Done anything dumb lately? I have.
I’ve run into walls – literally and figuratively – because I wasn’t paying attention when I should have been. (Yes, the multitasking thing.) I’ve driven to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, pressed for time, only to realize my wallet was on the kitchen table.
Personally, I’m generally not careless with money. But some of the men I’ve known and their pie-in-the-sky investments?
Talk about some dumb moves!
I could tell you stories about backing the Next Big Thing (only to have it go down the tubes), going in with buddies on a real estate venture (Swamp Land in You-Know-Where), and an assortment of other ways to put dollars where sense is called for instead.
But why do we do dumb things, and often when we know better?
Bad Judgment Juju
This is not to say that women don’t share in bad judgment juju. We date the same types over and over, wondering what’s wrong with them. We utter the same admonishments to our children as our mothers did, and we’re appalled to hear their voices come out of our mouths. And yes, women do dumb things with money as well, just as men are misguided in their relationships.
As for the classic that seems to apply to anyone, anytime, anywhere: We insist on what we want to believe instead of listening to our gut.
But why? Why don’t we listen to that inner voice that tells us to walk away? Why does it take so long to develop faith in that gut reaction, not to mention the value of due diligence?
Are You Nuts?
There’s a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Perhaps those of us who repeat our dumb moves and our dumb arguments and our dumb lines aren’t insane, but we may be slow learners.
Or tired, distracted, or possibly stubborn. But maybe something else is going on.
I came across this article: Why We Do Dumb or Irrational Things. It features a number of psychological studies that deal with motivations and behaviors, including how smart people make dumb mistakes, and sometimes, repeatedly.
Why Smart People Do Dumb Things
So why do smart people do dumb things – especially when it comes to money and relationships?
Is it a matter of bad habits, psychological conditioning, or patterns embedded from childhood? Is it as simple as too much on our minds, and too little focus in making decisions?
I happen to think it’s all of the above, but I did nab this gem from another article I read:
Intelligence is not the same as rationality…
And strangely, that simple statement is exceedingly helpful. It reminds me to step outside of my head, look at patterns, and make conscious choices to change them.
Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t.
My Dumb Moves (Plenty!)
- Trusting the Universe. (So color me cynical!).
- Trusting the Divorce Industry. (Now color me a former innocent!).
- Trusting the sweet-talking suitor, the silver-tongued salesman, the colleague (or child) using an excuse as a “reason” when, in fact, it was an excuse.
- Believing that believing is enough to generate action. (I have come to learn that action begets action; putting your faith in Doing Nothing is a Losing Proposition.)
My Smart Moves (Lately)
- Saying YES to opportunities to meeting new people, yes to going out, yes to the good in all of us.
- Saying YES to my intuition, yes to new ideas, yes to creative collaborators.
- Trusting my sons to learn from their mistakes, and benefit from their growing independence.
- Listening to my body. Knowing my limitations. Respecting both, which doesn’t preclude expanding my horizons or taking a calculated risk.
Your dumb moves? Your smart ones? Your lessons in learning the difference?
© D. A. Wolf