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Why Less Is More: Insights from ‘The Paradox of Choice’ – Episode #513


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Everyday decisions have become increasingly complex due to the staggering number of options we have. In his seminal work, The Paradox of Choice, Barry Swartz offers insights on how to handle choice overload and decision-making paralysis. On this episode of the Dentist Money Show, Ryan, Matt, Victoria, and Will review his book and talk about why an abundance of choices doesn’t necessarily bring greater satisfaction.

Show Notes
The Paradox of Choice

 

 


Podcast Transcript

Matt Mulcock:
Okay, let’s, uh, let’s jump in. We are talking, uh, book club, our most recent read. Uh, so I’m going to let, I’m going to let will, we talked about this. Will, I think had the most passion for this book. Will, do you want to just give us a rundown of what the book is and why we chose it and maybe just kind of a quick summary of it?

Will Gochnour:
Yeah. Um, so this month we read the Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz. I don’t know what year it was written, but it was like 2005 or four. Yeah, four. Okay. So 20 years ago and it still holds true. In fact, um, so the entire like first part of the book talks about how many choices we have in our lives and how that’s just increasingly become more abundant year after year and the premise, I mean, I guess skipping ahead kind of these Barry’s thesis and all of this is to say that more choice isn’t always better. And we’ll get into that obviously, but it hit home with me because I, I kind of have a problem with too many choices. And I, it, it truly like this book spoke to me because one of Barry’s, like the, one of the things that he talks about is how it quite literally too many choices paralyze people and make it so that it’s harder to make a decision and be satisfied. And not regret your decision if you have an exponential amount of choices, then if you just have a couple of choices. And so there’s this fine line between more choice is good, but too many choices are bad. And so.

Matt Mulcock:
Yeah, he, he makes, so I’m guessing this is right from the book. This is in our notes, but I’m guessing this came right from the book. But so the paradox of choice it’s, and then the subtext is why more is less. I love this line right here. How the culture of abundance robs us of satisfaction. And that kind of summarizes what this book’s about, right?

Ryan Isaac:
I’m just thinking like when that, okay, early 2000s, do we even have iPhones yet? So just think about the last, I mean, what, the last whatever, 20 years since this came out. And when he wrote this, we don’t even have iPhones yet. I think Facebook was first on the scene, but my space was still around. There was no Instagram, definitely no Tik Tok, like nothing. Yeah. No. Oh, spot it. Yeah. Oh, media streaming. Oh yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
He references Facebook, Netflix.

Will Gochnour:
No Spotify, no Netflix, no YouTube. Like think of how much, because he actually talked about it at the beginning of the book he was like, in the future, entertainment, you’ll have it at your fingertips. And it’s like, okay, we’re there. And there’s way too many, like I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve scrolled through Netflix just paralyzed because I can’t figure out what to watch. And it stresses me out.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. You can’t. And then you don’t watch anything. You wasted your time. I was, uh, as, as this started, I was thinking, um, and this is kind of cool because we’re going to bring this guy to our summit in the summer. I think that’s still the plan. UVictoria Ferguson:h, but our first client ever that got our company focused on dentists, he’s coming. Shout out Dr. Nate. He’s still going to be there. Um, the, the like, the life that dentists have and the number of choices they face was like the reason we built this business around dentists because we had a few clients and then the dentist was the one who had the most questions, had the most, he had the most things to figure out. He had the most choices in front of him at all times. And it just reminded me so much of all the things dentists face. I mean, it’s like why Elements was built, you know, all these categories of things they have to choose from. And there are things that they didn’t go to school for or probably even like, or have time for. And so this whole book reminded me just about why financial planning for a dentist becomes so crucial because of just the breadth of choices they have at all times. And it’s, it’s a lot, it’s a lot for dentists. So I thought it was interesting.

Victoria Ferguson:
Well, isn’t it like the baseline of decisions that an average American makes? It’s like 35 to 40K decisions, like a day, a day. And then let’s add the layer of business owner on top of that and being a dentist. So yeah, I think this book very much speaks to dentists.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, yeah. I was just gonna say, do we wanna like, Matt, you always do this and I like how you do this. You always say like, here’s what we’re gonna accomplish. You always do this in presentations and I never do. And I think it’s really good. Yeah, you’re, you always tell people, yeah. Yeah, you do. You tell people like, this is what we’re gonna do in this presentation. I think it’s really cool. I was gonna say, do you wanna?

Victoria Ferguson:
You’re very organized. He’s like, this is what we’re gonna do. And then we’re like, yeah, we’re gonna do it.

Matt Mulcock:
Oh my gosh. Well, thanks guys. I didn’t keep, keep going. If you want to keep talking about all the things I do well, it’s awesome.

Victoria Ferguson:
Yeah. Lead our little cults to success.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s really awesome. I was going to say, do you guys want to cover like the five, um, in the beginning of this book, um, he just says, here’s five, like hypotheses that I want to put out there. And I want to challenge these beliefs a little bit and kind of prove them over the course of this book. Do we want to put those out there as the, as the things we’re going to accomplish in today’s conversation? Oh, there’s okay, good. We’ll read those off Victoria then.

Matt Mulcock:
Yeah, I liked it. And I think actually Victoria added a couple. So there’s actually more than five here, but yeah. Yeah. Victoria, you want to hit the bolded sections here and we’ll kind of go through these one by one.

Victoria Ferguson:
All right, yeah, let’s do it. Okay, number one, we would be better off accepting certain voluntary constraints against our freedom of choice instead of rebelling against them. Number two, we’re really bad at predicting how we are going to feel in the future. That was my little embellishment there. Better off seeking good enough instead of best. Lowered expectations of results of decisions. We would be better off if results were non-reversible. That one was super surprising to me. I’m so excited to get into that because I would absolutely think the other way. And then last three, better if we paid less attention to what others are doing and then regret slash loss aversion and hedonic adaptation. I don’t know if I said that word right. Hedonic.

Matt Mulcock:
You did, I think. I mean, if you, if you didn’t, then I don’t say it right either. So, okay. Perfect. Uh, okay. So yeah, let’s just go through these one by one. So, uh, that’s a lot to cover. So hopefully we can, we can hit all these things as, as you read through those. I was like, I was like, dang, this is a lot. Okay. So number one, we’d be better off, uh, accepting certain voluntary constraints against our freedom of choice instead of rebelling against them.

Ryan Isaac:
When he first said that, what did you guys, cause like the rebel in me is like, screw that, man. We don’t need constraints on anything. It’s freedom above everything, you know?

Victoria Ferguson:
I can do what I want. I’m Ryan.

Matt Mulcock:
Okay. So, so he talks about this, right? So he, he talks about the fallacy will already alluded to this, but like the fallacy that more like more choices and more freedom makes you happy. So the premise there is like, okay, well then more choices and more freedom continues to make you happy, but he, his argument is basically like, there’s a limit to that at some point. That is not, that’s not the case. It actually starts to work against you.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. One of the lines is something like, um, people who have no choice in life are very miserable. It’s a very sad, miserable existence, but people who have too many choices are also pretty miserable too. Like there’s definitely a happy medium. And I think you can see that when you like maybe travel around the world too, you can see places that there’s like very little choices compared to other places. And you can see like how too little choice can make it, you know, not a very satisfying life, but then you go to other places and it’s just like, there’s 17 furniture stores within two miles, you know, and I’m like never happy with my couch. I wonder why, you know? So yeah, it’s a weird happy medium.

