Second Hand Success

April 2017

Three certainties of life: death, taxes, and learning new things

Three certainties of life: death, taxes, and learning new things

Benjamin Franklin was a Founding Father of the USA, he was brilliant individual who tinkered, invented, was well-read, and philosophized a lot. He was also known for writing a lot of thought-provoking, reflective letters. In one particular letter, he popularized a saying about the certainties of life that is heavily quoted this time [tax season] of the year: “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Let’s examine these certainties a bit further.

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789

It is that time of the year again; tax season is upon us and the IRS is waiting for you. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the USA is a powerful government agency. If you do not pay your taxes, there will be heavy consequences, like fines and possibly jail time. I do not know about you, but I am no recalcitrant when it comes to doing my taxes. I cannot offer you any advice on how to do your taxes. I can only recommend hiring a professional or using a proven tax software to alleviate the mental taxation, anxiety, and worry brought on by doing your taxes.

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Think first, decide later – How I reduce decision fatigue throughout my day

Source: Shutterstock

Fun fact: It is estimated that the average adult makes roughly 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. While that number seems outrageous, a study from Cornell University calculated that we make 226.7 decisions solely on food (Wasink and Sobal, 2007). These decisions range greatly in terms of importance. Some decisions may only affect what you’re eating for lunch and some decisions may make or break a multi-million dollar business deal.

The decisions you make ultimately have a psychological impact on your mental well-being; this is known as, “decision fatigue.” In psychology, decision fatigue is the idea of the inverse relationship between the number of decisions an individual makes and the quality of their decisions over time. The choices you make throughout the day come at mental price, and the more choices you have to make during the day, the more prone you are to making poorer decisions as your day progresses. Think of your mental capacity as your bank account and each decision you make is a mental withdrawal. If you spend your brain power carelessly, then the quality of your choices will be affected by the low balance in mental capacity.

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