Instrumental experiment: Quit while you are ahead

Epistemic status: Shower thoughts, but also – Actually trying things.


There are times in life where you will have climbed a mountain.  You have been facing a storm and it’s finally clearing.  The world just cut you a break and you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You will be thinking, “should I double down?”.  No.  Now is not one of those times.  There are times when you will have started making some mistakes, it might be time to pack it in for the evening and cut your losses.  This is not one of those times.

This is a time to quit while you are ahead.  You just made $10k?  You’d be a fool to risk any more energy throwing good time after bad.  The best action you can take is to declare victory and go home a hero.  And the best time to exit is before the fall from grace.  Don’t wait till something goes wrong before you get the hint. There is no need to be greedy.

Every piece of advice lands on a spectrum.  Roughly speaking, a spectrum of “very applicable” to “the opposite of the right thing to do”.  This piece of advice falls somewhere on that line.  And you know who knows where exactly this advice lands?  Future you.  Hindsight is 20/20.  If, like me – you don’t have a time machine.  And you still want to learn these lessons of where to apply this advice – the one way to learn is to try it.  Run experiments.  Learn what works through trial and error.  The only warning I suggest is – don’t take too much risk in making mistakes.

Committing to this advice is to say, “I take the information I have at hand, and I make this choice willingly, based on what I know – this is probably the right decision”.  And who could fault you on that?  I couldn’t.

good luck.


Counterpart: Instrumental Experiment: The Double Down

Counterpart: Instrumental experiment: Cut your losses

Meta: 3 short posts that go together.  But which advice do you follow?

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