A quick example of sunk costs:
Keeley and I just stopped at coffee shop, and she bought a coffee to go. Three minutes after we left, she had taken just two sips, and dumped it out.
"I realize I don't want this anymore."
She recognized that the $2.50 she paid for the coffee was a sunk cost.
She paid for it in the past, and because she didn't succumb to sunk cost fallacy, her past payment had no bearing on her decision about whether to drink it in the present.
Here's the thing: It doesn't matter if it's a $2.50 coffee, a $9 glass of wine, or a $500 plane ticket.
Imagine if somebody random walked up to you on Friday morning and said "I rented a beach house for you this weekend, and you must go there."
Besides the fact that you would think they're a bit crazy, you would be totally comfortable saying to them "Thanks but I'm going to pass. I've been traveling a lot lately, and I just want to hang out at home this weekend, and my friends just invited me to a dinner at their house on Saturday, which sounds really nice."
Well there is no difference between the random crazy person and your past self, except that for some reason we feel a weird obligation to fulfill the desires of our past selves.
Just remember - it's all a cognitive fallacy.
Do not let your past self boss your present self around.
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I write about deliberate living, learning, and doing good work.