[Image] It’s okay to be sad after making the right decision.

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  1. Thank you so much for posting this very timely message. Just broke up with my partner, it was the right thing to do, but a very sad thing to do ugh.

  2. Meyer’s Law – whenever you are confronted with an emotionally difficult decision, the alternative that is the most difficult to do is the alternative that is the right thing to do.
    (From John McDonald’s Travis McGee series. )

  3. This reminded me of days in my childhood when something good would happen for me. I’d still have a neutral or plain expression, because the good thing wasn’t the only thing on my mind. And people would say “cheer up, you should be happy.” That bugged me.

  4. I’d actually argue that not only is it OK, but that this is a critical life skill that will make you extraordinarily happy in the long run.

    This is particularly pervasive in matters where statistics intersects with life. We have a tendency to feel *bad* and *guilty* when making the *right* decision, and then having a highly satistically *unlikely* thing happen that we could not have anticipated.

    Let’s say you play texas hold ’em poker. Let’s say you get dealt a 7 – 2 off suit. A really shitty hand.

    The *right* thing to do, in almost all cases, is fold that hand. Especially at a larger table (more players = greater odds your shitty hand loses), or especially if people are raising the stakes much higher early on.

    Regardless of what happens next, that decision is *correct*, because you cannot predict what happens next, and on balance of probability, you had a very bad hand and would lose.

    But lets say the next three cards are 7, 7, 2.

    You now have a full house. One of *the* strongest possible hands. But, you folded! You berate yourself. You’re angry at yourself. If *only* you hadn’t folded!

    But this is *a terrible way of thinking*. Because poker isn’t about one hand. It’s about many, many, many hands, one after the other. The winner is almost always the person consistently and regularly making the *right* decision.

    Not being OK with the right decision regardless of outcome will lead you to make the *wrong* decisions in the future based on *past* events, which is a fallacy, but also something we’re sort of programmed to do.

    Your primitive mind works entirely on experience. If you play 7 – 2 three times, and all three times you win a bunch of money, your primitive mind associates “7-2” with “feeling really good” and “winning tons of money”, and it will compel you to play that hand more often in the future.

    It’s superstitious thinking. Dogs can be seen doing this. If they spin three times by coincidence when given a treat, eventually they may spin three times *every* time they’re performing a trick like “sit”, because they have correlated the action to the outcome, without understanding that that action actually has nothing to do with the desired outcome. Its just coincidence.

  5. I resigned from my dream job this month. It was a toxic work environment as far as management side of things but I really loved the rest of my job and my crew. I was sad leaving but deep down I know it was right decision.