Matt Mulcock:
Yep. Well, could this be, I’m actually thinking of this in the premise of like, um, this whole idea of like money doesn’t buy happiness, right? This is like, that’s an old trope that we always, uh, that people kind of just, I think take for granted. I think it’s very similar in the sense of, uh, if you had no money, right? Like a certain, you’ve got to have a certain amount of money to cover your basic needs or you will be miserable. Right? Like you would be miserable if you didn’t have enough money, but does get to a certain point where more money does not make you happier. I think it’s kind of the same premise, just a general principle.

Will Gochnour:
And it’s probably saying because the more money you have, the more options you have, the more choices you have, the more, you know, which private jet should I take or which vacation? And if you don’t, if you hit that level of status, like satisfied, good enough, you don’t have to make all those fancy choices. You have like a couple of things you can afford and that’s, you can be happy with it.

Victoria Ferguson:
You guys, you know, do you know what this kind of just reminds me of? Every Wednesday when we’re trying to make a decision about where to eat in this office, like I, a year ago, we used to have to start the, where are we going to eat for lunch conversation, like an hour before we left. And it was always this whole like, well, where do you want to eat? Like we could eat anywhere. And then eventually it got to a place where it’s, we’d have a set amount of restaurants we go to and we spin a wheel.

Matt Mulcock:
Oh, Robbie created a whole algorithm. Um, a wheel, he built a spreadsheet. We spin the wheel every Wednesday. Yep. To remove the choice. Yeah.

Victoria Ferguson:
Yep. There’s music. There’s music to it. Yes. It’s a real thing.

Ryan Isaac:
Shut up. No. This makes me, yeah, it makes me grateful then that when I come to town, you guys always accommodate where I wanna go to the same place every single time then. Maybe that makes it easier though. It’s just easy, because it takes away the choice.

Will Gochnour:
Yeah. Tea girl. Well, that’s part of this book is if you decide beforehand what you want, it takes, it takes the stress out of it. So like instead of opening the fridge and being like, what should I make for breakfast or what should I make for lunch? You sit there paralyzed thinking, well, there’s like 10 things I could make. I don’t really know what I want to make. But if you wake up and say, I know I’m eating this for breakfast, like you make the same lunch every day, Ryan, you know exactly what you’re making. And that decision, it’s pretty satisfying. You know that it’s happening and you don’t regret it very often.

Ryan Isaac:
Very, very satisfying. Okay, here’s one thing I was wondering though. You know, sometimes you don’t know, it’s hard to make a decision when you don’t have all the information. You just don’t know what you don’t know in life. When you think about our clients and you think, okay, well, let’s just apply that to dentists and say like, you should decide before you go experiment that you wanna be a single office location or that you want five or that you want associates or you want partners or, you know, but like, how do you juggle that then when you kind of … I guess you just have to decide and then see where it takes you a little bit. Like, how do you juggle that not letting all of those options sway you and also making a decision where you’re going to head into, like if you’re the dentist trying to decide what kind of practice to build.

Matt Mulcock:
I feel like you need to focus more. I mean, in my opinion, it would be more, there’s a difference in focusing on direction versus details, right? Like Morgan Halsell talks about this, like the more precise you need the results to be, the less happy you’re gonna be, right? The more pressure you’re putting on yourself, versus saying like, directionally, this is how I want to head, but I’m leaving myself a large margin of safety. I’m leaving myself like a wide margin of things changing my mind basically, which is why we talk all the time about having proper liquidity, right? Having a flexible approach to everything, to your business, to your life. So to me, it’d be more of a mindset of direction versus details.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. And it’s funny how some of these bleed in, I was just going to point number or whatever it is, but there’s, uh, things would be better if we had lowered expectations of the results of our decisions. I guess that’s part of it too, to not expect like what you’re saying. Every outcome is going to be optimal or the best and kind of just head in a direction that’s generalized while leaving yourself some flexibility and options, which I think.

Matt Mulcock:
He’s looking at you, Will. He’s looking at you when he’s at.

Will Gochnour:
Barry said this straight up. He said the key to happiness is low expectations.

Ryan Isaac:
What did Barry say? It is the key to happiness. It’s the key to good surfing. Every single time I go out on a crappy day and I’m like, this is gonna suck and I don’t care what happens, I’m basically going for an assisted swim right now. I have the best time ever. And then every time I see good waves, I’m like, oh, it’s gonna be sick. I’m gonna rip so hard. Nothing, it’s terrible.

Matt Mulcock:
Yeah, Charlie Munger said the same thing. I was just going to say this. So I just talked to our boy, Jake, shout out Jake, big golfer. He’s so freaking good. Uh, and he’s a small guy, but a big golfer. He’s, he’s very good at golf. Um, but we literally just talked about this today, well, where it, I had to change my mindset around golf. Nothing with my game has changed. I suck. Like I’m a, I’m, I’m an.

Ryan Isaac:
I mean, he’s a little golfer. He’s a small guy, but he likes golf in a big way. Yeah. Okay. All right. He still break clubs in half accidentally. It was. I was accidentally. I was real. Yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
Dude, that was totally accidental. I, last year I swung my brand new club, my nine iron. I hit the ball and my freaking club snapped in half, in half. Neither, neither here nor there. Neither here nor there. Uh, but truly nothing has changed about my game. I am, I am at below average golfer recreational average recreational golfer. But there is a distinct difference when I go out and now pretty much every time I go out now, I’m like, I’m just here to have fun. Like I am just here to have fun. If I hit a couple of balls here, there have some good shots, you know, I’m going to have fun. And the, the experience I have is night and day difference versus where I try to keep score and I’m trying to, oh, I’m like, I have this birdie putt I got to hit. It’s like, no, I’m just here to have fun. And it’s night and day difference. And, but guess what? I have full control over that, which is amazing. It’s like kind of empowering.

Victoria Ferguson:
How many dentists do you think have that same mindset when they’re becoming practice owners?

Ryan Isaac:
Well, we all do. Yeah, it’s hot.

Matt Mulcock:
What, the same like with low expectations?

Victoria Ferguson:
The like, I’m gonna have like, I’m just gonna like have fun with this and I’m gonna like, you know, do what I can to like, you know.

Ryan Isaac:
Oh, no, no. I thought you were saying the other way. How many go into it with high expectations of what outcome should be? Now we’re basically skipping to that next point, but no, it’s fine. It’s the same discussion. Yeah, I thought that’s what you were saying. I’m like, oh, I think we all probably do, but you’re right. I don’t think many of us, maybe in the more serious parts, it’s easy, maybe it’s easier to do it when you go golfing or surfing or whatever you’re gonna do, but when you go into a career or an investment, I don’t know, it’s like more consequential. It seems more important, so it’s harder to hold the expectations down. I don’t know, but Matt, you’re right. That is something we control 100% and the experience is like, it’s between our ears the whole time.

