time, effort). And there is a cost to making mistakes. However, we cannot learn more unless we actual do something - and if we actually do something, we will, guaranteed, make some mistakes since we do not have perfect knowledge.
You might say "you can't go forward without going forward". Just like a child must try to walk and will inevitably fall down but it is those actions that lead to being able to walk. So, is it a tragedy that the child falls down (ouch!), or is it a net benefit that the child can walk?
So, you hear people say "making lots of mistakes is the secret to success", though slightly misstated, they are saying something that is basically true. Billionaires have made alot more mistakes than those who are less financially successful. Mistakes are part of the game of learning! There ain't no way to jump to instant sufficient knowing - and insisting on no mistakes is just as preposterous as thinking one can have instant genius and wisdom!
But, you say, making mistakes is so painful!
Well, that is not exactly a true statement.
Some people do not find that making mistakes is painful and they actually welcome them.
What is painful is the simplistic non-thinking thought that it is terrible to make a mistake and that making a mistake is an indication of stupidity or incapability - and thus an indication of less survivability - so the mind/body emits painful chemicals in order to get you butt in gear to correct the threatening non-survival situation.
The mistake is not painful. Just your thought is painful (the chemicals produced are actually the pain). And then you have a though that you shouldn't have the pain (or "ain't it awful") and voila! you succeed in creating pain about pain - then you proceed up the spiral of pain, generating more and more and more. But amazingly this just costs me and has no benefit! It is entirely stupid (actually, non-informed). I would suggest that you stop doing that anymore!
I would suggest that you learn whatever it takes to, largely, cease this practice, for it is a fool's endeavor.
The fact is, as we move to a higher perspective, that we must incur some costs along the way and that the process looks more like this: 1 unit cost, 2 units benefit, 1 unit cost, 3 units benefit, 1 unit cost, 4 units benefit - or some progression like that with occasions a 5 unit cost after a 1 unit gain. But the costs are all an unavoidable part of getting to the gains, given our limited human capability. And if you go higher up and look, you'll notice that more and more net benefits are piling up. Yes, you paid costs but they on average bought you more benefit than they cost!!! That's a good deal.
That's life!!! Lots of tradeoffs but a marvelous mountaing of net benefits.