Thursday, January 01, 2009


"Acceptance is such an important commodity, some have called it 'the first law of personal growth'." - Peter McWilliams

Lack of accepting the reality saps too much of energy. Why? If we fail to accept the reality, we pour all valuable energy to support denial. Being in denial does not help at all. If we are able to accept, then we can take a stock of the situation and see what can be done to improve. If we are in denial, we will close the door on all possibilities to change the very things about which we are in denial.

People either fail to accept or more commonly, they blame it on everyone else for their misfortunes (real or perceived).

Pessimist - complains about the wind speed and direction

Optimist - hopes that winds will change for better

Realist - sees wind for what it is - just  wind

Pragmatist - adjusts the sails to suit the winds to make progress.

It is easy to see the level of maturity from pessimist to optimist to realist to pragmatist.

Realism and pragmatism are rooted firmly in acceptance. If we do not accept first, we can not take necessary counter action.

Business world has an important term called 'sunk cost'. Sunk cost, as name implies, is sunk. It's a goner. Nothing much can be done about it. For example, if you have invested 1000 dollars in some project. There is a potential to make 200 dollar business only if you invest 500 dollars more. Will you invest? Smart answer is no. Anything less than 501 dollars worth of business makes no sense at all regardless of your initial investment. Very fact that you need to invest new money writes off all previous investments as sunk cost. You should consider any new investment as such - new. Here it is 500 dollars. Why invest 500 dollars more to do a business of only 200 dollars? It is like losing 300 dollars. But, people tend to look at all the previous investments and feel bad about not investing little more to make up and they never do. This kind of decision process gets even more clouded when initial investments are in millions of dollars. It does not matter. Actual business scenarios may not be as simple. For example, things can be complicated by additional business over next few years etc. Even then you can do complex business analysis of discounting the cash flow to determine present value of all the future business as compared to your additional investment and then decide if you want to invest more or cut your losses and move on.

Acceptance is like cutting your losses. If you do not accept reality soon enough, you are not cutting your losses and not cutting losses is a sure recipe to bleed to death in stock markets as well as in life.

It is funny that we read in scriptures that God accepts as we are. If God can be so gracious to accept us with all our flaws, why can't we? Accept first and improve later. It is like first we need to survive before we can thrive.


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