Matt Mulcock:
It really is like your, you create your own reality. You create the, whether I’m going to have a good time or not is completely up to me. Cause again, it’s, I’m going into this just being like, I’m going to, again, I’m going to be a fluid and flexible with what happens with the outcome and, and unfixed to any specific outcome that I want and just expect to have fun. Like, and just enjoy it. Just grateful. Yeah. And I do think it sounds simple, but I really do think that’s like key to a happy life right there.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, I’m thinking of like my client who his practice was flooded literally with raw sewage for like 30 days. And, uh, I wonder what, like if you we’ve all been in those situations too, where you’re like, well, where’s the silver lining in this that, you know, like how do you, how do you come into that? Although there ended up kind of being silver lining, but yeah, it’s, it’s easier said than done, but it’s true. It doesn’t make it less true that it’s hard to do that.

Matt Mulcock:
I had so many dad jokes right there. I just let every single one of them just float by. I had every, I just had them all float by in my head. I was like, I’m not gonna do this. I’m not gonna do this. So.

Victoria Ferguson:
Oh yeah, same here. I was like, don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it.

Ryan Isaac:
Why? No, you gotta let one through. Nah. One’s gotta come through. Oh, we’ll keep moving then. Point number two. Yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So number two, we jumped ahead. We’ll, we’ll come back to the low expectations, but number two, we’re really bad at predicting how we’re going to feel in the future.

Victoria Ferguson:
Yes, I, the study, the reason why I wanted to add it is because I, there we go. That’s going to be added to the compilation, Matt. There you go. Um, I, I think we all like know this intuitively, but I think like it was a really good reminder for me that like so much of our decision is thinking about how we’re going to feel about it in the future. He talks about this with like, um, like a clothing purchase. And one of the studies he brought, he brought up was like,  what was it? Something about college students picking snacks. And one of them had to choose a snack every single day. And then the other group had to choose the snacks that they would want for the next three weeks. And if you ask me, like, Victoria, what are you gonna eat for the next three weeks? Paralysis. I don’t know what I’m eating tonight. Chipotle. I was like, what? I don’t know what this is.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay, yeah, I’m gonna I’ll bring it back with a question Okay, so when I okay Victoria when you put that in there, I think that’s true we read the book I don’t was this January we did the Morgan Housel same as ever. Was that January this year? Where it’s like you can hit the whole premise of that book was if you if he was gonna bet on anything He would bet on the reactions of people in the future being the same as they always are constantly like how do you? How do you mean this section of like, it’s hard to know how we’re gonna feel in the future versus like what Morgan would say, or like, what did you think about that when you saw those?

Victoria Ferguson:
I feel like that, I mean, that didn’t come to mind, but that’s a good connection there. I feel like that’s like different, what he was saying versus us. It’s more about like individual decisions and how we’re gonna feel about something later. I think he was talking more broadly.

Matt Mulcock:
And he’s more referring to like human nature and responding to certain situations versus… Sorry, go ahead, Victoria.

Victoria Ferguson:
No, no, all I was gonna say is like the thing that kind of came to mind is I was trying to like relate this back to like our clients is like when clients ask us, you know, how much do I need to retire and they’re like 30 years old. And that’s such a I get why people ask it but it’s like, well, you don’t know what you’re gonna be doing in 30 years. Like you don’t know what lifestyle like you don’t even know what you’re gonna be doing in five years, you might not like any of the same things. And so basically what when I get that question, you know, kind of punt back is like, well, what’s your life gonna look like in 30 years? You have no idea. You don’t even know what you’re gonna eat tonight and you wanna know what’s gonna happen in 30 years? Like, that’s impossible. That’s just not a productive way to get to what you are looking to actually do.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, I actually think when you said that, I think we, this is what I was taking from your point on that. I think we stress a ton about, like we kind of can tend to skip past like the logistics of a decision or the logic or the data that might inform a decision and make it clearer than we’re making it because we stress so much about like, but how’s that gonna feel if I’m right, if I’m wrong, if I get it, if I didn’t make the right decision. I think that’s really true. Like we  can get caught in paralysis and decision-making because we’re so stressed about how it’s gonna feel rather than just stepping back and being like, well, what would the data say to do? Like, you know, with this building or with my partner or with money. Totally.

Victoria Ferguson:
or even just bringing it back to like how you feel right now. Like that’s valid to go with like, yeah, that was right for me at that point in my life. You know, like what I what was right for me when I was 20 is not what would be right for me now.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. But you’re like, I took the information in. That’s how I felt and I made the decision and now I’m different and now I can make a different one. Totally.

Victoria Ferguson:
Yeah, you acted on the information that you had at this moment. Like, why spend time and all of this energy, like, trying to think about a future you, how that person might feel and what they like. So, yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
Can I give an example that we see all the time that I think fits this of saying, we’re really bad at predicting how we’re going to feel DSOs. How many times, how many times have we seen a dentist become enamored with the numbers and they almost trick themselves from what I’ve seen into, well, once this deal is done and I have this money, I’m going to feel like whatever. Like I’m going to feel good because I have this money in the bank now. And I don’t know, I’m going to let you guys answer this too, but for me, more times than not, they feel differently than what they anticipated. It’s, it’s usually a letdown and it’s usually a letdown. It is.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s a let down. Yeah. Uh-huh. Because it’s not about the money. It’s not about the number, whatever round number that ended up landing on.

Matt Mulcock:
And to that exact point, Ryan, it’s either, it’s either the numbers didn’t play out the way you thought happens all the time because they make these big promises, they ended up not being what you thought, or let’s say I even have some situations I’m thinking of specifically that the numbers did end up being what they thought and they still had a let down because they weren’t thinking of the other aspects of the deal and they were failing to predict accurately, like we all do of what it was really going to be like to, for example, lose full control of the thing that you spent your, you know, decades and time, energy, blood, sweat and tears building. They, they fail to think, man, what’s that going to really be like to lose control? And almost every time that’s that use a number one thing we hear when it’s a letdown.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, I think you’re totally right. That’s my experience too, 100%. Especially on that DSO question, which is so hard, man, when you’re like, you know, someone pushes a check across the table and it’s that many zeros. It’s hard not to be like, I’m going to feel X, Y, and Z when that money’s in my bank account and then it solves everything. It’s really hard to look past that stuff. But I agree with you. I think that’s more common than not, unfortunately, with how prevalent DSOs are.

Matt Mulcock:
Yeah, totally. And I think the problem is to your point, you think it’s going to be about the money and it ends up not being about the money because a lot of times they get to the point, like this may be a far reach, but I’m thinking a sports reference here. Another one. Um, Kevin Durant, right. When he won his first championship famously. So Kevin Durant, Ryan just goes shrugs. You know who Kevin, you know, Kevin Durant is. Thunder, wars. So.

Ryan Isaac:
I shrugged pretty hard. I know who Katie is. And he played for the Thunder for a while and he was pretty cool and polarizing and I don’t know after that. Oh, Warrior. Yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
We don’t go into too much detail, but he had a very tumultuous kind of path to his first ring. And it’s controversial how he got it. But here’s the point. He got the ring and then infamously in an interview afterwards was asked about it. And his response kind of was when they won was kind of like, is that it? Like that was his first response. Like, wow, I just achieved my career long like goal and dream. And his first response was, was that it? And I think it’s similar to how dentists feel when they sell to DSOs or they think that this money is going to solve all their issues or problems, they, they predict it and then it’s like, Oh, is that it? And then they end up being unhappy.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, it’s kind of like the science of the pursuit and the journey and the work along the way versus reward. Like we, we process the dopamine and the excitement of the reward way before we get it as we think of like, yeah, the, the science of anticipation versus receiving the actual thing is very, it’s pretty clear on like when we actually feel that and yeah, that’s, that’s pretty interesting. It, um, we’ve been talking a lot about the concept of the phrase, financial independence and that.

