November 27, 2023

Best interests


Economists have traditionally argued that we act in our own best interests.

We don’t. Well, maybe, but we’re biased towards our short-term interests with “best” defined any way we please in the moment. That’s why we eat cake with our mid morning coffee, that’s why we don’t exercise the way we should. That’s how we let the uncomfortable conversation slide, again.

The path to skippiness involves acting in our own best interests when those interests are measured against a longer time frame. A slightly steeper gradient today, for a longer down-slope tomorrow. Rather than a series of short in-the-moment soft-decision downslopes every day that will only ever see us circle around the mountain and might even take us further away. (The mountain in the analogy is ultimate our goal, the important one. You got that, right?)

Skippy strategy: If it was for the long-term, what would you do differently today?