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Advice from my Dad: Why Pay Twice?

 My dad is full of different pieces of advice, short sentences packed with wisdom.  One of these wisdom phrases that we say a lot in my house is, “Why pay twice?”.  Let’s say you go to the movies, and you pay $25 for tickets and snacks. Halfway through the movie, you are miserable; the movie is terrible: loud, weak plot, no characters just plain bad. Most people say, “I paid, for this, I am going to sit here and get my money’s worth.”  But my dad would say, “Why pay twice? Why pay the $25 and then pay the fee of your time and energy to watch a bad movie. Get up and leave”.

The spirit of this advice can apply to many aspects of our lives.  So often we think we have to stick with something merely because we have ‘paid’ whether financially or with our time and energy.  Let’s say you are in a job you hate. You go every day thinking how much you hate it, and you justify that by saying, “Well I have already put in 5, 10, 15 years I can’t quit now!!” Again, why pay twice? Yes, you have paid your dues, and it hasn’t worked out yet, so why keep paying?

An example, I see in my work is people who have paid to go to school, and for whatever reason, they picked a degree that didn’t fit them.  So here they are 2-4 years later, and they can’t find a job they want. Or they have found a job, and they are miserable.  Many of them know what they want to do next, and, unfortunately, it requires some more schooling.  And they will say to me, “I can’t-do that I already paid for one degree, so I have to use the degree I paid for.”  True, they did pay for one degree. But like the bad movie analogy above,  if it wasn’t the right degree it isn’t going to be satisfying or get them what they want in the end.  So why pay twice?  Why pay for the first degree and then pay for your misery the rest of your life because you made a human mistake and selected the wrong degree?

Frequently, in life we make mistakes, we chose incorrectly, we chose something that we thought should fit or something someone told us would fit, and we end up unhappy, miserable and ‘paying’ for the mistake.  The point is mistakes happen; we chose wrong, why keeping suffering because we picked wrong?!?!  Why pay twice?  Figure out a way to make a change, do it differently.  Just because you chose wrong, to begin with, doesn’t mean you have to keep suffering.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, let’s get creative and figure out a way to make a different plan.  As my dad would say, there is no need to pay twice.

Where in your life are you paying twice?

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