Will Gochnour:
Like planning a trip versus going on a trip. Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
It reminds me of, you know, being financially independent doesn’t necessarily just mean that you don’t have to work anymore because there’s plenty of people that don’t have to work anymore and they still are not independent from their money. They still have a lot of conflict around money and a lot of like anxiety around it. And so it kind of reminds me of that discussion of what does it mean to be truly independent financially? And it’s it is more than just getting the ring or getting the check or not having to work anymore. Like there’s more to that, but it’s, to your point, Victoria, it’s hard to predict how that’s going to feel when you’re trying to make the decision. So, all right. Oh geez. Are we only on number two over three? Okay. We already got one. Yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
No, we’re on three, we’re on three. And technically we’ve already hit another one about low expectations. So the will, will is going to have a lot to say about this one. Um, I want will to lead this one out. Uh, uh, the, the fourth point here is we’re sorry, third point, uh, we’re better off seeking good enough instead of the best will I know you got thoughts on this, yeah, we talked about this in our, one of our last meetings.

Will Gochnour:
Barry groups everybody into two groups basically. So maximizers is one and satisfizers are the other. And just a quick explanation, a maximizer is somebody who overanalyzes every decision, basically makes every decision kind of life or death. This has to be the exact right decision or it’s doomsday. And, or are going to have huge regret if you make the wrong decision, like a lot of pressure on decision-making for the maximizers and a lot of effort going into making every single decision. Um, and satisfizers are the good enough people where they’re like. Chipotle is good enough for lunch. You know, I, I don’t have to eat the exact right thing every day. I just good enough is going to be good enough and, and it solves it. It’s good enough.

Ryan Isaac:
There was a line from this part of the book where he said, no one says about their kids, like I want the good enough for my child. You know, but it’s, which no, yeah, we don’t say that. Or what, well, yeah. I just want the good enough, yeah, yeah.

Will Gochnour:
Yeah, right. Or like your marriage, right? Like it’s good enough that, you know, it’s not, yeah. Which it’s kind of interesting because it is like, oh, why should you settle for less? But so I am, I have lots of maximizer tendencies in my life. I don’t know, for whatever reason, I have decision anxiety around the stupidest things. So it’s like what to order at a restaurant. What clothes to wear, like, is it going to fit the right way? Um, stupid things like, should you get the new iPhone or not? Like things that I’m just like, Oh, I don’t know. I don’t really know if I should do this or not. And I’m kind of just paralyzed because there are seven different iPhones and should I just keep the one I have and get it fixed or, or when I go to Cheesecake Factory and I sit down and they hand me the booklet and I’m like, I literally last time I went, I think I ordered just like some chicken sandwich that was disgusting and it’s like they had microwaved it, you know, right before that. And it’s because I was like, that sounded safe, but you know, I read through the entire menu and I was. Oh yeah, I read everything on the menu.

Ryan Isaac:
This is giving Reese vibes around the food decisions. You know, it’s kind of, what’s funny, when I thought about this section is, the data wouldn’t support, no matter even what our, even if your personality were like, I’m a maximizer and I only get the best and the most optimal outcome, the data wouldn’t support any of our lives and any of our decisions that we maximize, like, hardly anything. Like, what in our lives, even if you’re driven that way, ended up being the best or the most maximized, you know, it ends up being good enough anyway, in the end.

Matt Mulcock:
Well, and so, so that’s a key point right there. Ryan is like, as, and he says this, right? Where you’re not, no one is full maximizer and then full satisficer. It’s like certain aspects of your life, you’re going to be one or the other. Or you might lean one way or the other. So I’m, I’m opposite of Will in the sense of I tend to lean more towards the satisficer stance. And my take on the, what I think is interesting on the maximizer side is kind of what you just said, Ryan, is the decisions we’re making in life are generally all subjective. It’s like a meal at a meal at a restaurant. It’s kind of like, well, who’s to say that that’s better than that meal? It’s like, it’s totally relative and subjective. And every single decision we make for the most part is all a trade-off. So like there’s some good about it. There’s some bad. It’s all about priorities. So I.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, what does it even mean to be the best?

Matt Mulcock:
It is interesting to me, the different personalities and different things that we have, but I will say an example that I have been a maximizer in my life are like bigger decisions. Let’s say like buying a car. I tend to spend. So I tend to ruminate on them for a, for a, for a while and do some research and talk to people and whatever, and I was kind of more of a maximizer in that type of decision, but again, take that as an example, who’s to say the car that I ended up buying, I I’m super happy with it, but it’s like, was it the best? Like, no, how.

Will Gochnour:
And what, so what, I think what maximizers tend to do also, Ryan, you kind of said this, but it’s like, you put a lot of pressure on that decision. And if you, and then basically you put a lot of pressure on you liking it. So I think that there’s this regret scale in the book that it talks about. Maximizers have huge regret as compared to satisfizers because every decision, there’s like a lot of weight on it. And if, if the smallest thing doesn’t go right, because there’s so many other options you’re going to immediately regret what you did. Like I see a meal walk by at the restaurant. I’m like, should have gotten that. Why didn’t I get that one? That looks way better than what I ordered. And then I sit there like, what did I do? Like I’m an idiot.

Ryan Isaac:
Whoa, I’ll throw myself under the bus and just say that I needed a new pen for journaling for the last like week and a half. And I went to four different stores because it didn’t have the correct bold and thickness and flow of the gel ink and the non smudge ableness of the ink. I ended up, it’s like the gel 1.0, it’s the gel 1.0 and it’s not the 0.7, it’s gotta be the 1.0 bold. Like a thick non smudge abled dark thick bold.

Victoria Ferguson:
Wait, which pen did you go with, do you know? Oh, you like a thicker line. Yeah. Is it like, do you like the weight to it?

Will Gochnour:
Are you satisfied or do you regret it?

Ryan Isaac:
I like the heft, if you will, but I had an old one that ran dry and so I just had to go find it. But I think we do this in weird ways, some of us. But when I bought a car last time, I just drove to the law and I was like, that one is good. Let’s leave.

Matt Mulcock:
So, okay, so here’s the question. So here’s the question though, Tiz, Will made a really good point there of like, I think there’s two parts of this. I think you can be a maximizer with low regret or maximizer with high regret and vice versa. Meaning, I think, so like, I’ll come back to the car, for example, like Ryan and Victoria, you just said, you guys just went and got a car or whatever. So your regret was low anyway. I maximized that decision through the process, but the second I bought it and made the decision, I moved on with my life. And there was no level of regret. Like I wasn’t gonna allow myself to regret it. Cause I was just like, I like this car, I’m moving on.

