127/365 Life and Value Trade-Off

Tradeoff is a word I often use… while talking and while writing…. because a lot of what we do is in a way a trade-off. but yesterday I was thinking about Value Tradeoff. Because any Tradeoff is associated with a Value….. or a perception of value.. value gained and value lost….

For those who are unclear what a Value Trade-Off.. it is where you find out how much value should you gain on one objective to compensate on the value lost on another objective. We can apply this in many decisions we make.

For example let us take work and life itself…. How much value should you gain from work to compensate for the loss in Value in life. I am in no way saying that those who work are losing their value in life… but there is a point beyond which this question becomes very relevant. And this point will be different for different people. And that is why Value-Trade-offs in itself will be different for different people. I cannot take your analysis and then implement it for me. period….

Let us think of spending time with kids vs spending time on our own pet project. Trade-offs between being a parent and being a spouse. Trade-offs when we spend time having to choose between conflicting priorities. How do we decide…? I am sure we all have our own methods to decide…

As they say we either decide with our head or with our heart. I remember an incident when I first came to US. This was year 2002…. in March or so and along with 3 other people we were moving to a new apartment in Virginia where I lived that time. I had been in the country for just 5 months.

The Apartment rent was 875/- dollars and we got all the paperwork done. just a few days before moving in I get a call from the office. It was the lady who helped us with the contract. There was a small goof up. The actual rent is 925/- dollars and not 875/- and since the contract was done, they cannot increase it now and had to honor it. She had called to ask if we would agree to the actual 925/- dollars rent. The Apartment was in three of our names. I discussed with others and we understood that it was a $50 increase per month.. about 16+ dollars each… Now came the decision…

The lady told us that we don’t have to agree as she will honor her part. Since the Realty company will not agree she will make that payment of $50 on our behalf every month from her salary. We did not want that to happen either.

For decisions that don’t make us rich or poor let us decide with our heart is what we thought.. and we agreed to rewrite the contract and increase our rent by $50..

When I have told this to a a friend, he told me that we were probably duped… Maybe… maybe not.. but when I think of value Trade-off I think the value of money we lost was much less compared to the value of goodness we felt making a decision that helped forgo a mistake done by someone…

I have made mistakes.. many after that.. and total strangers have been considerate to me… This decision cost me around 150/- dollars as I lived in that Apartment for 9 odd months… But even today around 20 years later I feel good about me… that feeling is worth it….

The Value of that feeling of having done the right thing was much more than the loss of 16/- dollars a month for 9 months.. in fact.. it probably helped shape many other things in me….

Life is a trade-off… we don’t get it all… we need to make choices… and the decisions we make.. well others need not get it all… either…. What do we value is the question….

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Categories: Life, Random Thoughts

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