It is no big news that the ability of the human mind, to think perfectly rational and logical, is at best unimpressive.
We come preprogrammed with all sorts of mental biases, that we should be aware of, when we make important decisions, in order to account for any illogical proclivities.
I have benefited immensely myself, from learning about concepts such as The Sunk Cost Fallacy, Confirmation Bias and other ways in which we aren’t able to think clearly.
I discovered another flaw in my own thinking a year back, when I was still in my full-time position, and I was considering leaving it for a more uncertain job situation.
Back then, I hadn’t finally decided to quit yet.
A friend told me that a TED conference was being held in Copenhagen, and he asked me if I wanted to go. When I discovered that I couldn’t, because it was held during my regular working hours, I was reminded of what I was losing by staying with my company.
I primarily wanted to go that conference for my own entertainments sake, but I could never know what kind of interesting people I would meet there, and what opportunities that would present.
And I still don’t know what could have happened.
The point is, back then, my brain was mostly thinking in terms of having nothing (no job) or having something (a job) when I contemplated quitting.
I think that we all tent to do this. We underestimate the potential opportunities that lies ahead – when they are unknown – if we decide to free our schedule from whatever it is we are doing right now.
I am not saying, that everyone should quit their job and open themselves up to unknown opportunties, obviously not.
I am just saying that we usually have potentially great options ahead of us, when we decide to stray off the fully known path, and that is something.
Our brains can’t really assign the correct value to this optionality, when it constructs it’s algorithms for decision making, and therefore we have to do it consciously for it.
Remember that just because the future is unknown, it doesn’t make it bad or dangerous by default. A positive outcome is just as likely if you work hard to influence it.