Ryan Isaac:
Hang on, let’s skip to the point about non-reversible decisions right now, because that’s one of them. Oh, it is? All right, let’s skip to the good part. Cue the music. But it’s like, Will could send back his crappy sandwich. Returning a car, Will was never that guy. Will would never do that. Yeah, it’s not.

Matt Mulcock:
Let’s do it. That was the next point anyway. Yeah. He never would though, that’s the thing.

Victoria Ferguson:
He never would. Will wouldn’t. No. N- None of us would. None of us are the type. We would all be like, This is so delicious. Thank you so much.

Matt Mulcock:
No, he’ll just sit there and be so mad. No.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, none of us are like order. This is so good. Thank you very much. And we just, I’m just not very hungry tonight. I’m, can I have the box? Yeah. Really recently, like you’ve been closed for 45 minutes. Open the kitchens. I want new fries. Um, but yeah, like, so one of the points is we’re happier if our decisions are not reversible, a car, I don’t even know how you return a car. Like once you drive it off, like you just spent six hours signing paperwork. I don’t even know how you reverse that.

Matt Mulcock:
You’ve got to, you know, I think you’ve actually got like a three day or seven, seven day reverse. Yeah.

Will Gochnour:
You’d have to resell it, yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s insane. You probably do. I think there is like legally, but what is, so what do you guys think about? I do have one point that I, um, not disagree, but I think there’s a caveat to this thing. Well, what do you guys think about non-reversible decisions making us happier and, and it’s because we move on. We’re just like, we stopped thinking about it.

Victoria Ferguson:
I think there’s like a three, seven day. So, I mean, the only way the example that spoke to me, and this might be stereotypical, is like money back guarantees or like you can like you can return things if you don’t like it. That gets me through a lot of purchases because I’m like, oh, I can order this online, try it on, and if I don’t like it, I can send it back. You know, and so what I learned, though, through this book is that companies just do that to help lower that. What does he call it? Like, post decision regret or there’s like pre buyers or more to help lower that. But that doesn’t actually make us any more satisfied with the product. It’s just, it’s purely a way to get you through the decision faster. Um, but it, to make you do it. Um, but it doesn’t, there is no correlation between like having something like that and being happier with a product.

Ryan Isaac:
I was just gonna say where I get my Starbucks every day. It’s like a courtyard and there’s like a few businesses in the strip mall and if it’s nice, I like to sit there. And the busiest place in my whole town and it can’t even be close is the UPS store next to the Starbucks. And there is a line almost inevitably all day long with people with Amazon boxes, products they bought from Amazon doing the returns. And I’m not kidding, it is not even close, it is the busiest little place in the whole town.

Will Gochnour:
Because you just scan a QR code, they box it up for you and take it.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s crazy. There’s a line out the door every single day. And I sit there and I’ll just be like, this is the busiest place in town is the UPS store. And it’s all returns. It’s all Amazon boxes. And it’s just a nonstop stream of people. And that’s just such an interesting way. Like when the guy wrote this book, that didn’t exist. Not even like close. Yeah, he had no idea how true that would end up being. Here’s what went through my mind. I’m curious what you guys think that maybe, I don’t know if it challenges this a little bit, but I think one of the single greatest tools and wealth building tools for a dentist that exists, like bar none, is a liquid brokerage account. I don’t care if the dentist is a big real estate person, a big business builder, or all only like stocks and bonds. I think having a lot of liquidity in a brokerage account, which is inherently completely reversible at any given moment, I think it is like the smartest, biggest no-brainer, best wealth building tool a dentist has and should have, no matter the path that they’re on of wealth building. But it’s completely reversible because you can send money to a brokerage account and get it all back without a penalty the next day. What say ye? What converse? What does that mean? Does that fly in the face of this logic?

Matt Mulcock:
I’ve got thoughts, but I don’t know if you guys. So, so I would say, I guess I look at those as two different things in my opinion. So I’m totally with you. Um, I think we really advocate for those because of that very thing. And it’s, it’s kind of interesting, Victoria was talking about the money back guarantee. I think we kind of use the same logic, like, listen, just start saving in a brokerage account. It’s liquid. It kind of allows the dentist to kind of get over this fear of like, well, I can’t get them that you can get the money back, but I think what I think it’s the way I, the reason I think it’s different, like I tend to agree with this premise that we should treat more decisions as non-reversible because I think it’s different than what you’re saying, Ryan, where what’s going to lead to a higher level of satisfaction with the decision in, I mean, in all of life, right? Like even if we told a dentist, no, you should treat this brokerage account. And I tell people, 10 dentists all the time, you should treat this brokerage account, just like your 401k, you should treat it like you can’t get the money back out. And I will, I do think, or you’re purchasing something you’re like he, the example he gives, like you’re buying a pair of jeans. Like we were kind of roasting him for being like an old guy. Yeah. A little choo-gee. Um, but I, I do think like, if you’re in the sense of, um, buying something, I think you are better off having the mindset of non like it’s non reversible from a level of just pure satisfaction in your life. Think of all the time, energy and angst, those people in that UPS line. Like think about the amount of time and energy they’re wasting, right? By going and doing that and how often are they doing that?

Ryan Isaac:
Totally, yeah and then buying the next thing and returning and buying the next thing and returning. I guess maybe what we’re seeing with a brokerage account, maybe I’m framing it wrong. Maybe the right way to frame the benefit of a brokerage account, it’s not that it’s reversible, it’s that it adds the needed flexibility like we were talking about earlier. A career path of a dentist has so many decisions and so many things going on, and you never know until you know, until you’ve experienced it. But the liquidity of a brokerage account adds flexibility and option of choice when you do encounter a new set of information that makes you wanna deviate from your path. Maybe it’s about the flexibility that it’s not reversible. To that point though, as you’re talking about that, actually, maybe I should recount what I said because think about when a dentist has a 401k and then a brokerage account, and they get a sales pitch for a new sexy, exciting like investment that has zero downside total tax deductibility, passive income for days, and double the returns of the stock market. Where do they pull money from? The protective thing for decades is the 401k. No one touches their 401k. So maybe I should recant what I said and say maybe the best wealth building tool is your 401k because you’ll never mess with it. And you’ll never care. You’ll be like, oh, it’s not reversible.

Matt Mulcock:
Yep. Because it’s not reversible, or it doesn’t feel reversible.

Ryan Isaac:
At all, you’re like, I can’t even do anything with it. It’s penalized, it’s taxed, but I’m gonna go gamble with my life savings in the brokerage account for this high risk thing I don’t even understand. But just build me some mutual fund portfolios in the 401k, we’ll just leave it for 40 years. Guess which one ends up statistically having higher returns? It’s like the 401k. But I don’t know, man, now that I was saying that, I’m like, I kinda love the 401k because of the non-reversibility.

Matt Mulcock:
Yeah, I want to get Will on this or Victoria on. Victoria, you look like you have thoughts on this.

Victoria Ferguson:
Well, I feel like just the I think if I my hypothesis is like with the non reversible decisions I think all that’s doing is limiting the amount of choices you have and then that’s like in the spirit of like which is point one that there’s some there’s a happy point or a happy medium with like this a set amount of decisions and so I think if I had to guess, that’s why non-reversible decisions probably lead to more satisfaction, because it’s like, oh, I couldn’t have had these other things, so it’s out of your mind. But I guess with your point with liquidity, I just view it as there will be some points in your life where you will have less options. You don’t have the same amount of options all the time. That fluctuates. And so in times where maybe you don’t have as many options and where that doesn’t feel as good then that’s where the liquidity comes into play to kind of bring that back, the amount of options back to that like happy medium.

