Hi. I’m new here. Great blog. Great post.
One maxim that I rely on for acting rationally is “know what your time is worth”. In my first real job, I was on a one-week project with a scientist who told me that my time is valuable (I think he was implying that my boss was wasting my time). This really opened up my eyes. My first application of this idea was professionally—I can get more out of my job than just a paycheck. I can learn skills and make contacts and list accomplishments that will advance my career. I can also enjoy what I do (I’m a researcher, so that’s assumed in my profession). It’s sad to see colleagues who think that their time is worth no more than some measly paycheck.
The second application of this rule was in my “home economy”. I used to be very cheap. Now that I’ve placed a $ value on my time, it puts a lot of activities in perspective and I am much freer spending money when it frees up time for more worthwhile pursuits (it helps that my cheap habits assure that I always have a nice cushion of cash around. This way, I am able to spend money when needed, without reworking my budget—which would be a real waste of my precious time). It’s sad to see people earning $70,000 a year fretting over a dollar. It’s also sad to see someone who has something big to contribute to society (such as a teacher or researcher, for example) worrying about how to recycle 1⁄10 ounce of plastic.
This rule ties in with the “comparative advantage” rule mentioned above.
The other maxim that I like is “question reality”. It is basically a directive to question your own beliefs, ask “is this real?” It applies to everything, and it subsumes the traditional “Question authority” maxim, because unjust authority typically depends upon people being indoctrinated with a particular view of reality.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to participating in this site!