Will Gochnour:
Yeah. I mean, I’m in agreeance with the, the brokerage versus 401k. And I think the flexibility that the brokerage account brings is, uh, you know, I don’t think you can overstate how important that is, but the thing that comes to mind when we, when we started talking about this was my mom gave me a piece of advice on my wedding night and she said, and I think, I don’t know, maybe big decisions, this is true because we help people with big decisions a lot, like buying houses, buying practices, selling practices, investing. Like these are all things that I have a lot of clients who have pretty significant, like indecision, decision anxiety around, should I do this or not? And they kind of want me to tell them what to do in a way. And I have another thought on that in just a second, but what she said to me was you’d make a decision, then you spend the rest of your life making it the right decision. And I don’t know if like that’s true in all cases, but I’ve told that to some clients that are like having trouble making a decision.

And I kind of just say, look, you can make any decision you want. And it kind of goes back to what we said before is like, you’re, you’re in the driver’s seat on whether this decision works out or not, you have full autonomy and control over like your satisfaction with this decision. And. You know, if, if you buy the house and you overspent on it, well, guess what? You probably need to like change some things so that it ends up being the right decision, because a lot of these decisions in life are pretty hard to reverse a lot of the big decisions there. There’s a lot, like you can’t go back on a lot of these decisions really easily. So I think that’s something that I think about is like, I don’t follow it to a T but just try not to regret things after you do them. Like Matt, I really like what you said. You can be a maximizer, but just once you make the decision, move on with your life. May it happen. Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s like move on. Yeah. The irreversibility just makes it so you stop ruminating and you just like, because Matt, you were saying this earlier. It’s a, it’s about direction sometimes or what direction over detail. And sometimes just, yeah, second guessing and ruminating over the decisions. If you can constantly change them just makes you stop making progress. Cause you stop moving. Cause you just sit still and you’re just like ruminating and all that.

Matt Mulcock:
Yeah, it’s actually interesting. I have one more point on the brokerage account because I think it’s a really insightful point, Ryan. And then someone mentioned real estate. I actually think there’s a point here where we talk about the reversibility where I think one of the reasons why people think real estate is a better investment than the stock market is because investments in real estate are much harder to reverse. There’s so much more friction in the transaction.

So, and the other part of this is the transparency, but the main point here is when you buy a piece of real estate, you buy a building, it’s illiquid. And to reverse that is a process. It’s expensive, it’s hard. You’ve got to get an agent, you got to market it, you got to find a buyer. So people tend, we all agree that no matter what asset class you pick, no matter what investment you go with, the number one indicator of success is staying in your seat. The most important part of a strategy is sticking with it, right, is having a strategy you can stick with. Real estate is easier to stick with because of what feels like a non-reversible decision where the brokerage account, the stock market, its greatest asset is also its greatest liability. The fact that it is so fluid and flexible to get in and out of. So to this point, I actually think if people treated their brokerage account more like a piece of real estate or more like their 401k, they would actually be better off. They’d be more satisfied and they’d be wealthier.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay. Yeah, that’s the clip right there. That’s getting cut. That’s getting cut up and then it’s going to social. Um, then the, I don’t know if we kind of made this point earlier. We already hit this one, pay we’re better off if we pay less attention to what others doing again, when this, yeah, it was like, but it’s like, think about when this guy wrote this book in the early 2000s, again, no iPhones, no social media, no streaming platforms. We didn’t know what people were doing really, unless we watched like MTV cribs back in the early 2000s, TRL Live. Like we didn’t know, and I was thinking like, how did we compare, you know, before we could just get on the internet and compare and fake our way through everything? Yeah.

Will Gochnour:
I saw a funny meme or something that said, I wish we could go back to the good old days when things were objectively worse. It was like some boomer that was walking in like just, you know, but it’s so true because they didn’t have, I think it was harder to compare back then. You just, you didn’t have as many choices. You just, you did what you did and you were right.

Ryan Isaac:
You had, we had no idea. We just, yeah, drove down our streets and like, oh, that car is nicer than mine. And it was still bad for us. I mean, we still made poor decisions because of that. I mean, the recent, I mean, yeah, it’s a whole other podcast, but it’s interesting to think about him making that point and how crucial and real that is. And it came long, yeah, it’s gotten way worse, way worse. Now we just feel bad about everything we do instead of only a handful of things that we do. Yeah, yeah, good point.

Victoria Ferguson:
Oh, no, I think the only thought that just came to mind is like by comparing, like playing the comparing game, you are increasing the amount of options, like in the amount of decisions, right? And that’s like, I know we keep saying it, but that’s the whole premise of the book. And like my biggest takeaway is like just inherently, just lower the amount of decisions you have to make. Like Ryan, you get the same coffee at Starbucks every single day and you don’t think about it, right? And me too, like I’m over in Utah getting the same exact order as you. Ryan said at precedent, like, you know, he started the vanilla sweet cream cold brew and then I did and then Matt did and then Studi did. Like, it is good. That’s the DA’s drink of choice. But.

Will Gochnour:
I was just gonna say, oh go ahead, Victoria, finish.

Victoria Ferguson:
Oh, no, I was like, you’re again, just limiting the amount of decisions. And so honestly, like even with me and social media, like I’ve stopped consuming it as much and looking at other people, cause I’m like this. You’re just kind of tricking your brain into like making or thinking it has more decisions to make than it really does.

Will Gochnour:
Yeah. So Barry did a Ted talk and he used this, he used this analogy of a fishbowl. Barry, the author, my guy, Barry, my boy, Barry. But he, so he used the construct of a fishbowl and he’s like, he, there was this like picture that said it was a fish and the dad fish was saying to the son fish, you can be anything you want to be son. And they were literally in a fishbowl, two fish.

Ryan Isaac:
Barry the author? Was it like a friend of yours? Okay, all right. All right. Yeah, okay. Be sure? Yeah.

Will Gochnour:
And so he was like, obviously this fish can’t be anything he wants to be, but inside of the fish bowl, he can be whatever, like his choices were very minimal is what he could be. And so he was going to be whatever he wanted to be within the fish bowl. So he said, we all need to kind of create our own fish bowls and not like get too far out of our lane in a way and, you know, stay in a way, stay in your lane so that you can be happy with what. It is immediately available to you. And I mean, it kind of sounds a little like downer to say like, don’t dream big, don’t do like, but it’s in a way, it’s like lower your expectations, stay in your lane, you’re going to live probably a more satisfied life.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, I’m thinking really fast of, Victoria, you’ve done a lot of presentations on aligning financial decisions with values. And when we start just consuming other people’s lives so much like we do, we just start adopting everyone else’s values into our own lives and decision-making. And then that’s like to Will’s point, then you’re like, I’m not even happy with any of this. Even if you have a lot, even if you got the money or the check or the business or the car, like whatever your thing was. we end up adopting other people’s values into our own decision-making. And then it’s just so unsatisfying and it’s hard to pull back and like, what’s mine? You know, what matters to me?

Matt Mulcock:
And it comes back to the earlier point because we’re really bad at predicting how we’re going to feel. So not only are we consuming the highlights of everyone else’s life and comparing it to our real life. And they were like, Oh, that looks fun. Like I should do that. Or I should want that. And you predict whether it’s consciously or subconsciously, then you get there and you’re just like, Oh, this actually wasn’t as cool as I thought. And along the way you’re freaking miserable. You’re miserable. I’m thinking, I keep thinking back to this two cents we did a few weeks ago. Will you brought this article, the wall street journal article that said the U S fell outside the top 20 for the first time ever the top 20, um, happiest countries in the world for the first time ever since they’ve been doing this study. The U S fell outside the top 20 and then they broke it down by ages. The youngest age group in America. I’m guessing they didn’t, uh, well, maybe you know this or you don’t, but they did they break out the age cohorts? It was like 18 to 35 year olds or whatever. The younger age group of this study fell to 62nd in the world. There are 61 countries ahead of the US as far as happiness metric. And I can’t help but think, and if you compare that to the level of abundance we have in America, it is objectively, this is the wealthiest and most abundant, more choices than we’ve ever had in the history of the world of any nation, any country and we are the least happy we’ve ever been. I can’t help but think. I can’t help but think that this is a massive part of it. We’re all comparing ourselves. We’re all looking over to other people’s fences and being like, I wish I had what they had. Yep.

Victoria Ferguson:
Yeah, it’s way too easy to compare yourself to other people. There’s so much, even social media, but just even data, career-wise too. Am I where I need to be? And I can see my peers, their career paths are way too transparent. And so you can compare every single aspect of your life now to people in your age group. But it’s funny because dentists love doing this. Like, they’re like, well, how do I compare to people my age? Am I doing this right? Like, you know, am I where I’m supposed to be? And it’s like, well, are you happy? Like, are you living the life you wanna live? Like, compare it to where you wanna be and not like everybody else. Cause that’s not a game you can ever win. There’s always gonna be somebody that’s better than you or, and worse than you. Yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
At something at something. Yep. Yeah. There’s something that Jeff Bezos can look at for someone else and be like, I, man, I wish I would have been, I wish I was better at X, Y, or Z. Um, okay. Poor baby, Jeff. Um, okay. We got to move forward because we’ll has got a tee ball game to get to for, for George, um, for himself. He’s, oh, you got a tee ball game, big tee ball game. So, um, dude, he’s smashing that ball. The last two points, uh, regret slash loss aversion, basically saying humans do a lot to avoid the feeling of loss. Uh, who wants to, any thoughts on this guys?

Victoria Ferguson:
I was just kind of thinking of people who just like stick it out with decisions because getting out of that decision means like it they admit that they did something wrong or they have to lose something. And Barry talks about like trade-offs and I feel like that’s a huge part of our jobs is guiding people through trade-offs. But the very essence of a trade-off and a decision means you do lose something. And so that’s why a lot of people will stay or a lot of dentists will stay in analysis paralysis because at least they get to like kind of keep everything where it’s at because that loss just feels so bad to people because they can’t really know how they’re gonna feel about it in the future, but they really wanna know how they’re gonna feel about it in the future. So they just don’t make a decision at all. And that is really like a terrible thing to do especially when it comes to like waiting to get started to invest, right? Like that’s so expensive to do.

Matt Mulcock:
Well, and to that point, Victoria, he talks about the difference in, so being wrong, taking an action versus being wrong, taking or not taking an action. Right. So two different things. So he talks about there’s a higher level of regret. You might have the same result. And he actually uses a stock analysis or example of losing money in the stock market. And so we talked about like this idea of like, you’d rather just sit and do nothing or again, this paralysis by analysis comes back to that, that exact point.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, it’s interesting how much this all circles back to point number two, a lot of them, but point number two of just getting stuck, trying to imagine how we’re going to feel once the decision is made and mostly just how we’re going to feel if we made the wrong one or what the bad part of the decision is going to be. And like, uh, we, we have a lot of fear around that just because that’s how we’re built naturally to like fear, wrong decisions and fear pain more than, you know, being excited about any upside. So yeah, that’s really interesting.

Will Gochnour:
I just think about opportunity costs. So like when you, you know, that’s kind of the other side of the coin is when you sit there paralyzed, scared to lose anything. I think of like a client who has a whole life policy who doesn’t want to get out because they don’t get the full cash value or their surrender value is below what their cash value should be. And they sit there in this policy losing money to fees and returns when they could, you know, we would call it like just cut, like cut your losses. Yeah. Right. And just take, yeah, sunk costs. That’s what I was looking for. Sunk cost. Sunk costs and just, there you go. Right. But the opportunity cost is there for those that are worried about regret, loss aversion, there is something that you’re missing out on, you know.

Matt Mulcock:
Well, and Victoria said this too, sitting on cash, right? Not investing, right? That is, there’s a huge opportunity cost there. I also love the point, Victoria, you made of basically saying like, for every decision, on every other side of yes, there’s a no, right? By deciding to do something, you’re saying, by saying yes to something, you’re saying no to another thing. And so again, I think this is why a lot of times it leads to an action, taking investing as an example. They’re too scared to say yes to investing. So they just sit in cash and to Will’s point, the opportunity costs there. You don’t feel it because it’s happening silently, but you’re actually far worse off in the end by not investing that cash than you are investing. Exactly right. Very, very expensive. So, all right, last one, Will, I was just gonna say, if you need to pop off, Will, we don’t wanna hold you up. So, just let us know. Last one being hedonic adaptation.

Victoria Ferguson:
Yeah, we like just really don’t want to be wrong. But that’s expensive to do.

Matt Mulcock:
I love this one. We’ve talked about this a lot, but, uh, bait. So I guess we’ll just kind of give a quick example of people hear that. Like, what does that mean? Uh, basically this means that you get used to your life. You get used to your standard and your standard continues to raise. Uh, I’ll give a quick example of this. I think we all kind of relate to this. Imagine yourself 10 years ago and then that person seeing the way you’re living now and how would that person react? But it feels normal to you now. That’s hedonic adaptation.

Ryan Isaac:
After we’re like thinking about the cars, we probably all, everyone listening that you drive now, compared to the car you drove 10 years ago. And you think the car you drive now is like, I don’t know, there’s a better one, more comfortable one. Nice, it’s insane how we get used to this stuff. And I think it all circles back because we just constantly have more choices to make. And it’s like, there’s just a never ending list of things that could be better, even though we get used to things so fast. Our brains are amazing machines, they’re so efficient. They just adapt so quick and then move on. It’s crazy.

Victoria Ferguson:
Well, there’s like two things coming to my mind as you were saying that one, I think applying that to decision-making, like you will get used to whatever decision you make. Like, and I feel like people don’t realize that they, like you will, it’ll become the new norm, whatever it is, even if it’s not like your best decision, like it will become your new norm. But then the other side, the other thought that I had too was when it comes to lifestyle creep, this applies to dentists. That’s why it’s so important to try to keep that as low as you can because it is incredibly difficult to go back down. Imagine us trying to go back down to how we used to live 10 years ago. Absolutely not. I like having food in my fridge constantly. You know, like I could not do that, right? But that sounds, yeah, it sounds so selfish, but it’s like that for dentists that just happens like, and it can happen to the extreme because they like have the ability to make that happen if they wanted to.

Matt Mulcock:
So I have a quick question on this, because I totally agree, but I am sitting here thinking, because you just said, well, the example you gave was like basic necessities. So like forget the basic necessities, but let’s take a car as an example or a house. Do you think that people would not be able to, like we say people can’t go backwards and I tend to agree people don’t. But is it more they just can’t imagine going backwards versus if they had to, they would adapt. Did that make sense? You can’t imagine it.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, you just can’t imagine it. You can’t imagine it. Like if any of us who have a decent car had to be given a 1989 Honda Civic, which I used to have, it didn’t have AC, it was black, two door, it was dented. At the time I loved it because it was my second car. We were sharing and then I got the 89 Civic that didn’t have AC and I freaking loved it. If I had to drive that now, I wouldn’t be happy. But…

Matt Mulcock:
So, okay. That’s what I’m saying is it goes, it goes both ways, right? Like he, he gives these examples, but I think the PR I, I kind of, I think the takeaway from this is things are never as good as you think, and they’re never as bad as you think, right? Like we adapt for better or for worse. He gives it the example of the people who just won the lottery versus the people who just became quadriplegics. And the, and he is not, and he says in the book, he’s like, I am not telling you, I’m not saying it is better to be a quadriplegic than it is a multimillionaire. But he’s saying basically the studies show that the quadriplegics after a period of time, they track them kind of went back to their genetic preset or their default levels of happiness prior to them having their accidents and the same thing with the lottery winners. And again, his whole point was like, for better or for worse on the good side and the bad side, we just adapt to our life.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Polar opposite scenarios and you end up back at your baseline. Very few things actually matter in life. Very few things actually impact us, even though we think everything does. And yeah, I think that’s the takeaway. We adapt to everything for better or for worse. You can downsize, you can downgrade, you can get a worse car, a smaller house. You can spend less money. You can go to less expensive restaurants, shop less. You’ll be okay. Like you’ll be fine.

Matt Mulcock:
But here’s the problem, I think, with this, because we all agree with this, and I think everyone that hears this has to be like, yeah, and the data backs us up, right? But we live in a society, especially in America, and we live within an ecosystem that is telling us the exact opposite. You need this thing to make yourself better and make yourself happier, and this thing’s going to, like, you need this to improve your life. We are being convinced every day that we’re not happy enough until we have this thing.

Ryan Isaac:
And you’re talking to a person who is the biggest sucker for good marketing. I’ll buy anything with like snazzy marketing, dude, seriously. I am the biggest, biggest sucker for like good marketing. And so totally, man. Yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
You’re the swipe up guy. Swipe up and click by now. This is awesome. Let’s finish up with maybe final thoughts Victoria any takeaways

Victoria Ferguson:
Yeah, I feel like the takeaway, or takeaways, I have a couple. One, kind of just having this awareness that you have so many decisions to make and any effort you put in to limit the amount of decisions you make is probably going to benefit you. So try that out in any way you can. But what I really liked and that he said too to help kind of combat some of this is practicing gratitude. And I think he acknowledges, he’s like, I know, it seems kind of simple and silly, but it truly makes a difference because I think kind of to Will’s point, it helps you create these confines, but in a healthy way, right? Just being grateful for what you have or the people in your life or what you’re able to do. It just kind of helps ground you in not only your values, but yourself and what you actually care about in this life. So I think I’m gonna try that. I’m personally not somebody that like does that daily or super regularly, but I think I kind of want to try that and see what happens.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, I’ll just take this to like a logistical thing, takeaway, which is something I think we’ve done well as a business for our clients the whole time is, we’re kind of like, we force people to save money. We’re constantly bugging them about their cashflow and like, hey, there’s a little extra money here. Let’s save it, let’s save it, let’s save it. The consequences of that have turned out to be, our average client savings rate is more than quadruple the highest national average savings rate from the highest age category of savers. And speaking of choices, you can sometimes put yourself in an environment, for example, having a financial advisor who makes you save money automatically right out of your business account before it comes home, which limits the amount of choices you have to make with extra money every month. And we’ve seen that then translate into wealth accumulation and growth faster than people realize it happens, very fast. And, you know, wealth accumulation, when you have those kind of like patterns and habits sneaks up on you. So one good practical takeaway to limit your choices and make better decisions is force some savings out of your business account before it ever goes home and your life will be improved for that.

Matt Mulcock:
I don’t want to follow those two. Those are great. No, I think you pretty much hit everything I wanted to say. Like I guess the summary I took away from this is like truly lower expectations. I think lowering expectations, maximizing to what you’re saying, Ryan, the systems in your life, right? Like maximize systems in your life where possible. Make investing automatic, make savings automatic. Don’t even make those decisions on it. Like the more you can limit those.

The better off you’re going to be. Um, and then the, the whole point of what we’re talking about, like stop comparing yourself to others. If there’s any other takeaway from this, it’s other people don’t have a better life than you, everyone struggles. Everyone has issues. Everyone has insecurities. We all do every single one of us. And I think, uh, if you could, if everyone could just turn off social media, we’d all be better off for it. Maybe that’s, maybe that’s my main takeaway.

Ryan Isaac:
I can’t Yeah, you’re right, and I can’t and then part two of part two of this episode is where we all air our problems and insecurities Live we’ll do that in grand detail Yeah Gradually, yeah, it’ll be

Matt Mulcock:
Perfect. Well, I’m happy. That’s gonna have to be an extra long episode. So coming to the Dentist Money Summit in June. I don’t know if you guys knew this, if we’re, but we’re having a summit in June, in June, uh, June 21st and 22nd in park city, Utah. And it will be, I don’t care if you are a maximizer or a satisficer or somewhere in between. You will not regret coming to the Dennis money summit. Did you like how I just transitioned that? Right.

Ryan Isaac:
Tell us more, when and where and how. How do I sign up? I love that, it was the a satisficer. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Matt, is there a website?

Victoria Ferguson:
I love that all highs, no lows at the Dennis Money Summit. Yeah.

Matt Mulcock:
Wasn’t even planned. Just, just literally shot it from the hip off, off the cuff. There is Dennis money summit.com. Ryan’s so glad you asked Dennis money summit.com. You can check out the lineup of speakers. You can check out the incredible hotel, the grand summit. Oh, when a hotel has grand in front of the title, what do you expect other than it going to be, it’s going to be grand raise expectations for how amazing that someone’s going to be. I digress.

Ryan Isaac:
Matt, thank you for that. And I just want to share something really fast in the time that we recorded this podcast. Three notifications from Amazon Deliveries have hit my phone. Separate items. So that’s the world we live in, folks.

Matt Mulcock:
To return all those things. Yeah, Victoria, Ryan, thank you. Uh, Will, thank you. He had to drop off to go to T ball, but, uh, thank you everyone for listening. Yeah. Good luck, Will. Hope you hit some doubles. Uh, appreciate everyone for listening until next time. Bye bye.

Ryan Isaac:
Thank you. Thanks everyone. Good luck, Will. Hit the ball.

Behavioral Finance

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